An Essay on Typography by Eric Gill


“…for ultimately there is no happiness in a world in which things are not as good as they can be.”

“The-man-of-business-who-is-also-man-of-taste will tend to the ‘period’ work, the-man-of-taste-who-is-also-man- of- business will tend to the imitation handicrafts.”

“It becomes easier and easier to print any kind of thing, but more and more imperative to print only one kind.”

“There are, then, two typographies, as there are two worlds; &, apart from God or profits, the test of one is mechanical perfection, and of the other sanctity — the commercial article at its best is simply physically serviceable and, per accidens, beautiful in its efficiency; the work of art at its best is beautiful in its very substance and, per accidens, as serviceable as an article of commerce.”

“Modern handwriting, if it is to be reformed at all, must be reformed by the application of a good knowledge of the technique of penmanship to a knowledge of good printing, & not by the resuscitation of medieval calligraphy.”

“…commonly seen but uncommonly bad.”

“…there will always be many who will choose to be masters of their own work & in their own workshops rather than masters of other men working under sub-human conditions, that is to say conditions which deny them intellectual responsibility.”

“But tho’ industrialism has now won an almost complete victory, the handicrafts are not killed, & they cannot be quite killed because they meet an inherent, indestructible, permanent need in human nature. (Even if a man’s whole day be spent as a servant of an industrial concern, in his spare time he will make something, if only a window box flower garden.)”

some quotes I found emphatic from An Essay on Typography by Eric Gill

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