The Eric Gill Series was launched yesterday at an event at London’s Old Truman Brewery. Gill Sans Nova, designed by George Ryan, is a remastered version of Gill Sans with 25 new fonts, alternative characters, new weights originally commissioned as custom fonts and decorative styles from specimen books that weren’t previously available digitally. It also features new display fonts including Gill Sans Deco, a design that had previously been withdrawn from Monotype‘s library.
Monotype’s Gill Sans Nova includes 25 new fonts, including new display and condensed fonts
“There’s been a lot of interest over the years in returning to Gill Sans because it was used by so many people in so many different ways,” says type director Dan Rhatigan. “Different designers have come up with ideas, but with Gill Sans there’s always a pressure in meddling with a design that has such a heritage and has been so widely used.”
Rhatigan says an update of Gill Sans had been “bubbling along” as designers checked the existing family to make sure it was accurate, and prepared to re-hint fonts, “which is a process of making sure they look as good on screen as possible,” he says. Microsoft had also expressed an interest in commissioning an update of Gill Sans, and Gill Sans Nova appears a system font in the new Windows 10. “In looking at what had been available over the years, this eccentric array of weights and styles, the real work became filling in the gaps and building around the existing family,” adds Rhatigan.
Type designer Terrance Weinzeirl, meanwhile, had pitched ideas for a sans version of Joanna – Gill’s take on an Egyptian serif, designed for letterpress printing – to Monotype’s creative type director Steve Matteson. The company decided to invest in releasing a Joanna Sans family when Barnes & Noble expressed an interest in using it for their new e-Reader, says Rhatigan.
Joanna Nova is a remastered version of Gill’s Egyptian serif Joanna. Designer Ben Jones has redrawn each glyph from a range of reference sources, including originals
“That’s the core of how a lot of things happen at Monotype – a lot of typefaces come out of the partnerships we have with companies who commission designs, and we have the opportunity to draw from our existing library and add things to it through those commissions,” adds Rhatigan.
With Weinzierl working on Joanna Sans, Ben Jones was called in to work on an update of Joanna. The Joanna Nova family includes 18 new fonts and new small caps in upright and italic versions, and Jones has redrawn each glyph.
“We had these three objects percolating and we looked at them and thought, these show different aspects of what