Edward Johnston - EC1
Born 11th February 1872
Died 26th November 1944
Edward Johnston 1872 - 1944
Memorial design by Fraser Muggeridge 2017
Edward Johnston was one of the foremost calligraphers and typographers of the twentieth century and is widely credited with having revived the lost art of of formal penmanship, which had lain dormant for four centuries. His ground-breaking underground typeface was commissioned by Frank Pick, commercial manager of the Underground Electric Railways Company of London, and first appeared in 1916. Its balanced proportions and clean design were radically different from the heavy typefaces then in use and Johnston's influence was keenly felt by the early and mid-twentieth century typography movement, inspiring many commercial typefaces, notably Gill Sans in1928.
This installation is not only a memorial to Edward Johnston, but also a celebration of the profound impact of his world famous typeface. Originally designed for posters, its use has gradually extended to every form of signage on London's transport networks in the modern digital age. This simple replication of the original wooden printing blocks showcases the precision and purity of the typeface.
Johnston also went on to redesign the underground symbol into the familiar 'roundel' logo that now identifies London's transport system. Johnston's legacy is still acknowledged today. whether through recognizing a station or bus route, or simply allowing information to be quickly absorbed from a poster or digital screen