My brother, Eric Swanson Gill, was named after the famous English typographer Eric Gill, creator of the Gill Sans typeface. I have found numerous websites about him but nothing on his genealogy. From http://www.slip.net/~graphion/gill.html (it also has a photo of him):

"Eric Gill, stone carver, wood engraver, essayist and typographer, was born in Brighton, England, on February 22, 1882. His father was a curate and his mother a singer. Early in life, he displayed a talent for drawing and a keen eye for proportion, inspiring his family to enroll him in an art school in Chichester.

"In 1900, his father apprenticed him to the architect of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. Shortly thereafter, he began to study lettering in evening classes with Edward Johnston. After three years, he abandoned architecture to start his own business in letter cutting and stone carving. In 1907, he joined an artists' community in Ditchling, Sussex, where he had his first experiences with printing and typography. He entered the Roman Catholic church in 1913, for which he retained a great, if somewhat unorthodox, zeal throughout his life.

"In 1925, Stanley Morison approached Gill with the idea of creating a new typeface for the Monotype Corporation as the expression of a contemporary artist. He began work on what would become known as Perpetua, and not long after that a sans-serif, to be called Gill Sans. Their release three years later caused some controversy, but they became an immediate success with the public. Gill Sans has in fact become the leading British sans-serif, sometimes being described as the "national typeface of England."

"Although he never considered himself to be primarily a typographer, over the course of his life he designed eleven typefaces of exceptional beauty and subtlety, and wrote a lengthy and influential Essay on Typography. He died of lung cancer on November 17, 1940."

Another goes into more detail: http://webcom.net/~nfhome/ericgill.htm

Some of his work has become quite valuable, as described at http://www.prbm.com/interest/gill.htm for the Philadelphia Rare Books and Manuscripts Company:

"One of Only 8 Copies on Vellum - Printed at the Cranach Press Bible. O.T. Song of Solomon. French. 1931. Cantique des cantiques de Salomon. [Weimar: Cranach Press, 1931 (colophon reads: L'ouvrage se trouve aux Éditions de Cluny, 18 rue de Condé, Paris)]. Narrow 8vo. [1 (blank)] f., 32 pp., [3 (2 blank)] ff....

"Since there were only 8 vellum copies of each of the three different language editions, and many have long been in institutions, vellum copies do not often come onto the market. In 1984 one of the German-language copies fetched DM10,500 plus premiums and in 1990 one of the Latin-language copies realized £13,000 plus premiums (approximately $25,370)."

A gallery featuring with some of his work:

http://www.wolman-prints.com/gill_184/ mentions drawings of Mary Gill and Elizabeth Gill, who are probably family members.

Copyright 1999, and thanks to, M. Smith.

Return to White Hats Page

Return to Gill Home Page.

Please send errors, corrections, suggestions, and updates to  Dr. Frank O. Clark.  All comments are welcome.

Nedstat Counter