Graphic Design before Graphic Designers

Graphic Design before Graphic Designers

The Printer as Designer and Craftsman 1700 - 1914

  1. David Jury
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  • ISBN 9780500516461
  • 29.50 x 19.50 cm
  • PLC (with jacket)
  • 312pp
  • 779 Illustrations, 560 in colour
  • First published 2012
‘A gem – an impressive academic achievement, packed full of stories … there’s so much to enjoy in this book, starting with its actual design … this repository of visual material adds up to an inspirational sourcebook. But unlike many other beautifully illustrated publications, you will want to do more than just look at the pictures – you will want to read it’ – V&A Magazine
‘Elegant … the book’s glory lies in the stunning illustrations … readers may have a tough time not drooling’ – The World of Interiors

Graphic design existed long before there were any graphic designers and this lavish volume is a vibrant tribute to beautifully crafted printed ephemera from the past

Graphic Design before Graphic Designers

The art of combining text and pictures has been at the heart of the 
printer’s craft for hundreds of years. While early pioneers focused on books, others began using their presses for more humble uses, from handbills to games, advertisements and packaging. This so-called ‘jobbing’ work grew rapidly in importance, yet has been overlooked in histories of both print and graphic design.

Graphic Design before Graphic Designers is a visual journey through the pre-history of graphic design, charting the printer’s progress from tradesman to the hallowed status of artistic printer.

Showcasing work from a host of anonymous talents as well as seminal, pioneering typographers, artists and printers such as Bodoni, William Morris and Oscar Harpel, it reveals how those working on both sides of the Atlantic responded to everyday communication issues with original solutions and breathtaking flair and skill.

The extraordinarily diverse result is a cultural feast of the jobbing printer’s contribution to visual culture and heritage.

David Jury is an award-winning graphic designer, writer and head of the MA course Art, Design and 
the Book at the Colchester Institute. He has written a number of books on the subject of typography and 
was the editor of the award-winning journal TypoGraphic. His previous books include Typography Today and Letterpress: The Allure of the Handmade.