Associates of the Guild
Edward Johnston (1872-1944)Edward Johnston, who had been Eric Gill’s teacher in the art of good modern lettering in London, followed his pupil to Ditchling in 1912. By this time Johnston had already earned a reputation as Britain’s leading modern calligrapher and begun his career as an influential typographer. His revolutionary handbook Writing and Illuminating and Lettering, which included a chapter on ‘Inscriptions in Stone’ by Gill, with examples of his letter cutting, alongside his own calligraphy, had already been reprinted three times when he arrived in Ditchling and has continued to be reprinted regularly since then.
During his first years in Ditchling, Johnston worked closely with Eric Gill and their interests in lettering and printing encouraged them to help Douglas Pepler, a mutual friend from Hammersmith to join them in Ditchling and set up a printing workshop, which later became the St Dominic’s Press, then the Ditchling Press. The Press gave Johnston the opportunity to gain practical experience of book production. During 1915 Johnston sought Gill’s help in the initial stages of his designing of the Johnston Sans sign lettering for the London Underground.