[[Edward Johnston]] must be turning in his grave


I don't get it… why should he be turning in his grave?

OK, so it seems you can't have a word in a title serve as a TypoWiki link.

The juxtaposition of his London Underground and that "C" mark.

Transport for London use New Johnston pretty well all of the time.

Oh, he'd get over it. It isn't the best, but don't you think he'd at least be happy that a lettering scheme he made was still in use 90 years after he made it?

I suppose so.

I think it is a wonderful headline/display face, I just find it a bit odd seeing it all over everything that TfL have anything to do with, and it makes for very odd body copy.

Perhaps it's just over used (and in the wrong places).

over used (and in the wrong places)

I can agree with that!

I like the London Underground face (heck I bought P-22's version), but the lack of optical compensation at stroke joins has always bothered me. Seems like Johnston was a much better calligrapher than typeface designer.

It also seems that Eric Gill, who worked quite a bit with Johnston on the London Underground typeface, either had learned a lot by the time he did Gill Sans, or was well served by his collaboration with Monotype, as it is much better executed in this regard. Of course, one also sees the same errors in Paul Renner's original drawings for Futura, but the good folks at Bauer fixed it up nicely....



Johsnton never considered his work for LU a typeface. He called it an "alphabet" for signage and display only - never envisioned some of its present uses. It is truly monolineal, but I still like it better than Gill for display. Johnston isn't perfect, but anyone that visits London knows that it just plain works. This link is interesting as a corporate identitiy textbook:

It's no surprise that the face had or has its faults. Not so long ago, I was reading 'London's Handwriting, the development of Edward Johnston's Underground Railway block-letter' by Colin Banks, and in it he states that Johnston did not believe in roughs, trials or mocks. Instead,"The first complete working out, would if possible, be the final thing".

He did his calligraphy that way. He would brood over a job for weeks or longer then dash off the job, usually with brilliant results.

Something amiss with your link above.


Fixed it - it has changed.