The Art of Book Design: Spectropia (1865)

Spectropia or Surprising Spectral Illusions Showing Ghosts Everywhere and of Any Colour. London, Griffith and Farran, 1865

This is the follow-up book to the Spectropia (1864) that I put up last Friday. This week I thought I’d share a bit of what’s between the covers including the directions. I’m afraid it’s all just a parlour trick meant to debunk the notion that ghosts exist. You can click for full size. [Read more…]

The Art of Book Design: Beauty in Common Things

Beauty in Common Things by Chambers, A. C; Whymper, Emily Hepburn, 1833-1886, illustrator; Dickes, William, 1815-1892 (printer); Stanford, Edward, 1827-1904 engraver; Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (Great Britain). General Literature Committee. 1874. London

The gilded cover is an engraving of all the plants displayed in the book. I’ve added 2 of the interior plates below the fold for anyone interested. [Read more…]

The Art of Book Design: Kate Greenaway’s Almanack

Cover for Kate Greenaway’s Almanack for 1893, London, [1892].

A book of weekly dates for religious services in 1893. Each page has a sweet watercolour drawing depicting family activities of the time.


From, where you can view the entire book. I warn you this site can be a bit of a rabbithole.

The Art of Book Design: A Floral Fantasy

Walter Crane. A Floral Fantasy in an Old English Garden. London: Harper, 1899 — Source.

When I started this series I envisaged it as being about the art of book cover design, not about the art between the covers.  The art between the covers of this book, though, is available on-line and it’s gorgeous so I thought I’d share a few interior plates. The book is a lighthearted look at the “personalities” of plants done in verse and gorgeous art nouveau design. [Read more…]