Nobody has ever expressed the difference between art and commerce more elegantly than Eric Gill did in 1931: “The commercial article at its best is simply physically serviceable and, per accidens, beautiful in its efficiency; the work of art at its best is beautiful in its very substance and, per accidens, as serviceable as an article of commerce.”
The quotation is taken from his Essay on Typography
, the first book to be set in Joanna. Gill designed the slab-serif typeface, together with a beautiful narrow italic font, for his own small publishing press, Hague and Gill
, which he had founded in 1930 with Rene Hague
, the husband of his daughter Joan
, known as Joanna.
The typeface resembles Gill’s Perpetua
, but its contrast is less strong and the ascenders project above the capitals: “... perfect for mechanical setting, without losing its elegance”, as Gill described his favourite typeface.