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Ch.5-7_Notes

Ch.5-7_Notes - GRA 111 History of Graphic Design I CH 5...

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GRA 111 • History of Graphic Design I CH 5: Printing Comes to Europe Introduction xylography relief printing from a raised surface (originated in Asia) Typography printing with independent, movable, and reusable bits of metal or wood, each of which has a raised letterform on one face ranks near the creation of writing as one of the most important advances in civilization writing: documenting, storing, and retrieving information in a way that transcends time and place typographic printing: allowed economical and multiple production of alphabet communication favorable factors for typographic printing in Europe demand for books literate middle class on the rise increase in universities previous bookmaking could not keep up with demand 200-page book required 4 or 5 months of scribes’ labor 25 sheepskins required cost even more than scribes’ labor in 1424, only 122 manuscript books in the university library at Cambridge wealthy noblemen typically owned fewer than 24 volumes the value of a book was comparable to that of a farm of vineyard paper had moved from China to Europe arrival: 12th and 13th century without paper, speed and efficiency of printing would have been useless Early European block printing exact origins of woodblock printing in Europe are unclear 1
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relief printing followed paper Eastern influences came to Europe largely due to the Crusades some early European block printing was used to produce playing cards the first printed pieces to make it into an illiterate culture— further evidence of the democratizing nature of printing more than just leisure—introduced the masses to symbol recognition, sequencing, and logical deduction first known European block printings with communications function were devotional prints of saints (religion as recurring theme) images and lettering cut from the same wooden block evolved into block books each page (mostly illustration, with little text) cut from a single block of wood used for religious instruction of illiterates not clear if these preceded typographical books common subject: the Apocalypse death was ever-present (the bubonic plague, or Black Death, killed 25% of Europeans during the 1300s) ars moriendi purpose seems to be instructional—how to “meet death” also propaganda, however—encouraged the faithful to will their estates to the church again, this wasn’t possible before printing was widely adopted design elements some hand-colored stencils sometimes used to add color some later woodblocks incorporated tinsel (metal fragments) incrustation (quartz crystal) flocking (wool powder) making block prints early block prints were one-sided (impressions were too deep) distinction between designer and wood cutter was vigorously upheld by trade guilds 2
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Movable typography in Europe mechanized book production (e.g., movable type) was sought in
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