Book of Books

The Book of Books

500 Years of Graphic Innovation

  1. Edited by Mathieu Lommen
  • ISBN 9780500515914
  • 32.00 x 23.00 cm
  • Hardback
  • 464pp
  • With over 685 colour illustrations
  • First published 2012

A beautifully illustrated visual history of Western book design

‘A bibliophile’s dream’ – Creative Review
‘Immaculate photographs and printed texts – most of them open to full spread – beckon the reader to consider each work as physical artifact, as graphic construction, and as fully viewable content’ – Eye Magazine
‘A truly splendid documentation and illustration of graphic design history … Really recommended’–

In this digital age, many designers and readers still feel strongly attracted to the printed book as an object of beauty.

The Book of Books

Beginning in 1471 with an edition printed by the influential Nicolas Jenson in Venice and ending in 2010 with a stylish design by Irma Boom, this sumptuous collection tells the history of the printed book through milestone publications and little-known treasures.

See the Complete Contents

Here is the work of the greatest printers of the hand-press period – Aldus Manutius, Christoffel Plantin, the Elzeviers, John Baskerville, Giambattista Bodoni – alongside books by trendsetting designers of the modern era – William Morris, El Lissitzky, Jan Tschichold, Paul Rand, Massin, Bruce Mau – and remarkable illustrated works by architects and artists such as Giovanni Battista Piranesi and Maria Sibylla Merian.

Special attention is also given to printers’ manuals and type specimens, charting the changing relationship between form and function, between legible clarity and decorative profusion.

Mathieu Lommen is a curator at the Special Collections department of the Amsterdam University Library. He writes widely on 19th- and 20th-century book typography and type design, and is the editor of the magazine Quærendo.