In dropping a 1928 font that features on its logo, the organization followed the BBC
Prominent charity Save the Children has announced that it will discontinue its Gill Sans typeface as it was designed by child molester artist Eric Gill.
Gill was one of the most famous British artists, sculptors and designers of the first half of the 20th century, was an Associate of the Royal Academy of Arts and appointed Royal Designer for Industry. He designed several war memorials and sculptures for some of the UK’s iconic buildings and also created, in 1928, one of the most popular typefaces. However, nearly 50 years after his death, his personal reputation has been ruined: an explosive 1989 biography, backed up by Gill’s own diaries, revealed sexual abuse of his daughters, sisters and even a dog.
“Every child, everywhere, deserves to grow up safe and supported. Following an overall brand review last year, we are discontinuing use of the Gill Sans font.“Said a spokesperson for Save the Children, quoted by British media, without going into details of the decision.
Although the charity’s 2016 guidelines called for the continued use of the Gill Sans typeface, Save the Children said that last year it made the decision to drop the typeface. He had since found replacement fonts which, as the organization points out, “align with our values” and are also free.
“After months of research into fonts we could use in all formats, our new fonts, Oswald and Lato, will be rolling out this year.“announced Save the Children. The charity’s decision follows the BBC’s ‘cancellation’ of Gill Sans in October last year. The change was part of a wider overhaul of the company’s logos and styling, prompted by the BBC chiefs’ intention to “modernize” audience experience on various platforms.
Abandoning the Gill Police, the company has nevertheless so far resisted calls to remove the statue of Gill, Prospero and Ariel from the front of Broadcasting House. The petition calling for the removal ofthe sculpture representing a naked child, created by the known pedophile Eric Gill” received 2,762 signatures. Earlier this week, the sculpture was defaced by a protester with a hammer.
Reacting to this incident and calls to remove the statue, the BBC said that when the statue was commissioned, Ariel from Shakespeare’s The Tempest “was seen as a fitting symbol for the new dawn of broadcasting. ”
Emphasizing that “the BBC does not condone the opinions or actions of Eric Gill», and that the discussions on «if you can separate an artist’s work from the art itselfare a good thing, the company does not consider damaging the artwork to be the right approach to solving these issues.
This logic is likely to be shared by many companies that continue to use Gill’s typeface. Based on Edward Johnston’s 1916 “Underground Alphabet”, Gill Sans has been used by British Airways, Penguin Books, John Lewis and even the Church of England, among others. Gill’s typeface has also been a system font on Mac and in Microsoft Office.
Save the Children’s decision to get rid of the font has been criticized by many, with some social media users claiming the font has nothing to do with its creator’s biography.
“Why has Save the Children only decided to take this step now, in 2022? It’s the “woke” culture gone mad,wrote one of the commenters on Twitter.
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