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Johnston's Underground Type [Illustrated] [Hardcover]

Justin Howes
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

27 Sep 2000
In 1916, when it appeared on posters of the London Underground railway for the first time, Johnston Sans was recognised as an artefact of vitality and integrity. These were qualities which a few connoisseurs had already been privileged to see in the privately-commissioned calligraphy of its designer Edward Johnston; qualities which had, otherwise, rarely been seen in public, and were not usually to be associated with type design.

Johnston Sans was the first typeface to have been designed for day-to-day use by a leading artist-craftsman. It was seen as iconic by the younger generation of typographic designers and craftsmen.

Justin Howes shows how Johnston's type emerged from his calligraphy at a critical moment for an Arts and Crafts Movement becoming increasingly engaged with the problems of industrial design. Johnston's Underground Type is the first book to document Johnston's work for London Transport in detail. His other sans serif type designs for London Transport are discussed, and include the condensed Omnibus alphabets and a bold version of Johnston Sans.

Also reproduced, for the first time, are little-known designs for silver medallions presented to the Underground's best kept stations, and a selection of his bullseye designs for London Transport.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Capital Transport Publishing; First Edition edition (27 Sep 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1854142313
  • ISBN-13: 978-1854142313
  • Product Dimensions: 25.2 x 22.6 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,149,680 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars V. interesting 12 Mar 2001
By A Customer
Ever wondered how the London Underground came by its standard lettering? This book explains all. It is a fascinating book, full of interest. The main drawbacks I found were: 1) there is not a complete display of the font as designed, only working drawings and one paragraph set in the font; 2) it is rather heavy going, with cross references all over the place; and 3) it was a bit 'arty' for me (an engineer). This of course would not be a problem to exponents of the arts subjects.
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