In the 1920s, Gill had become a prominent stonemason, artist and creator of lettering. He had begun to working on typeface designs. Gill was commissioned to develop his alphabet into a full metal type family by his friend Stanley Morison. Morison was a Monotype executive and a historian of printing. Morison hoped the new font would compete against a wave of German sans-serif families such as Futura.
Gill Sans was released in 1928 by Monotype. Gill's aim was to blend the influences of Johnston, classic serif typefaces and Roman inscriptions suchas on Trajan's Column. This, he hoped, would create a design that looked both cleanly modern and classical at the same time.