Typographic ornaments are the jewellery of the printed world, providing flourishes over and above what is needed. Ranging from rules to borders to printers’ flowers, they are visual garnishes which do not aid the function of a printed object. Rather, they provide a stylistic treat for the eyes that run alongside a narrative.
The Little Book of Typographic Ornament is a celebration of these graphic decorations, conceived by Pentagram and including examples from 1700 up until present day.
Pentagram devised the book as a companion to Alan Kitching’s A-Z of Letterpress. As a result, both share a similar format of set chapters which give each image the space to be displayed separately.
The ornaments, collected by author David Jury – which include borders, boots, bicycles and bovines – have been sourced from the specimen books of European, British and American type foundries. It was from these books that printers would order new fonts of type and typographic ornaments up until the arrival of digital technology in the 1980s.
The book is for sale on Laurence King Publishing’s website.