Macdonald Gill

1884–1947

Biography

Leslie MacDonald Gill (6 October 1884 – 14 January 1947), commonly known as MacDonald Gill or Max Gill, was a noted early-twentieth century graphic designer, cartographer, artist and architect. Born in Brighton, he was the younger brother of Eric Gill, one of the leading figures of the Arts and Crafts movement.

In 1914 his "Wonderground Map", commissioned by Frank Pick, and hung at every station, helped to save the London Underground by presenting an accurate map which also had a humorous side in cartoon style. Produced in poster form, it was also made available for sale to members of the public and proved to be very popular. Elder brother Eric, who at that time was engaged in a commission for Westminster Cathedral, was included at the bottom of the map.

He was the designer of the standard upper case lettering used on headstones and war memorials by the Imperial War Graves Commission. But it is perhaps his illustrated maps for which he is most well known. These maps have featured in a series of exhibitions including Magnificent Maps exhibition in 2010 at the British Library, an exhibition MacDonald Gill, Out of the Shadows in 2011 at the University of Brighton and at the Mind the Map exhibition in 2012 at the London Transport Museum.

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