A dequate typographic ornamentation of books depends on the choice and layout of rules, fleu-rons, tailpieces or adorned letters. Every single ornament has a well-defined place on the pages and consolidates, isolates, emphasizes or equilibrates the text. Typographic ornaments are often combined between themselves, a pattern can have several functions, and this will lead to series of ornaments including tailpieces, rules, dies and borders, where the patterns are repeated, modified or altered.
The 16th century is the golden age of typographic ornamentation, with talented artists like Jean Cousin or Geoffrey Tory designing neurons, tailpieces, adorned letters and arabesques.
In the 17th century, books were mainly ornated with frontispieces and full-page subjects, while in the 18th century - the rococo century - the ornamentation and the subject of the book are associated, therefore allowing decoration and illustrations to be mixed.
In the 19th century, the master printers where also artists and they ornamented themselves the books they printed. Engravings where placed on the top or bottom of the text pages, with infinite variations of patterns borrowed from the past centuries, as well as to contemporary architecture and industrial arts.
All these elements have slowly lost their role in the visual layout of books, and have been since then mainly used in advertising.
This book, with its hundreds of examples, will allow you to use these typographic ornaments from the past, or to find inspiration for your own compositions.