Louis XIV and Graphic Design

Posted inThe Daily Heller
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During the early 20th century a surge in Late Baroque or Rococo mannerisms were the rage for graphic and advertising design. Not just books, but all manner of promotional media were branded with ornate frames and curlicue borders. Among the leaders of this neo-classical pastiche, Thomas Maitland Cleland was a talented craftsperson who handled flourish with care. He was a master of decorative elegance known for his sharp pen and harsh words.


But these examples are not Cleland. Rather they are examples from a 1926 issue of The Inland Printer that represents his influence, which returns us to the era of Louis XIV, when ruffles and truffles, curves and natural patterns were such a rage that people lost their heads over them.


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About Steven Heller

Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes frequently for Wired and Design Observer. He is also the author of over 170 books on design and visual culture. He received the 1999 AIGA Medal and is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.View all posts by Steven Heller →