Since the fifteenth century, the printed book has been an essential carrier of information. And, for more than five hundred years, there have been designers, printers, and publishers who have extended the boundaries of their professions aesthetically and technically, producing books that are masterpieces of graphic art.
This sumptuous collection tells the history of the printed book through milestone publications and little-known treasures of the art of the book. The noted originators range from Jenson and Bellaert in the fifteenth century through Piranesi, Bodoni, and Bewick to Morris, Gill, Tschichold, and Birdsall in the modern age. The featured publications include The Nuremberg Chronicle from 1493—a masterpiece of integrated text and illustration; Maria Sibylla Merian’s book of insects from 1719; Muybridge’s 1887 Animal Locomotion; a photomontage book by John Heartfield published in 1929; and a 1937 edition of The Frogs by Aristophanes, produced by the Limited Editions Club of New York.
A useful and …inspiring survey.
— The Virginia Quarterly Review
The reproductions are magnificent and the overall quality is superb. Anyone who works in graphic design will feel humbled and inspired by the creativity and uniqueness of the examples, most of which were published before computers.
— Portland Book Review
Mathieu Lommen has published several books on type and book design. He is a curator and teacher of graphic design history at the University of Amsterdam.