Skip to content

Edward Johnston, London, handwriting and a bit more


Over the last year or so since this blog has been up and running I can find no mention of Edward Johnston. I don’t know how this can be, given how important he was to the growth of lettering in the early twentieth century and his continuing influence on designers. Let this post be a belated apology for the gap. It starts with this brochure for a book printed in 1994 by the London Transport Museum, called London’s Handwriting. I regret that I did not subscribe but expect the price of 295 pounds was a put off to a struggling hack with a young family and a huge mortgage back then. Google turns up a few references to the volume but I can’t find any for sale through the normal sources (ABE etc). If you hear of one please let me know, or snap it up as it appears to be a fine example of fine printing. 

For those who don’t know Edward Johnston visit the Foundation

and there’s a fascinating overview here.—Final-Report–Appendix.pdf

As with many archives, a lot of his stuff is now in the US, at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana. As with Gill I’d urge any American readers who live nearby to go visit. For those in the UK a visit to Ditching is a must – just 9 miles north of Brighton. With spring in the air now’s the time…

2 Comments leave one →
  1. lignwork permalink
    31/08/2012 12:04 am

    “That modern calligraphy ever rose like a phoenix from the ashes of a forgotten craft was largely due to Edward Johnston. It is to his perception of fundamentals that formal penmanship owes its life and continuing tradition today.” Heather Child, The Legacy of Edward Johnston
    By the way, you have inspired me to set up a blog. I’ve just now published a third post – you are the first I’ve told.

    • john pitt permalink*
      01/09/2012 4:04 pm

      Thanks and good luck. Please let me know your link so can cross refer. Best wishes John

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: