design history

Universal Typeface - Herbert Bayer

The universal typeface, 1925, was a geometric alphabet based on bar and circle and was designed by Herbert Bayer (1900) to function efficiently in a technological society. Bayer rejected the “archaic and complicated gothic alphabet” which lingered in the most scientifically advanced society of its time, Germany of the first world war period and the postwar era. Read More →

Bbm51@53

Manufacturers and designers recreated some ancient Egyptian and Roman glassmaking processes in the early 20th century.Read More →

Roger Fry postimpressionist painter

Post-Impressionism (sometimes called Postimpressionism) was a significant French art trend that evolved between 1886 and 1905. Paul Cézanne, Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh, and Georges Seurat led the movement. Post-Impressionism was a reaction to Impressionism’s naturalistic light and colour. Post-Impressionism covers the work of Les Nabis, Neo-Impressionism, Symbolism, Cloisonnism, the Pont-Aven School, and Synthetism.Read More →

‘Amen’ glasses gained their name from the Jacobite verses engraved on them, which invariably end with the word Amen.Read More →

Pop Art featured image

Pop Art was never a cohesive movement. Instead, it inched its way up the international art scene, starting in the mid-1950s, as the invention of artists throughout Europe and the United States, artists who were often working independently and in isolation from each other.Read More →

The third and present Goldsmiths' Hall in the second half of the 19th century

The Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths, also known as the Goldsmiths’ Company, is one of London’s Great Twelve Livery Companies. It is correctly known as The Wardens and Commonalty of the Mystery of Goldsmiths of the City of London. The Company’s headquarters are located in the City of London’s Goldsmiths’ Hall.
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Aldus Manuitius featured image

The type in which this sentence is written is called “italic”. Aldus Manutius the man who invented it died almost 500 years ago and his type is still in use.  Today publishing a manuscript is almost instantaneous, a new best seller can be placed on Amazon and I can buy a copy minutes later.  To look at the books which came off the Venitian presses of Aldus Manutius is a strange experience.Read More →

Industrial Design Magazine with Cover

Founded when the industrial design profession was becoming firmly established in the American manufacturing industry, Industrial Design has long been established as America’s leading magazine for industrial designers. Read More →

American Designer's Gallery featured image

The American Designer’s Gallery was founded in New York in 1928 to promote high aesthetic standards in the modern decorative arts and support designers’ professional standing. Its headquarters were located at the gallery of interior designer and decorator Paul Frankl.Read More →

Linoleum Floor Covering

Frederick Walton invented linoleum in Britain in 1860. Walton coated flax cloth with a combination of gum, cork dust, resin and linseed oil in search of a cheap floor covering. An amalgamation of the Latin Linum (‘flax’) and oleum (‘oil’) formed the word linoleum.Read More →

The Catholic Counter-Reformation is closely related with Baroque, which peaked in Rome around 1630–1680. Despite its origins in Rome, the Baroque style influenced people all around Europe. Its rapid pace, striking realism (giving spectators the feeling that they were watching an actual event), and direct emotional appeal were perfectly suited to announcing the Catholic Church’s renewed vitality. Read More →

Little is known about the early life of France’s most distinguished type designer Claude Garamond, though he is mentioned as being “at work” in the printing business early in the sixteenth century, Garamond was commissioned by the French monarch, Francis I, to cut a font of Greek letter which later became known as the “Royal Greek Type.” Read More →

New Domestic Design Environment featured image MoMA 1972

THE NEW DOMESTIC LANDSCAPE was one of The Museum of Modern Art’s most ambitious design shows.  The exhibition, directed and built by Emilio Ambasz, Curator of Design in the Museum’s Department of Architecture and Design, focused on current design trends in Italy with 180 items for everyday use and 11 environments commissioned by the Museum.Read More →

In the early days of the Bolshevik revolution artists in their teens and early twenties passionately connected themselves to the collectivist goals of communism. Their motives certainly combined idealism with opportunism – a chance to ride the aesthetic revolution to fame on the political upheaval.Read More →

History of Design cover art

A comprehensive examination of the history of decorative arts and design throughout the world over the last 600 years.Read More →

Decorative Thirties by Martin Battersby

The decorative thirties began in the 1930s and follows the era’s elegance until the end of World War II. The book deals with the arts and objets d’art of the ’30s in their most outrageous form.Read More →

Sigfried Giedion lamp

Sigfried Giedion (1888-1968) was a Swiss art historian and designer. He was born in Prague. Read More →

S.Giedion - Paeolithic Handprint

The Eternal Present: The Beginnings of Art. The Eternal Present: The Beginnings of Art. [Giedion,Read More →

History of the Modern Day Office

From standing desks to open office plans, our modern workspaces have deep historical roots.

The coronavirus pandemic has forced most people to create an office space of their own—whether by devoting a room in their homes for work, sitting socially distanced in common areas, or just creating a “Zoom worthy” corner in a bedroom.Read More →