Graphic Design before Graphic Designers

The Printer as Designer and Craftsman 1700 - 1914



ISBN: 9780500516461 Category:

David Jury


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. 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.

Additional information

Weight 1718 g
Dimensions 20.2 x 30.3 cm
Publisher name Thames and Hudson Ltd
Publication date 1 September 2012
Number of pages 312
Format Hardback
Dimensions 20.2 x 30.3 cm
Weight 1718 g


There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Graphic Design before Graphic Designers”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

David Jury is a prolific writer, award-winning graphic designer 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.