Print Culture: From Steam Press to Ebook by Frances Robertson

By Frances Robertson

With the arrival of recent electronic conversation applied sciences, the tip of print tradition once more seems to be as inevitable to a few fresh commentators because it did to Marshall McLuhan. And simply as print tradition has so frequently been associated with the increase of recent commercial society, so the alleged loss of life of print below the onslaught of latest media is usually additionally correlated with the death of modernity.

This ebook charts the weather curious about such claims―print, tradition, know-how, history―through a style that examines the iconography of fabrics, marks and tactics of print, and during this experience recognizes McLuhan’s suggestion of the medium because the bearer of which means. Even within the electronic age, many various kinds of print proceed to stream and achieve that means from their fabric expression and their background. even if, Frances Robertson argues that print tradition can in basic terms be understood as a constellation of numerous practices and for that reason discusses a number of print cultures from 1800 the current ‘post-print’ culture.

The ebook could be of curiosity to undergraduate and postgraduate scholars in the components of cultural heritage, artwork and layout background, publication and print background, media reviews, literary reviews, and the historical past of expertise.

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But designers, publishers and their clients, who are after all responsible for graphic output, need to maintain the public face of their trade, with an emphasis on attractive work and the process of formal and aesthetic decision. In this particular area of print culture, practitioners still dominate the literature and critical debates in the history of typography and graphic design. While such professional and monumental aspects of letterpress design came to dominate the history of typography, those narratives occluded other aspects of nineteenth-century cultural selfunderstanding of print culture.

Mechanised punch cutting encouraged experimentation and the development of new forms as new letter types could be quickly drafted out on paper. It also meant that existing type forms, developed in other times or places, or by rival businesses, could be copied much more readily (Tracy 1986: 38–42; ‘Marked surfaces’ 23 Isaac 1990). In a commercial environment, with increased production of printed ephemera beyond the world of books and journals (Twyman 1970a; Meggs 1992; Rickards and Twyman 2001) many different type designs were made, sold to printers, and began to appear in printed materials of all kinds from the beginning of the nineteenth century.

But in the nineteenth century, the word ‘typography’ was most often used to denote the material craft operations of printing, described in one Popular encyclopaedia of the 1890s as: ‘the art of printing in paper with movable metal types, wood blocks, or other surfaces engraved in relief’ (Annandale c. 1890). Compositors invoked this meaning when they named their trade unions, such as the London-based Typographical Association (Musson 1954). At the end of the nineteenth century, notions of who might be involved in the art of typography expanded to include designers in other fields, as well as writers, researchers and historians.

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