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Monographs or surveys on the history of photography and notable photographers from the mid-19th Century to the present.

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Tolmer, Alfred, Mise en Page, London: The Studio Ltd., Subtitled: The Theory and Practice of Lay-Out, 1931, first edition, 4to (8.5" x 10.75"), Hardcover, black glazed paper boards on black cloth spine w/ embossed silver & yellow titles & textured blue endpapers, VG- / none. Some exposure to extremities, edgewear, boards have some scuffing to the black particularly on rear cover, chipping; well done archival repair/replacement to top 5" of spine, endpapers faded at edges, interior clean & tight. ALL pieces present.

Unpaginated [120], profuse illustrations in duotone and b/w, including 16 full color and/or multimedia illustrations using collage, pochoir, photography (including photos by the author's son Claude Tolmer - a renowned photographer in his own right) printed on a dazzling variety of coated and handmade paper stocks. The typography of the text (in English and French) is breathtaking. This scarce, seminal treatise on graphic design layout, itself beautifully designed by the brilliant Tolmer design and print firm, even today, represents a triumph of 20th century book design and production worthy of our 21st century attention. We recommend this illustrated article for additional context on this benchmark publication: first on Deco, by Steven Heller.


1. Art & the Page
"'Mise en Page' (lay-out) is not simply a printing operation. Long before printing was invented the monuments of antiquity, with their inscriptions and ornament, show us that it was an art. From them we may learn to what extent this art can be applied."

2. Writing and Designing
"Investigation of the origins of the art of 'Mise en Page'. Earliest examples of symbol writing. The elements of monumental decoration. The art of the great civilizations of antiquity furnishes fundamental laws of composition for the art of lay-out."

3. Freedom in Monumental and Typographical Writing
"The typographical freedom of modern advertising may be compared with the freedom of written inscriptions in ancient Assyria, Chaldea, Egypt and China. A study of certain forms of symbol writing. The influence of the writing materials and on the appearance of the written character."

4. Geometry
"Comparison of some formulae for lay-out, based on similar geometrical plan. Comparison of ancient Greek, Khmer, Aztec, Persian and French (religious art of the Middle Ages and popular art of the beginning of the XIXth century) works of art, demonstrating that he geometrical expression of a composition, whatever the period to which it belongs, may still serve as the basis of design for a modern layout."

5. Calligraphy and Typography
"The method of transition from calligraphic writing to typographical writing. The birth of printing. Evolution from the manuscript to the woodcut and moveable type. The art of lay-out subordinated to the laws of printing."

6. The Lay-out of the Book
"A survey of the aspects of the book through five centuries of printing. Ornament, illustration, style. The art of lay-out influenced by architecture and decorative art. The vogue for simplicity and the modern book."

7. The Advent of Publicity
" The evolution of advertising has necessitated the creation of special printing equipment. The theory of advertising lay-out. Publicity of the past and of to-day."

8. How to Use the Art of the Past
" How the art of the past can enrich modern conception. How it can become a danger. The way to study the art of the past. Possibilities of adaptation. Methods of adaptation."

9. Processes of Printing
"How modern art has revolutionized printing and caused the invention of new processes. Freedom in the composition of the page. The tendency of modern printing to combine different techniques."

10. The Influence of Modern Life on the Lay-out of To-day
"The modern style. Relationship between the art of lay-out and the life of to-day. The contributions of architecture, painting, decorative art and the cinema to lay-out. The mechanistic idea and advertising layout."

11. The Function of Advertising Lay-out
"The active part played by lay-out in advertising. Picture, text, and slogan: their coordination, and the reactions of the public. Repetition. Juxtaposition. Contrast. New life given to the art of the past. Power of lay-out."

A nice copy of a fragile, increasingly scarce and notable 'must' for the graphic design library.

(Our image is very large. Click once and then again to allow scrolling.)    [Book ID # 2083]

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