Designed by Eric Gill, Patrick Griffin and Bill Troop, Bunyan Pro is a serif font family. This typeface has six styles and was published by Canada Type.
Bunyan Pro is the synthesis of Bunyan, the last face Eric Gill designed for hand setting in 1934 and Pilgrim, the machine face based on it, issued by British Linotype in the early 1950s — the most popular Gill text face in Britain from its release until well into the 1980s.
Gill’s last face doesn’t date itself anywhere near as obviously as Gill’s other serif faces, which were all really products of their time, heavily influenced by the richly ornamental and constantly changing aesthetic trends of the interwar period. When compared to Gill’s previous work, Bunyan seems like a revolution in the way he thought and drew. It’s as if he was shrugging off all heavy burden of what was popular, and going back to the basics of older standards. Bunyan had no bells and whistles, doesn’t risk functionality with contrasts that are too high or too low, and didn’t venture far outside the comfortable oldstyle rhythm Gill grew up with. By interbellum standards, this was utter austerity, a veritable denial of deco excess. Surprisingly, even without all the cloying trivialities, Bunyan still stood indisputably as an aesthetically pleasing, space saving design that could have been made only by Eric Gill.
Bunyan Pro comes in three weights and their italics. The main font is intended for use between 8 and 14 points. The medium and the bold are great for emphasis but also have good merit in larger sizes, so can make effective display types as well.
All six fonts include small caps, ligatures, alternates, six sets of figures, and three original Gill manicules. We tried to keep the best features of the handset (Bunyan) and machine (Pilgrim) versions while building a text face that can function in today’s immersive reading media. Deciding on which useful letterpress features to preserve for aesthetic importance was hell on our eyeballs — which lead to complex and painstaking ways of ironing out irregularities and inconsistencies related to metal technologies, in order to provide something with authenticity. The result is a unique typeface based on a Gill design that, to a much greater extent than any of his other faces, works well as a text face that can be used for entire books and magazines.