Two Types: The Faces of Britain

Two Types: The Faces of Britain


This review is printed in a typeface related to fonts used on signs on United States highways since 1949. If that sort of trivia piques your interest, and you’re a fan of elegantly drawn lines, then this is for you.

In what is possibly the archetypal BBC4 programme, font nerd Mark Ovenden relates the story of the two typefaces that have dominated British design. Johnston is famous as the London Underground’s font, while Gill Sans has been used by both the BBC and Penguin Books. Ovenden tells the history of the respective designers, friends Edward Johnston and Eric Gill, to unfurl how their letters shaped how we see the world.


Mark Ovenden tells the stories of Johnston and Gill Sans, the two modern typefaces that have come to be regarded as the `faces' of Britain.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Mark Ovenden
Director Christopher Hardy
Executive Producer Keith Doyle
Producer Christopher Hardy