Type of our times

At the start of the 20th century, the world was in the midst of rapid change. It was becoming consumerist and industrialised, with advertising and a range of commodities leading to increased demand for new type. Oddly enough, despite the industrial revolution and the growth of mechanised processes, significant movements in type during the new century were to be shaped by an Arts and Crafts movement championed at distance by William Morris. Morris, and those like him, believed that mechanisation removed mankind from creativity, and he sought to revive a sense of craftsmanship in all his work, including his typography.

This Arts and Crafts movement was certainly an influence on Britain's two foremost type designers: Edward Johnston and Eric Gill. The pair met in London in 1902 when Gill became Johnston's pupil in the study of calligraphy.

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