{ feuilleton }


• • • Being a journal by artist and designer John Coulthart, cataloguing interests, obsessions and passing enthusiasms.


Historic Design in Printing


16th century binding designs.

If anyone was wondering why I keep trawling through the scanned books at the Internet Archive, let this volume stand as one of many reasons why. Historic Design in Printing was published in 1923 by the Graphic Arts Company, Boston (USA), and is edited by one Henry Lewis Johnson. The book’s subtitle, “Reproductions of book covers, borders, initials, decorations, printers’ marks and devices comprising reference material for the designer, printer, advertiser and publisher” gives an idea of the content. Many of the motifs are familiar to me from books in Dover Publications’ Pictorial Archive series while a number of the sets of initials I have as bad reproductions in a book by a French publisher. This would suggest that Historic Design in Printing has served as a resource for later collections, and a very fine resource it is too. Download it in a variety of formats here.


Title-page border, 1567.



Initial designed by Georg Heinrich Paritus, 1710.

Previously on { feuilleton }
Combinaisons Ornementales
Charles J Strong’s Book of Designs



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3 comments or trackbacks

  1. #1 posted by pe-jota


    There was a time when the smallest object was carefully preserved

  2. #2 posted by Grace Collins


    Ihave two orginal volumes of The Printing Art by Henry lewis johnson can you tell me anything about them.

  3. #3 posted by John


    Hi Grace. You’d have to ask a book dealer or similar expert about that, this is only a post about something I found online.






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