B.

What's in a title page

Behind the scenes

Quite a lot if you happened to be a graphic designer working in London during the Victorian period as the three examples below highlight.  

George French Angas The New Zealanders Illustrated, London, 1847, Christchurch City Libraries Ngā Kete Wānanga-o-Ōtautahi

George French Angas The New Zealanders Illustrated, London, 1847, Christchurch City Libraries Ngā Kete Wānanga-o-Ōtautahi

Samuel Brees, Pictorial Illustrations of New Zealand, London, 1848, Christchurch City Libraries Ngā Kete Wānanga-o-Ōtautahi

Samuel Brees, Pictorial Illustrations of New Zealand, London, 1848, Christchurch City Libraries Ngā Kete Wānanga-o-Ōtautahi

The title pages from George French Angas' The New Zealanders Illustrated (1848), Samuel Brees' Pictorial illustrations of New Zealand (1848) and Charles Barraud's New Zealand Graphic and Descriptive (1877) combine highly decorative type design with illustrations that hint at the content lying within the pages of the books.

These books are included in the exhibition New Zealand Illustrated: Pictorial Books from the Victorian Age and while the images contained within each volume are superb, the elaborate title pages are just as captivating, in a Victorian sort of way. It's Victorian type design that would make William Morris turn in his grave...being the typographic purest he was.

 

New Zealand Illustrated: Pictorial Books from the Victorian Age runs at the Central Library Peterborough from 29th October to 2nd December. 

Charles Barraud, title page from New Zealand Graphic and Descriptive, London, 1877. Peter Dunbar Collection, Robert and Barbara Stewart Library and Archives, Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū.

Charles Barraud, title page from New Zealand Graphic and Descriptive, London, 1877. Peter Dunbar Collection, Robert and Barbara Stewart Library and Archives, Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū.

Related

Exhibition
New Zealand Illustrated: Pictorial Books from the Victorian Age

New Zealand Illustrated: Pictorial Books from the Victorian Age

A selection of lavishly illustrated books from the Victorian era relating to New Zealand landscape, Māori culture, colonial enterprise and our unique flora, fauna and birdlife.