Monotype Foundation Offers Limited Edition Prints of Original Type Drawings

Reproductions of original type drawings are now available online from the Monotype Foundation, a new nonprofit company dedicated to the worldwide advancement of the typographic arts. Proceeds from the sales will fund typographic initiatives such as educational scholarships and grants for libraries and museums.

The first in a series of limited edition prints features the Gill Sans™ Bold Extra Condensed typeface, available for $200 (about GBP 108) from Eric Gill, the British typographer, sculptor and engraver created the design in 1937 as part of the Gill Sans typeface family he designed for The Monotype Corporation Limited. Inspired by the sans serif lettering by the calligrapher Edward Johnston in 1916 for the London Underground public transportation system, the Gill Sans typeface has been considered Gill’s most famous creation and enduring legacy to typography. Several companies including AT&T and the British Broadcasting Corp. have incorporated the Gill Sans design into their brand identity programs. Gill Sans fonts are also part of the Mac OS™ X operating system which runs in millions of Macintosh™ computers.

Five hundred hand-numbered reproductions have been created of the original Gill Sans Bold Extra Condensed drawing, which is stored in an archive at the U.K. headquarters of Monotype Imaging in Salfords. The giclĂ©e digital printing process was used to create each 18 x 24 inch print on fine art matte paper. "It’s virtually impossible to distinguish the original from the reproduction," said Allan Haley, who serves on the board of directors for the Monotype Foundation. "Gill’s pencil titling and initials are visible, as are areas where he made hand-edited corrections. It’s fascinating to view such primitive techniques, especially since Gill’s typefaces in today’s digital world are more prevalent and popular than ever, 65 years after his death."

The Monotype Foundation was established as a vehicle to fund typographic initiatives that can make a difference to further the worldwide advancement the typographic arts. "We envision the foundation encouraging institutions and people who will likely shape the future of the typographic arts," said Robert M. Givens, president and chief executive officer of Monotype Imaging Inc. "We’re pleased to be able to share the type drawings in our archives and turn these treasures into collectible works of art. People who appreciate type will love these limited edition reproductions."

Included with each print is a certificate of authenticity and a signed commentary by Michael Harvey, the British type designer, educator and author who began his career as a letter carver more than 50 years ago after reading Gill’s autobiography. A second companion piece is also included – an article about Gill by Sebastian Carter, the British designer, fine printer and writer on typography. Carter’s article first appeared in a 1990 edition of the Monotype Recorder, a journal published by Monotype through much of the twentieth century.

About The Monotype Foundation
The Monotype Foundation is a nonprofit organization registered in England and Wales as a company limited by guarantee (no. 4909976). The foundation’s purpose is to support various non-commercial typographic initiatives worldwide. Proceeds from the sales of limited edition prints and other typographic works will be used to fund student scholarships and typographic programs of libraries, museums and other facilities dedicated to the typographic arts.

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