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Vintage Commercial Art and Design (Dover Pictorial Archives) Paperback – 24 Jun 2011


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Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications Inc.; Pap/Cdr edition (24 Jun. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486478459
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486478456
  • Product Dimensions: 22.8 x 22.9 x 0.7 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,043,536 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon.com: 15 reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
A very good book with some reservations 8 Sept. 2011
By Video Steve - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are familiar with dover books, you are already aware they make collections of royalty free art work with CD or DVD roms of that art for your use.

This book is a little different than the others and I felt it need a more detailed review.

Vintage Commercial Art and Design is based on two early books from 1900's, "Sign Painting" and "Strongs Book of Designs". The designs in these books were inspired by the Art Nouveau style.

The originals were reference guides/idea books intended for artists and sign painters of the early 20th century. As such, the art in this book are samples to inspire painters to come up with there own variations. Therefor many of the illustrations in this book are not "ready to use". A lot of the pictures contain words that are embedded into the background in such a way as to make it difficult to modify. (See image above)

This book also has dozens of period font scans in it. While not unusable, it would have been much better to actually convert these fonts into typesets you could install on your computer. It is much easier to type something in true type than cut and paste each individual letter in photoshop or other paint programs.

Most of the art is in black and white but there are some color illustrations. But the colors are so washed out as to make them useless except as inspiration for your own projects.

Should you buy this book? If you are an artist looking for inspiration, especially in the art Nouveau style, definitely. The originals this book is based upon are so expensive so it is a bargain.

If on the other hand you are looking for ready to use designs, be aware that some of the designs in this book will be difficult to modify for your purposes.

Even with this drawback, I would still say it is worth having.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Nice, could have been better prepared 2 Oct. 2011
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The selection of artwork in this collection is wonderful. What I didn't like however, is the beautiful examples of type that are laid into the designs are not in layers. They are JPG's only. In order to actually insert your own type/wording, you have to open in an image-editing program and carefully edit out their wording first, which in some cases is nearly impossible without destroying the design. If they had simply saved these as TIF files in layers, or better yet used vector art, the disc would have been twice as useful. That being said, I have used a few different designs and found them to be very helpful. It is great for inspiration.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Nice book 19 July 2011
By Wilbur Sachs - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dover publishes great, reasonably-priced, innovcative books, and this is no exception. My main problem is that it actually appears quite cumbersome and complicated to use the alphabets provided in this book. Perhaps I'm missing something. I did use one of them, and it looked very handsome, but it took a lot of doing to get it right.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Mostly Letters in JPG format, very few actual art designs 21 Dec. 2012
By Erica K - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I was super excited to order this book online. I love Dover books with the clipart CDs and was sure this one would be perfect for my collection.

I was sorely disappointed.

At least 90% of the images are just letters. To add to that disappointment, the letters are in JPG format only. It would have made much more sense for them to be in font format so you could actually use them easier without busting out the Photoshop. Also, most of the images are plain black and white. This would be great if they were vector format, but like I said its all JPG files.

Overall, a pretty lack luster book without much use unless you want a bunch of letter JPGs.
Great resource 21 Jun. 2013
By A. Little Bird - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
So glad I decided to purchase this as I do a fair amount of Art Nouveau inspired work, both art and design. It's been a worthwhile addition to my reference library. I can see why there might be some complaints about the images if people are using images straight out of the book or CD, but since I use it to replicate the style and not someone else's work, this hasn't been a problem for me. I can't comment on the CD content as I have no use for it and therefore haven't bothered with it.

I would give this book 4.5 stars if I could, because one image repeats (the sign on pg. 24 and 89) the space could've been better used for another sample. :/

For a reasonably diverse sampling of Art Nouveau design, I would highly recommend adding this to your collection!
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