TYPE DESIGN INFORMATION PAGE last updated on Tue Aug 20 16:15:16 EDT 2019






Joseph Gillé

Among French type-founders at the end of the eighteenth century, the two Gillé's, père et fils, held a prominent place. The elder Gillé, Joseph, was a distinguished Parisian type-founder. He died in 1789. His work can be found in Caractères de la fonderie de J. Gillé, graveur et fondeur du roi pour les caractères de l'imprimerie de la loterie royale de France,&autres (Paris, Rue&petit marché Saint-Jacques, 1778). This book still shows mainly transitional typefaces, with slight hints of the start of the geometric trend in typography. Gillé seems to be mostly remembered for being the author of the ornamental typeface called Madame.

Joseph Gillé was succeeded about 1790 by Joseph Gaspard Gillé fils. He was one of the promoters of the newer styles of ornament, and offered typographic decoration to the printers of France. Gillé fils was influenced by Didot in the design of his lush vignettes, borders and rules. His house specialized in ornaments, fancy letters and script letters. In September 1827 it was bought by Honoré de Balzac.

On digitizations. In 2011, Jose Jimenez of Celebrity Fontz created Parisian Ornamentals after a design by Gillé. Home Style (2003, Michael Hagemann, Font Mesa) is an exquisitely detailed family based on work by Joseph Gillé, and implemented elsewhere under the names Circus, Roma and Madame. See also Gillé Classic (2004, Michael Hagemann). I think that this is a renaming of Home Style. Initiales ombrées (2007, Ari Rafaeli, ARTypes) is based on Gillé's original all caps typeface (from 1828, it is claimed).

Joseph Gillé
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Foundries of the 18th century ⦿ Type design in France ⦿ Ornamental caps typefaces ⦿

file name: Jose Jimenez Parisian Ornamentals after Gille 1810

file name: A R Types Initiales Ombrees 2007b

file name: Michael Hagemann Gille Classic 2004

Luc Devroye ⦿ School of Computer Science ⦿ McGill University Montreal, Canada H3A 2K6 ⦿ lucdevroye@gmail.com ⦿ http://luc.devroye.org ⦿ http://luc.devroye.org/fonts.html