Harold Curwen and Oliver Simon by Brian Webb
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Harold Curwen and Oliver Simon
By Brian Webb

Harold Curwen and Oliver Simon

Curwen Press - Design

By (author) See other recent books by Brian Webb See other recent books by Peyton Skipwith
Format: Hardback

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Harold Curwen and Oliver Simon by Brian Webb

Book Description

The finest books produced during the quarter century prior to the outbreak of the Great War were almost invariably printed by the private presses, but post-war, with the development of new technology, the accolade of excellence passed into the hands of a small number of commercial firms, with the Curwen Press very much to the fore. Like those earlier printers, Harold Curwen was inspired by the Morrisian ideal, but he did not adhere to the tenet that 'hand made' was necessarily better than 'machine made', which led him to become one of the pioneering figures in the technical revolution that transformed the printing industry. Harold Curwen joined the family firm in 1908 and by 1916 had instigated a general replanning of the works and, aided by the wartime staff shortage, felt able to push ahead with the installation of modern machinery. He was in the forefront of the development of offset lithography, which ensured that the Curwen Press would be in the vanguard of fine colour printing throughout the next decade. Harold also pioneered, as far as England was concerned, the pochoir technique of hand-stencilling. 1922, was the beginning of the Curwen Press' golden decade, during which it produced "The Woodcutter's Dog", the English language edition of Julius Meier-Graefe's two volume biography of Van Gogh for the "Medici Society", the exhibition catalogue of books and manuscripts for "The First Edition Club", Goldoni's "Four Comedies" and the delightful little pocket engagement book, "The Four Seasons", illustrated by Albert Rutherston. Rutherston was later to illustrate Thomas Hardy's Yuletide in a "Younger World", the first of the Ariel Poems for Faber & Gwyer which were to become a feature of the collaboration between the two firms. In addition there was the 'Safety First' Calendar, adorned with Lovat Fraser's cautionary illustrations. Following restructuring in 1933, the Curwen Press had a further forty years of distinguished work ahead both in the printing of books, particularly those illustrated by Barnett Freedman, as well as jobbing work, including some of the finest posters for the London Underground by Bawden, Wadsworth, John Banting, Betty Swanwick, Barnett Freedman and others. "E. McKnight Kauffer, Design" contains over 150 illustrations, many from original artworks, and work not before reproduced. With descriptions by Brian Webb and an introductory essay by Peyton Skipwith. The "Design" series is the winner of the Brand/Series Identity Category at the British Book Design and Production Awards 2009, judges said: 'A series of books about design, they had to be good and these are. The branding is consistent, there is a good use of typography and the covers are superb.'

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781851495719
ISBN-10: 1851495711
Format: Hardback
(216mm x 140mm x 15mm)
Pages: 96
Imprint: ACC Art Books
Publisher: ACC Art Books
Publish Date: 15-Nov-2008
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Books By Author Brian Webb

Edward Bawden by Brian Webb Edward Bawden, Hardback (October 2016)

Part of the award-winning Design series, this is an excellent introduction to the career of an exceptionally influential British artist. Includes previously unseen material, and a comprehensive introductory essay by Peyton Skipwith.

Edward Bawden Scrapbooks by Brian Webb Edward Bawden Scrapbooks, Hardback (June 2016)

This book reveals the wonderful world of painter and illustrator Edward Bawden. Some pages are beautiful, some instructive and some baffling, but together they give us an insight into the mind of one of the 20th century's most reclusive and English of artists.

Edward Bawden's London by Brian Webb Edward Bawden's London, Paperback (August 2015)

Published for the first time in paperback, this best selling book shows London as represented by Edward Bawden (1903 - 1989) in prints, posters, drawings, paintings, murals and advertising material produced during his long career.

Eric Ravilious by Brian Webb Eric Ravilious, Hardback (June 2015)

Eric Ravilious: Design is the latest title in the award winning Design Series.

» View all books by Brian Webb

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Author Biography - Brian Webb

Brian Webb is a designer and visiting Professor at the University of the Arts London. Peyton Skipwith is an independent art consultant.

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