Sunday, October 3, 2010

Still in Circulation: Art Nouveau Typographic Ornaments

Some books remain shelved, hiding amongst more relevant or popular titles. Even the well-versed staff are unaware of their existence, though they are Still in Circulation.


Earlier in the week, the cover of this little oddity caught my eye:It may have been the colors, which are even more garish in person. The font also intrigued me - I always pause for interesting or old-timey lettering. It seemed like such a strange book for us to have; most of our books on typography are relatively new, with chapters on Adobe Illustrator and the like. I'm not sure why we've kept it, when other books from its era have phased out. But it turns out, I'm glad it's there.
Isn't she beautiful?
Moving past the hideous cover, the typographic ornaments (aka clip art) are really lovely - and copyright-free, as the intro page informs me!


The images are culled from a collection of print from the period - this book was published in 1980, but the images are authentic Art Nouveau.

Lily pads!
It's very nature-themed, as the Art Nouveau movement was, with loads of floral borders and embellishments.
I loved the page of marsh-themed images: frogs, reeds, and dragonflies.
There was a whole section dedicated to peacock feathers - I'm partial to this rendition:

Love the berries!
(my elementary coloring attempt)


There are hundreds of images (I didn't even get to the astrology section!), all with a beautiful graphic sense - many of them could be used or reinterpreted today. I focused on the pictures in this post, but I may do a post on the borders later - this book had so many! I'm sure you can find most of these with a quick Google Image search, but I'm having fun with them - and since they're copyright-free, feel free to have fun with them, too! (Just click on the picture for the full-sized image.) xx, Maren

6 comments:

Albert said...

love them all! they are going to be very usefull for creative work. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing - these are truly inspirational!

Angela said...

They are lovely. Thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

wow i did not realize this is where shepard fairey got his image of the woman http://www.northernsun.com/images/imagelarge/Make-Art-Not-War-Poster-(4246).jpg (if you are not familiar)

Maren said...

Thanks for sharing, that's so cool! She's a pretty common Art Nouveau-style image, so it's always fun to see re-interpretations!

Steve Parkes said...

Hi Maren. I just stumbled on these after looking on Google Images for art nouveau motifs I DIDN'T have to pay-out for! These are all beautiful examples and I thank you for making them available to everyone like this! You mentioned lots more in the book - it would be great if you could find time to include some more on here...? Thanks again, Steve (UK).