Friday, September 04, 2009

Eric Gill, Unemployment and a little heresy




I picked up this little number the other day. It's a curious little tract by Gill and published by Faber and Faber, but printed by Gill and his Son-in-Law at their jointly run press in High Wycombe in 1933 and apart from the brown mark on a couple of pages (sadly including the illustration) it's in pretty good nick.
I really do enjoy and admire Gill's art and much of his font design. It took me a while to work out why this booklet has such a 'religious' feel to it: certainly the text contains much about Gill's strongly professed religious conviction but there is something even in the way the thing looks. Eventually I realised that with the short paragraphs, the numbered lists and the use of paragraph signs and ampersands, the text on the page actually resembles that of a Bible, perhaps a King James.
But, and here's the little smidgen of heretical thought, there are some very noticeable inconsistencies in the type spacing; more, although the pages are pleasant to behold, they are actually quite difficult to read, the eye doesn't follow the text as well as it might.

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