eric gill Thoughts on lettering

In honour of a decade: a legacy begins

In November 2020 this blog celebrates a decade. I’m aware that in recent years I’ve not been as active as before – perhaps this is age or is it laziness? Probably a combination of both.


However, over the coming months I will add to the collection as well as re-post some articles I consider still hold up interest. If you disagree, let me know. This is the age of communication and commentary and interactivity after all.

So the first is….my visit to Pigotts.  An interesting choice given my abhorrence and moral disgust of the man, yet these are pictures you will find no where else. And taken on a Pentax ME Super with Ilford HP5 film.

Yes, I was naive and I cannot offer apologies enough to his victims – his family and the many others who were lured into posing for him. Eric Gill was a serial paedophile. Period.

Do not use or recommend Gill Sans or any other of his typefaces. Period.


eric gill typography

Kayo – also known as Gill Sans Ultra Bold

An article in the Penrose Annual of 1937 by Robert Harling – Necessities and Novelties – led me to the Monotype Type Catalogue, via a quick internet search, to discover more about a type he had designed and commercially produced in 1936 called Kayo.

Harling writes: “Back to novelties, we find that Eric Gill has again adventured into the display world with two new types, one of which, Jubilee, is almost ecclesiastical in its dignity, stability and general decorum, and the other, Kayo, so fantastic as to take us immediately back to the dark ages of so much of the nineteenth-century display typography. Kayo is a dismal type. ..The type was originally named Double Elefans, which had a very pleasant touch of the lampoon about it. The new name, Kayo, is too horribly truthful. ..Typographical historians of 2000AD (which isn’t, after all, so very far away) will find this odd outburst in Mr Gill’s career, and will spend much time in attempting to track down this sad psychological state of his during 1936.”

Well – will we?

What do you think about this ‘lampoon’?