Rediscovering Max Gill

The work of early 20th Century information design pioneer MacDonald ‘Max’ Gill has been largely overlooked.

GPO Mail Steamship Routes, 1937. Produced for the General Post Office
GPO Mail Steamship Routes, 1937. Produced for the General Post Office

Kemistry Gallery will reappraise the work of Gill – an artist, designer and architect who lived in the shadow of his brother Eric Gill, the sculptor, letterer and typographer.

MacDonald Gill, photographed by Howard Coster in 1935
MacDonald Gill, photographed by Howard Coster in 1935

Max Gill, as he was generally known, specialised in what we’d now term info graphics – at least in that he found unconventional yet understandable ways of mapping information.

Tea Revives the World, 1940. Produced for the International Tea Market Expansion Board
Tea Revives the World, 1940. Produced for the International Tea Market Expansion Board

His Wonderground map of 1914 showed the London Underground as a detailed map of characters and inspired a resurgence of pictorial and decorative map-making in Britain, the US, Latin America and Australia.

Post Office Wireless Stations, 1939. Produced for the General Post Office
Post Office Wireless Stations, 1939. Produced for the General Post Office

The North Atlantic map he produced, complete with moveable crystal ship, is still to be seen on the preserved liner Queen Mary, now a hotel permanently moored in California.

Map of central London. 1932. Produced for London Transport
Map of central London. 1932. Produced for London Transport

Examples of his decorative map posters for London Transport, the International Tea market Expansion Board and the General Post Office will all be on show.

Wonderground, 1914. Produced for the London Underground Railway Company.
Wonderground, 1914. Produced for the London Underground Railway Company.

MacDonald Gill will run from 28 March-4 May at Kemistry Gallery, 43 Charlotte Road, EC2

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