Craftmanship in the age of industry

However much skill [the ordinary workman] may have in his fingers and conscientiousness in his mind, he can no longer be regarded as an artist, because his skill is not that of a man making things.

From an interview with Eric Gill, creator of Gill Sans (among others), published in the April 2009 MyFonts newsletter:

The chief and most monstrous characteristic of our time is that the methods of manufacture which we employ and of which we are proud are such to make it impossible for the ordinary workman to be an artist, that is to say a man responsible not merely for doing what he is told but responsible also for the intellectual quality of what his deeds effect. The ordinary workman has been reduced to the level of a mere tool used by someone else. However much skill he may have in his fingers and conscientiousness in his mind, he can no longer be regarded as an artist, because his skill is not that of a man making things. He is simply a tool used by a designer and the designer is alone the artist.

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