Graphic Design Before Graphic Designers: The Printer as Designer and Craftsman: 1700-1914

Overview

A comprehensive retelling of the history of printing from 1700 to 1914 and a cornucopia of visual and technical extravagance
Who first coined the phrase “graphic design,” a term dating from the 1920s, or first referred to themselves as a “graphic designer” are issues still argued to this day. What is certain is that the kinds of printed material a graphic designer could create were around long before the formulation of such a convenient, if sometimes troublesome, term. Here ...

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Overview

A comprehensive retelling of the history of printing from 1700 to 1914 and a cornucopia of visual and technical extravagance
Who first coined the phrase “graphic design,” a term dating from the 1920s, or first referred to themselves as a “graphic designer” are issues still argued to this day. What is certain is that the kinds of printed material a graphic designer could create were around long before the formulation of such a convenient, if sometimes troublesome, term. Here David Jury explores how the “jobbing” printer who produced handbills, posters, catalogues, advertisements, and labels in the eighteenth, nineteenth, and early twentieth centuries was the true progenitor of graphic design, rather than the “noble presses” of the Arts and Crafts movement. Based on original research and aided by a wealth of delightful and fully captioned examples that reveal the extraordinary skill, craft, design sense, and intelligence of those who created them, the book charts the evolution of “print” into “graphic design.” It will be of lasting interest to graphic designers, design and social historians, and collectors of print and printed ephemera alike.

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Editorial Reviews

HOW Design
“[A] journey of the art of graphic design through its historical past.”
Choice
“Beautifully produced, colorfully illustrated, logically organized, and authoritative in every respect, this will become a standard account in the graphic design history canon.”
Choice
“Beautifully produced, colorfully illustrated, logically organized, and authoritative in every respect, this will become a standard account in the graphic design history canon.”
Library Journal
In the early world of printed books, the printer was also often the designer. The typefaces and the layout of these works were all done by the same hand, if not the same shop. However, as business interests grew and commercial use of the printed word developed, the "jobbing printer" found himself faced with new challenges and new opportunities to develop his skills. Jury (What Is Typography?) takes readers on a journey through the history of these changes, touching on the ephemera and design of shipping posters, admission tickets, passports, newspapers, advertisements, and typography, as well as design itself. With great imagination, these generally unknown figures produced a wealth of printed pages that became a part of everyday life in the United States and abroad, and the elegant examples included here are impressive, considering the nature and purpose of the documents and the short life of use for which they were produced. With a clear and precise text, Jury conveys his passion for typography and graphic design as well as his scholarly expertise in the field. VERDICT An important addition in the history of books, printing, and graphic design, this title is recommended for serious students of any of these subjects. The selected bibliography is a useful tool for further study in the field.—Paula Frosch, Metropolitan Museum of Art Lib., New York
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780500516461
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson
  • Publication date: 11/5/2012
  • Pages: 312
  • Sales rank: 286,490
  • Product dimensions: 7.90 (w) x 12.00 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

David Jury is an award-winning graphic designer, and head of the MA
course Art, Design, and the Book at the Colchester Institute in England.
His previous books include Typography Today.

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