Save the Children will stop using font designed by disgraced paedophile artist Eric Gill in its branding
Save the Children bosses have agreed to drop the font that was originally designed by disgraced artist and paedophile Eric Gill from its corporate branding.
The children’s charity confirmed it would no longer use its logo featuring the Gill Sans typeface, that was designed by Gill himself and released for public use in the UK from 1928.
Save the Children bosses have agreed to drop the font that was originally designed by disgraced artist and paedophile Eric Gill from its corporate branding
Staff working with the organisation are said to have repeatedly warned managers of the dangers of linking the work of a known abuser with a children’s charity before Gill’s work was finally axed.
Save the Children reportedly agreed to drop Gill Sans from its branding last year after sources highlighted the potential hypocrisy of a children’s organisation using artwork produced by a man who molested his two eldest daughters.
Gill made headlines again this week when a furious protestor, David Chick, was seen chipping away at one his 1933 statues that is on display outside BBC’s Broadcast House in London.
Campaigners have long-called for the statue, named Prospero and Ariel, to be removed since it was revealed decades after his death in 1940 that its creator Eric Gill sexually abused his two eldest daughters.
One source told managers that continuing to use Gill’s artwork in the 21st century ‘probably wasn’t a good idea’, reports The Times.
On Save the Children’s website, it declares its intention is to ensure ‘children stay safe, healthy and keep learning.’
But its most recently published guidelines from 2016 insist the use of Gill Sans Infant Standard is to be used across the organisation’s vast array of published literature.
The news comes just days after a sculpture named ‘Prospero and Ariel’ that was installed by Gill (pictured above) in 1933 on the side of the BBC’s Broadcast House was attacked by a lone hammer-wielding protestor
Eric Gill: The dark side of a famous sculptor
Pictured: English sculptor Eric Gill
- In 1907, Eric Gill moved with his wife Ethel Hester Moore to Ditchling in Sussex, where he established a bohemian artists’ community
- In Sussex and at his later home in a ruined Benedictine monastery in Wales he produced life drawings of his daughters as they grew up
- He drew his daughter Petra, who he admitted having sex with, as a nude teenager in work Girl In Bath
- In his diary, published after his death, he described his penchant for bestiality and incest – with his sister and with his daughters
- He had a string of affairs with models for his work
The charity has since promised it will be rolling out a new typeface for 2022.
Save the Children have been contacted to provide comment.
Last October, the BBC ditched the use of Gill Sans across its programming following complaints from viewers that it looked ‘dated’ and ‘old-fashioned’.
But the national broadcaster has so far rebuked calls to tear down Gill’s Prospero and Ariel statue that adorns the side of Broadcasting House in Portland Place.
It is one of a number of Gill sculptures at the BBC’s headquarters – the Sower can be found in the reception area, while he also contributed to Bas Reliefs of Ariel in the building as well.
David Chick, 52, was arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage and was today being held in custody by the Metropolitan Police after he was accused of using a hammer to attack a statue by known paedophile Gill.
The Gill sculpture, depicting Prospero and Ariel from Shakespeare’s play The Tempest, was installed in 1933, according to the BBC.
‘Prospero, Ariel’s master, stands 10ft tall and is depicted sending Ariel out into the world. Ariel, as the spirit of the air, was felt to be an appropriate symbol for the new mystery of broadcasting,’ the BBC says on its website.
In 1990, the BBC adopted his typeface Gill Sans which he created in 1927. The corporation used the font for its wordmark and many of its onscreen television graphics.
The logo became one of the longest standing logos in the world and was only recently changed.
A biography on the Tate museum website said: ‘Gill’s religious views and subject matter contrast with his sexual behaviour, including his erotic art, and (as mentioned in his own diaries) his extramarital affairs and sexual abuse of his daughters, sisters and dog.’
Nearly 2,500 people have previously signed a petition demanding the removal of the sculpture on the website of political activist group 38 Degrees.