Exhibition - Being Edward Johnston

The great bulls-eye London Transport logo and the lettering on the London Underground are clearly imprinted in our minds as some of the most memorable graphics of our times. It is surprising to find out that the original designs were made in 1916 in the Ditchling studio of the master of calligraphy Edward Johnston. Johnston has two other great claims to fame: he was the tutor of sculptor Eric Gill and he published a seminal text on the art of lettering and calligraphy, Writing and Illuminating and Lettering in 1906. To modern-day graphic artists and typographers he reigns as master. His book brought about a huge revival in the art of calligraphy, handwriting and lettering which has continued unabated until today. The book was last re-printed in 2005 into Japanese and the designers of Apple computers count among those inspired by his works.

To mark the centenary of the publication of this book, the Ditchling Museum is holding an exhibition on Johnston. Long in the planning, the show brings to life the art of writing and printing. Pages from the original manuscripts show us how we should teach our children to hold and angle pens in order to write well. Personal objects, letters and photographs reveal his life-long friendship with Eric Gill, his obsession with his craft and his significant artistic contribution to Sussex. This light, airy exhibition is detailed, fascinating in a quiet way, and will make you look afresh at all the fonts, computer typefaces and lettering that you see around you every day. JW

Target man: Edward Johnston’s designs are imprinted
onto our consciousness

Ditchling Museum, Church Lane, Ditchling
When? Tues-Sat 10.30am-5pm, Sun 2-5pm till Oct 1st
How Much? £3.50/concs £2/students £1, kids free

Ditchling Museum
(t) 01273 844744
(w) Website