The Potential of Paper and Ink

Albert de Rochas, Le livre de demain (Paris: Raoul Marchand, 1884). 432 pages, complete in 44 fascicles. Full morocco binding by Wendling. One of 250 copies signed by De Rochas and the publisher.

What were the options for book publishers and printers in the late nineteenth century? This ‘Book of Tomorrow’ answers that question by offering the reader an amazing mixture of paper, ink, color, graphic arts and typography spread throughout 44 meticulously printed sections. Divided by physical elements (color, paper, ink, etc.), each section offers examples of French poetry or short prose printed on a variety of paper colors, weights, and textures, using a multitude of fonts and inks, with diverse illustrative formats such as photolithography, collotype, etching, and collage. Not a single ornamental border is repeated in the same colors or patterns throughout the 432 pages, and many decorative elements are heightened with gold or silver. The last principal fascicle contains 10 paper samples from papyrus to Chinese and Japanese papers.

Next time you find yourself in a graphic rut, check out Le livre de demain, Graphic Arts division, GAX 2008 in process.