A new type for the #LondonUnderground

I’m a bit of a typeface geek, so I was thrilled to stumble across this Wired article on the new type that will start appearing in the London Underground next month.

Actually, it’s not all that new — it’s a tweaked version of Johnston, the type that’s been the emblem of the Underground for 100 years. Along with Gill Sans — another British typeface, and one that was inspired by Johnston — it may be my favorite.

(What can I say? I like friendly typefaces with a touch of humor. If the dreaded Comic Sans is a unfunny clown stepping on a water balloon — Jerry Lewis at his worst — Johnston is Michael Caine and Gill Sans is David Niven.)

Partly thanks to digital assistance — and certainly thanks to a renewed interest in the art — we’re living in a golden age of typography. Steve Jobs gets some credit for including several with the first Macs, and now we can go from Broadway to Niagara to Sitka at the click of a pull-down menu. Ain’t technology grand?

Of course, Comic Sans still hangs around, but we need our clowns, too. Even if they’re “Hardly Working.”




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