First stop, Johnston
Blackboard of Edward Johnston from the Royal College of Art © The Edward Johnston Foundation
Article by Lidia G. Rojo & Martina Milone
For those who have ever been students in a calligraphy class, the name of Edward Johnston may sound familiar.
In graphic design it’s also echoed, though with certain distance, and even so, very few can relate to the importance of his work and legacy as an artist and as a teacher in the study of the letters as we know it today. To fully understand his figure, we need to discern the context in history where he developed his creativity.
Edward Johnston was of Scotch origin, he was born on February 11th 1872 in Uruguay, a few years later he moved with his family to the United Kingdom. There he started a career in medicine in Edinburgh when he was 24 years old.
After many trips to London, Johnston met the MacRae sisters. These three girls were nothing like anyone Johnston had met before, and they became his first contact with Art. Through them, he discovered the work of William Morris, and even though he never got to meet him in person, Johnston would always considered him as one of the greatest figures in contemporary art.