Now, to get this blog back on track, let's talk about something really sexy. Here is the sexiest topic around, sexier than, say, Rupert Friend as Chéri. Sexier than Mr. Darcy. Sexier than Jemaine Clement's lips.
Oh yeah, you KNOW what I'm talking about.
VICTORIAN GRAPHIC DESIGN.
Here are some high Victorian book spines to titillate (the 5 on the right are Marietta Holley titles). Oh, the typefaces. And the botanical gew gaws, and the gilding, and the curlicues, and the embossing. These are the elements that make you want to curl up with a book -- and not just curl up, but shack up on a velvet fainting couch with a paisley shawl about your shoulders and a cashmere turban in your hair. With fringe.
Modernist graphic design is sterile by comparison. There is no there there -- no flowers, no filigree, no engraving, no birds, and no bees.
Get a load of this tissue I found in one of the Holley novels. Technically, it is a "Japanese handkerchief", a durable piece of ephemera:
Even these funeral cards have a joie de vivre to them, an exuberance of detail, a fineness of texture (the white designs are embossed):
(Note to hip urban families out there: a black border signifies mourning. Please do not attempt to send black-framed photos of your kids out this Christmas, or you may cause undue panic in the family.)
Stark modern design rejected ornamentation as a distraction. How short sighted. Is there any better way to go?