- What does design thinking mean when applied to Victorian times?
- What does it mean when design leads vs. follows other cultural trends?
- How does Zeitgeist influence, or is effected by, design thinking?
- Who were the Industrial “Giants” of the Victorian Design?
- How were the Industrial “Giants” and their inventions or innovations created? (Architecture, fashion, furniture, book/publishing, typography, etc.)
In very general terms, Victorian style is an eclectic mix of design influences and motifs from many many sources; cultural, geographical and historical. Victorians loved to “mix and match” patterns and “looks” in a sort of design mash-up. So, you might find on the same book cover (for instance the Pencil of Nature) celtic interlaces mixed with Renaissance floral pattern, Medieval textura lettering, 19th C. sans-serif lettering, and Middle Eastern geometric pattern all held together in a loose imitation of illuminated manuscript (Book of Kells) carpet page illustration.
Typographic design also illustrated the free mixing of a variety of typeface designs unconstrained by modern design sensibility rules of “no more that two typefaces per design”.
Victorian style was also very much influenced by a moralistic attitude towards everything. “Gods in his heaven and all’s right with the world,” was a popular saying during the time.
Victorian architecture is a series of architectural revival styles in the mid-to-late 19th century. Victorian refers to the reign of Queen Victoria (1837–1901), called the Victorian era, during which period the styles known as Victorian were used in construction. However, many elements of what is typically termed “Victorian” architecture did not become popular until later in Victoria’s reign. The styles often included interpretations and eclectic revivals of historic styles mixed with the introduction of Middle Eastern and Asian influences. The name represents the British and French custom of naming architectural styles for a reigning monarch. Within this naming and classification scheme, it follows Georgian architectureand later Regency architecture, and was succeeded by Edwardian architecture.
- Joseph Keppler
- Frederick Opper
- Bernhard Gillam
- Eugene Zimmerman
- C. J. Taylor
- Louis Dalrymple
- J. S. Pughe
- Harrison Fisher
- Rose O’Neill
- F. M. Howarth
- Joseph Keppler, Jr.
- Will Crawford
Victorian fashion comprises the various fashions and trends in British culture that emerged and developed in the United Kingdom and the British Empire throughout the Victorian era, roughly 1830s to 1900s (decade). The period saw many changes in fashion, including changes in styles, fashion technology and the methods of distribution. Various movement in architecture, literature, and the decorative and visual arts as well as a changing perception of the traditional gender roles also influenced fashion.
The Gibson Girl was the personification of the feminine ideal of physical attractiveness as portrayed by the pen-and-ink illustrations of artist Charles Dana Gibson during a 20-year period that spanned the late 19th and early 20th century in the United States and Canada. The artist saw his creation as representing the composite of “thousands of American girls.”
Under Queen Victoria’s rule, England enjoyed a period of economic growth along with technological advancement. Mass production of sewing machines in the 1850s as well as the advent of synthetic dyes introduced major changes in fashion. Clothing could be made quicker and more cheaply. Advancement in printing and proliferation of fashion magazines allowed the masses to participate in the evolving trends of high fashion, opening the market of mass consumption and advertising. By 1905, clothing was increasingly factory made and often sold in large, fixed-price department stores, spurring a new age of consumerism with the rising middle class who benefited from the industrial revolution.
A fainting couch is a couch with a back that is traditionally raised at one end. The back may be situated completely at one side of the couch, or may wrap around and extend the entire length of the piece much like a traditional couch. However, fainting couches are easily differentiated from more traditional couches, having one end of the back raised.
Some houses would take this to the level of having separate fainting rooms, where these couches would be the featured furniture.
Corsets: One theory for the predominance of fainting couches is that women were actually fainting because their corsets were too tight, restricting blood flow.
- Industrial Revolution a radical process of social and economic change from an agricultural society to an industrial one. The amount of energy generated by steam power increased one hundredfold and replaced animal and human power as the primary source of energy. Cities grew rapidly, as masses of people left a subsistence existence on the land and sought employment in factories, and political power shifted away from the aristocracy and toward capitalist manufacturers, merchants, and even the working class.
- Pica, a standard measurement for type equal to about 12 points, or one-sixth of an inch.
12 points =1 pica
72 points = an inch
- Fat face, a roman face whose contrast and weight have been increased by expanding the thickness of the heavy strokes—literally a “fat” modern roman typeface. The stroke width has a ratio of 1:2.5, or even 1:2, to the capital height
- Egyptian type, the second major innovation of nineteenth-century type design, it conveys a bold, machinelike feeling through slablike rectangular serifs, even weight throughout the letters, and short ascenders and descenders.
- Bracket, a curved fill between the main strokes of a letter and the serif. The term comes from its similarity to the bracket or support that holds up a shelf hanging on a wall.
- Ionic, a variation of Egyptian having slightly bracketed serifs and increased contrast between thicks and thins.
- Clarendon typeface, a modified condensed Egyptian with stronger contrasts between thick and thin strokes and somewhat lighter serifs
- Tuscan-style letters, characterized by serifs that are extended and curved, with a range of variations during the nineteenth century, often with bulges, cavities, and ornaments. Words set in Tuscan letterforms create a very active figure/ground relationship.
- Sans-serif type, type without serifs. French derivation.
- Wood type, durable, light, and less than half as expensive as large metal types, which rapidly overcame printers’ initial objections and had a significant impact on poster and broadsheet design. Letterpress.
- Compositor, the person who selected and composed the type, rules, ornaments, and wood-engraved or metal-stereotyped stock illustrations that filled the type cases.
- Linotype machine, page 141, a machine developed by Ottmar Mergenthaler that could compose metal type mechanically by automating the traditional type case. Ninety typewriter keys controlled vertical tubes that were filled with small brass matrixes with female impressions of the letterforms, numbers, and symbols.
- Monotype machine, invented by Tolbert Lanston, it cast single characters from hot metal.
- Phototypography,, the printing of type using a photographic process, which would be introduced in the 1960s.
- American Type Founders Company , an 1892 merger of fourteen foundries that was formed in an effort to stabilize the industry by forcing weaker foundries out of business and thereby reducing surplus capacity.
- Camera obscure, (latin for dark chamber) a box with a small opening or lens in one side. Light rays passing through this aperture are projected onto the opposite side and form a picture of the bright objects outside. Its origin was as an aid to drawing. Pin hole cameras continue this low tech usage of the most basic of photographic principals.
- Bitumen of Judea, a light-sensitive asphalt that hardens when exposed to light.
- Heliogravure, “sun engraving” method developed by Joseph Niepce using a pewter sheet covered in bitumen of Judea, a light-sensitive asphalt.
Daguerreotype, photographic process developed through the collaboration of Louis Jacques Daguerre and Joseph Niepce, it used a highly polished silver-plated copper sheet that was sensitized by placing it, silver side down, over a container of iodine crystals. The plate was placed in the camera and exposed to light coming through the lens to produce a latent image
- Photogenic drawings, images made by William Henry Fox Talbot without a camera by holding a piece of lace or a leaf tight against light-sensitive paper with a pane of glass and exposing it in sunlight
- Photograms, a term used today to describe images made by holding an object over photographic paper and exposing it to light, creating a negative image. Early experimentation with creating an image with light sensitive materials, the technique was revisited by the European avant grade in the early 20th century by artists such as Man Ray.
- Negative, a term coined by Sir John Herschel to describe a reversed photographic image
- Positive, a term coined by Sir John Herschel to describe a positive image made by contact printing the reverse image to another sheet of sensitized paper in sunlight
- Photography, from the Greek photos graphos meaning “light drawing,” a term coined by Sir John Herschel to describe the photographic process.
- Calotype, from the Greek kalos typos meaning “beautiful impression,” developed by William Henry Fox Talbot, it permitted the use of more light-sensitive paper.
- Talbotype, another name for William Henry Fox Talbot’s calotype process, suggested by his friends.
- The Pencil of Nature, a book published by William Henry Fox Talbot that featured twenty-four photographs mounted into each copy by hand.
- Collodion, a clear viscous liquid sensitized with iodine compounds, poured over a glass plate, immersed in a silver-nitrate bath, and exposed and developed in the camera while still wet; a wet-plate process developed by Fredrick Archer.
- Kodak camera, an invention of George Eastman using a dry-plate process, finally allowing ordinary citizens the ability to create images and keep a graphic record of their lives and experiences. Camera was sold pre-loaded and sent in to be developed. Disposable cameras popular during the 1990’s revisited this idea.
- Gelatin emulsion, a dryer light-sensitive material used in a commercially feasible photoengraving method for translating line artwork into metal letterpress plates developed by John Calvin Moss.
- Halftone screen, a screen breaks a continuous tone image into a series of minute dots whose varying sizes simulate tones that can be reproduced with an even ink application of the relief press. This is the essential process that allows 3-D shaded images to be reproduced through the commercial printing of newspapers, magazines, books, etc.
- First photographic separation, illustrations printed in the 1881 Christmas issue of the Paris magazine I’llustration. The process remained experimental until the end of the century, but during the 1880s and 1890s, it began to rapidly make obsolete the highly skilled craftsmen who transferred artists’ designs to handmade printing plates.
- First photographic interview, published in Le Journal Illustré, F. T. Nadar’s son Paul made a series of twenty-one photographs as Nadar interviewed the eminent hundred-year-old scientist Michel Eugène Chevrel.
- Victorian Era, a time of strong moral and religious beliefs, proper social conventions, and optimism. “God’s in his heaven, all’s right with the world” was a popular motto during this period. Aesthetic confusion led to a number of often contradictory design approaches and philosophies mixed together in a scattered fashion.
- Great Exhibition or Crystal Palace Exhibition of 1851, a grand exhibition with hundreds of exhibitors from all the industrialized nations, was conceived in 1849 by Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria. Set in a 800,000-square-foot steel and glass prefabricated exhibition hall that remains a London landmark in architectural design, the exhibition was an important summation of the progress of the Industrial Revolution and a catalyst for future developments.
- Lithography, “stone printing,” invented by Bavarian author Aloys Senefelder in 1796. Based on the simple chemical principle that oil and water do not mix, an image is drawn on a flat stone surface with an oil-based medium. Water is then spread over the stone to moisten all areas except the oil-based image, which repels the water and accepts oil-based ink, which is then transferred to paper. Images must be drawn in reverse, or wrong-reading, on the stone. Printing Processes
- Planographic printing, printing from a flat surface.
- Chromolithographie, patented by French printer Godefroy Engelmann, the printer separated the colors from an image into a series of printing plates and printed these component colors one by one. One printing plate (often black) established the image after separate plates printed other colors.
- Rotary lithographic press, perfected by Richard M. Hoe, nicknamed “the lightning press” because it could print six times as fast as the lithographic flatbed presses then in use.
- L. Prang and Company, Louis Prang’s company name after he bought partner Julius Mayer’s share.
- Scrap, printed album cards produced by Louis Prang. Collecting these “beautiful art bits” was a major Victorian pastime, and Prang’s wildflowers, butterflies, children, animals, and birds became the ultimate expression of the period’s love for sentimentalism, nostalgia, and traditional values.
- Toy books, page 159, colorful picture books for preschool children made during the Victorian Era.
- Harper and Brothers, page 160, the New York company started by James and John Harper that became the largest printing and publishing firm in the world by the middle of the nineteenth century. They launched a monumental project that became the young nation’s finest achievement of graphic design and book production (up until that time ) called Harper’s Illuminated and New Pictorial Bible. Printed on presses specially designed and built for its production, it contained 1,600 wood engravings from illustrations by Joseph A. Adams. The firm opened the era of the pictorial magazine in 1850 when the 144-page Harper’s New Monthly Magazine began publication. The monthly magazine was joined by a weekly periodical that functioned as a newsmagazine, Harper’s Weekly, along with Harper’s Bazaar for women in 1867, and Harper’s Young People in 1879 .
- Harper’s Illuminated and New Pictorial Bible, page 161, printed on presses specially designed and built for its production, containing 1,600 wood engravings from illustrations by Joseph A. Adams. Utilized a new electrotyping process enabling Harper to publish fifty thousand copies in installments .
- Electrotyping, a process that involved pressing wood engravings into wax to make a mold, which was dusted with graphite to make it electroconductive. Then an electrodeposit of metal (usually copper) was made in the mold. The resulting thin shell was backed with lead, creating a harder printing surface.
- Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, a 144-page pictorial magazine started in 1850 with serialized English fiction and numerous woodcut illustrations created for each issue by the art staff .
- Harper’s Weekly, a weekly periodical that functioned as a newsmagazine; it billed itself as “a journal of civilization” and developed an elaborate division of shop labor for the rapid production of woodblocks for printing cartoons and graphic reportage based on drawings from artist-correspondents .
- Harper’s Bazaar, page 161, a magazine focused on women founded in 1867.
- Harper’s Young People, page 161, a magazine focused on the youth audience founded in 1879.
- Century, designed by Linn Boyd Benton for the Century magazine, an unusually legible type style that is still widely used today. It has a large x-height and slightly expanded characters that have made it very popular for children’s reading matter.
- MacKellar, Smiths & Jordan Foundry, page 165, became a major component of the American Type Founders Company when the monopoly was formed in 1892. It played a significant role in the design and production of Victorian display typefaces; Herman Ihlenburg was a leading member of their design staff .
Key People and Their Major Contributions
- Joseph Jackson (1733–1792), former apprentice to William Caslon.
- Thomas Cotterell (d. 1785), former apprentice to William Caslon. He began the trend of sand casting large, bold display letters as early as 1765, when his specimen book included, in the words of one of his amazed contemporaries, a “proscription, or posting letter of great bulk and dimension, as high as the measure of twelve lines of pica!” .
- Robert Thorne (d. 1820), Thomas Cotterell’s pupil and successor responsible for the innovation of fat faces. His Fann Street Foundry began an active competition with William Caslon IV and Vincent Figgins .
- William Thorowgood, published Robert Thorne’s 132-page book of specimens that had been typeset and was ready to go to press when Thorne died. He was not a type designer, punch cutter, or printer, but used lottery winnings to offer the top bid when Robert Thorne’s foundry was auctioned after his death.
- Vincent Figgins (1766–1844), one of Joseph Jackson’s apprentices, he stayed with him and took full charge of his operation during the three years preceding Jackson’s death in 1792. He later established his own type foundry and quickly built a respectable reputation for type design and the design of mathematical, astronomical, and hundreds of other kinds of symbolic materials. His 1815 printing specimens showed a full range of modern styles, antiques (Egyptians)—the second major innovation of nineteenth-century type design—and numerous jobbing faces, including “three-dimensional” fonts. He dubbed his 1832 specimens sans serifs in recognition of the font’s most apparent feature, and the name is still in use today .
- William Caslon IV (1781–1869), issued a specimen book in 1816 that gave sans-serif type a modest debut. Buried among the decorative display fonts of capitals in the back of the book, one line of medium-weight monoline serifless capitals proclaimed “W CASLON JUNR LETTER FOUNDER.” The name he adopted for this style—Two Lines English Egyptian—tends to support the theory that it had its origins in an Egyptian style.
- Darius Wells (1800–1875), an American printer who experimented with hand-carved wooden types and, in 1827, invented a lateral router that enabled the economical mass manufacture of wood types for display printing.
- William Leavenworth (1799–1860), combined the pantograph with the router in 1834, allowing new wood-type fonts to be introduced so easily that customers were invited to send a drawing of one letter of a desired new style; the manufactory offered to design and produce the entire font based on the sketch without an additional charge for design and pattern drafting.
- Lord Stanhope, (1753–1816), developed a printing press constructed completely of cast-iron parts in 1800. The metal screw mechanism required approximately one-tenth the manual force needed to print on a wooden press, and Stanhope’s press enabled a doubling of the printed sheet’s size.
- Friedrich Koenig, a German printer who arrived in London around 1804 and presented his plans for a steam-powered printing press to major London printers. Finally receiving financial support in 1807, he obtained a patent in March 1810 for his press, which printed 400 sheets per hour in comparison to the hourly output of 250 sheets on the Stanhope hand press. In his new design the type form was on a flat bed, which moved back and forth beneath a cylinder. During the printing phase the cylinder rotated over the type, carrying the sheet to be printed. It stopped while the form moved from under the cylinder to be inked by rollers. While the cylinder was still, the pressman fed a fresh sheet of paper onto the cylinder.
- William Cowper, In 1815 he obtained a patent for a printing press that used curved stereotyped plates wrapped around a cylinder. This press achieved 2,400 impressions per hour, and could print 1,200 sheets on both sides.
- Nicolas-Louis Robert, a young clerk at the Didot paper mill in France who developed a prototype for a paper-making machine in 1798; political turmoil in France prevented him from perfecting it.
- John Gamble, was granted a patent in 1801 for “an invention for making paper in single sheets without seam or joining from one to twelve feet and upwards wide, and from one to forty-five feet and upwards in length.” This machine poured a suspension of fiber and water in a thin stream upon a vibrating wire-mesh conveyor belt on which an unending sheet of paper could be manufactured.
- Ottmar Mergenthaler (1854–1899), a German immigrant working in a Baltimore machine shop who achieved the first patent for a type composing machine in 1825 called the Linotype machine. On July 3, 1886, the thirty-two-year-old inventor demonstrated his keyboard-operated machine in the office of the New York Tribune. Whitelaw Reid, the editor of the Tribune, reportedly exclaimed, “Ottmar, you’ve done it! A line o’ type.” The new machine received its name from this enthusiastic reaction.
- Tolbert Lanston (1844–1913), the American who, in 1887, invented the Monotype machine, which cast single characters from hot metal.
- Joseph Niepce (1765–1833), a Frenchman who first produced a photographic image. He began his research by seeking an automatic means of transferring drawings onto printing plates. He invented the heliogravure (sun engraving), and expanded his discovery by putting one of his pewter plates in the back of his camera obscura and pointing it out the window. This allowed him to make a picture directly from nature; the earliest extant photograph is a pewter sheet that he exposed all day.
- Louis Jacques Daguerre (1799–1851), worked with Joseph Niepce and perfected the early photographic process, which he presented to the French Academy of Sciences. He called the printed images he created daguerreotypes.
- William Henry Fox Talbot (1800–1877), pioneered a process that formed the basis for both photography and photographic printing plates by working with objects held over paper treated with silver compounds and exposed to light. He called these images, made without a camera, “photogenic drawings.” He began to use his treated paper in the camera obscura to create minute photographic images that had light areas rendered dark and dark areas appearing light. Late in 1840 he managed to increase the light sensitivity of his paper, expose a latent image, then develop it after it was removed from the camera. He called his new process “calotype” (from the Greek kalos typos, meaning “beautiful impression”) and also used the name “talbotype” at the suggestion of friends. In 1844 he began publishing his book, The Pencil of Nature, in installments for subscribers, featuring twenty-four photographs mounted into each copy by hand.
- Sir John Herschel (1792–1871), an eminent astronomer and chemist who was the first to use sodium thiosulfate to fix, or make permanent, the photographic image on paper by halting the action of light. He was also the first to name the process of photography (from the Greek photos graphos, meaning “light drawing”); the reversed image of a photograph a “negative”; and the contact a “positive”.
- Frederick Archer (1813–1857), an English sculptor who was the first to announce the wet-plate process in the March 1850 issue of Chemist. By candlelight in a darkroom, a clear viscous liquid called collodion was sensitized with iodine compounds, poured over a glass plate, immersed in a silver-nitrate bath, and exposed and developed in the camera while still wet. It enabled much shorter exposure times than either daguerreotypes or calotypes, and almost completely replaced them by the mid-1850s.
- George Eastman (1854–1932), an American dry-plate manufacturer who put the power of photography into the hands of the lay public when he introduced his Kodak camera in 1888.
- John Calvin Moss, pioneered a commercially feasible photoengraving method for translating line artwork into metal letterpress plates in 1871. In a highly secret process, a negative of the original art was contact printed to a metal plate coated with a light-sensitive gelatin emulsion, then etched with acid. The gradual implementation of photoengraving cut the cost and time required to produce printing blocks and achieved greater fidelity to the original.
- Stephen H. Horgan, 1880, invented the halftone screen.
- Frederick E. Ives (1856–1937), developed an early halftone process and worked on the first commercial production of halftone printing plates in 1881. He joined brothers Max Levy and Louis Levy to produce consistent commercial halftones using etched glass screens.
- David Octavius Hill (1802–1870), a Scottish painter who teamed up with Edinburgh photographer Robert Adamson to immortalize the 474 ministers who formed the Free Church of Scotland. The resulting calotypes were lauded as superior to Rembrandt’s paintings.
- Robert Adamson (1821–1848), Edinburgh photographer who teamed up with Scottish painter David Octavius Hill to immortalize the 474 ministers who formed the Free Church of Scotland. The resulting calotypes were lauded as superior to Rembrandt’s paintings .
- Julia Margaret Cameron (1815–1879), received a camera and the equipment for processing collodion wet plates as a forty-ninth birthday present from her daughter and son-in-law. The accompanying note said, “It may amuse you, Mother, to photograph.” From 1864 until 1874, this wife of a high British civil servant extended the artistic potential of photography through portraiture that recorded “faithfully the greatness of the inner man as well as the features of the outer man”..
- F. T. Nadar (1820–1910), a Frenchman whose portraits of writers, actors, and artists have a direct and dignified simplicity and provide an invaluable historical record. In 1886 the first photographic interview was published in Le Journal Illustré and included a series of twenty-one photographs when he interviewed the eminent hundred-year-old scientist Michel Eugène Chevrel.
- Mathew Brady (c. 1823–1896), a prosperous New York studio photographer who invested a $100,000 fortune to send a score of his photographic assistants, including Alexander Gardner and Timothy O’Sullivan, to document the American Civil War. This photographic documentation had a profound impact upon the public’s romantic ideal of war .
- Eadweard Muybridge (1830–1904), an adventurous photographer commissioned by Leland Sanford to document his belief that a trotting horse lifted all four feet off the ground simultaneously; a $25,000-dollar wager rested on the outcome. A battery of twenty-four cameras aimed at a trotting horse and equipped with rapid drop shutters produced a sequence of photographs arresting the horse’s movement in time and space, and innovating motion-picture photography in the process .
- Queen Victoria (1819–1901), became queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in 1837. Her reign spanned two-thirds of the nineteenth century and marked the beginning of the Victorian era, a time of strong moral and religious beliefs, proper social conventions, and optimism.
- W. N. Pugin (1812–1852), an English architect who fostered a fondness for the Gothic style and designed the ornamental details of the British Houses of Parliament. The first nineteenth-century designer to articulate a philosophy, he defined design as a moral act that achieved the status of art through the designer’s ideals and attitudes; he believed the integrity and character of a civilization were linked to its design..
- Owen Jones (1809–1874), the English designer, author, and authority on color who became a major design influence at the middle of the nineteenth-century. During his mid-twenties he traveled to Spain and the Near East and made a systematic study of Islamic design, introducing Moorish ornament to Western design in his 1842–45 book, Plans, Elevations, Sections, and Details of the Alhambra. His main influence was through his widely studied 1856 book of large color plates, The Grammar of Ornament. This catalog of design possibilities from Eastern and Western cultures, “savage” tribes, and natural forms became the nineteenth-century designer’s bible of ornament..
- Richard M. Hoe (1812–1886), an American inventor and mechanical genius who perfected the rotary lithographic press, which was nicknamed “the lightning press” because it could print six times as fast as the lithographic flatbed presses then in use.
- John H. Bufford (d. 1870), the major innovator of chromolithography in Boston, whose crayon-style images achieved a remarkable realism. Specializing in art prints, posters, covers, and book and magazine illustrations, he often used five or more colors, and the meticulous tonal drawing of his black stone always became the master plate. He produced the Swedish Song Quartett poster (c. 1867) and the graphics for the poster of Grover Cleveland and Thomas A. Hendricks in the 1884 presidential campaign. Hallmarks of his designs were meticulous and convincing tonal drawing and the integration of image and lettering into a unified design.
- Louis Prang (1824–1909), a German immigrant to America whose work and influence were international in the Victorian Era. His knowledge of printing chemistry, color, business management, designing, engraving, and printing itself was of great value when he formed a chromolithography firm with Julius Mayer in 1856. In addition to creating art reproductions and Civil War maps and scenes, he produced literally millions of album cards printed with images of wildflowers, butterflies, children, animals, and birds, called “scrap.” He has also been called the father of the American Christmas card for his pioneering work in holiday graphics. Unable to find high-quality, nontoxic art materials for children, he began to manufacture and distribute watercolor sets and crayons. Finding a complete lack of competent educational materials for teaching industrial artists, fine artists, and children, he devoted tremendous energy to developing and publishing art instruction books.
- Walter Crane (1845–1915), one of the earliest and most influential designers of children’s picture books. Apprenticed as a wood engraver as a teenager, he was twenty years old in 1865 when his Railroad Alphabet was published. A long series of his toy books broke with the traditions of printed material for children and sought only to entertain. He drew inspiration from the flat color and flowing contours of Japanese woodblock prints and was the first to introduce them into Western art.
- Randolph Caldecott (1846–1886), a bank clerk who developed a passion for drawing and took evening lessons in painting, sketching, and modeling. He possessed a unique sense of the absurd, and his ability to exaggerate movement and facial expressions of both people and animals brought his work to life. His humorous drawing style became a prototype for children’s books and later, for animated films.
- Kate Greenaway (1846–1901), Her expressions of the childhood experience captured the imagination of the Victorian era. As a poet and illustrator, she created a modest, small world of childhood happiness; as a book designer, she sometimes pushed her graceful sense of page layout to innovative levels. The clothes she designed for her models had a major influence on children’s fashion design, and she became a renowned graphic artist whose books are still in print.
- James (1795–1869) and John (1797–1875) Harper, used modest savings—and their father’s offer to mortgage the family farm if necessary—to launch a New York printing firm called Harper Brothers in 1817.
- Wesley (1801–1870) and Fletcher (1807–1877) Harper, joined the Harper Brothers firm in 1823 and 1825, respectively. Eighteen-year-old Fletcher Harper became the firm’s editor when he became a partner.
- Thomas Nast (1840–1902), an artist-correspondent for Harper’s Weekly. Fletcher Harper hired him when he was twenty-two to make battlefield sketches during the Civil War. The power of his work was such that President Abraham Lincoln called him “the best recruiting sergeant” and General Ulysses S. Grant declared that he had done as much as anyone to bring the conflict to a close. His deep social and political concerns led him to strip away detail and introduce symbols and labels for increased communicative effectiveness in his work. He has been called the father of American political cartooning. The graphic symbols he popularized and focused include a number of important images: Santa Claus, John Bull (as a symbol for England), the Democratic donkey, the Republican elephant, Uncle Sam, and Columbia (a symbolic female signifying democracy that became the prototype for the Statue of Liberty). His relentless political graphic attack of Tammany Hall culminated on election day in a double-page cartoon of the “Tammany tiger” loose in the Roman Colosseum devouring liberty, while Tweed, as the Roman emperor surrounded by his elected officials, presided over the slaughter.
- Charles Dana Gibson (1867–1944), His images of young women and square-jawed men established a canon of physical beauty in the mass media that endured for decades. His illustrations of women were dubbed the “Gibson Girls” .
- Howard Pyle (1853–1911), His own work and remarkable gifts as a teacher made him the major force that launched the period called the Golden Age of American Illustration. He published over 3,300 illustrations and two hundred texts ranging from simple children’s fables to his monumental, four-volume The Story of King Arthur and His Knights. The meticulous research, elaborate staging, and historical accuracy of his work inspired a younger generation of graphic artists to carry forward the tradition of realism in America. He was twenty-three years old when he received his first illustration commission from Scribner’s Monthly in 1876 and developed his style with the advances in photographic printing and the four-color process system.
- Volney Palmer, opened what is considered the first advertising agency in Philadelphia.
- N. W. Ayer, in Philadelphia as N. W. Ayer and Son, pioneered the advertising agency as a consulting firm with an array of specialized skills. In 1875 Ayer gave his clients an open contract that allowed them access to the real rates publications were charging the agencies; he then received an additional percentage for placing the advertisements. In the 1880s, Ayer provided services clients were not equipped to perform and publishers did not offer, such as copywriting. By the end of the century, he was well on the way toward offering a complete spectrum of services: copywriting, art direction, production, and media selection.