Illustrations from ‘A Pictorial Atlas of Fossil Remains’, London, 1850.

Woodcut from “The burning of London in the Year 1666”, published by Samuel Rolle (1667).

It’s funny that the designer of this title-page cared enough about its design to have a woodcut made for the opening (albeit clumsy) ‘THE’, and yet still managed to set the ‘S’ in ‘HISTORIE’ upside down.

[From Edward Topsell’s ‘The History of Four-footed Beasts’, 1607.]

The brilliant beginnings of comparative anatomy in this marvelous woodcut From Claude Belon’s ‘Natural History of Birds’, 1555.

Our 156 page special issue magazine was made for one thing: to show off all of our design competition winners. For a digital download of our stuffed-to-the-brim-with-incredible-design magazine, head to the link here:

One of the deadliest (& funniest) creatures to have walked the earth. According to Aristophanes, the child-eating lamia had especially large and odorous testicles.

From Topsell’s ‘The History of 4-Footed Beasts & Serpents’ (1658), based on Gessner’s ‘Animal History’ (1551–58)

The first printed tourist guide (1486) and a book that I mention briefly in my book, Typographic Firsts.

A zoomable version here: …

Also, note the Back to the Future character wearing dark slacks and a blue-grey v-neck sweater!

Magnificent color prints from Ernst Haeckel’s “Kunstformen der Natur” (Art Forms in Nature), published 1899–1904:

Beautiful plates from The Anatomy of Plants (1680), by the English botanist Nehemiah Grew (1641–1712):

Fonts in Focus, the first in a new series of short, easy-to-read reviews, showcasing great type. Enjoy & share ♥ …

Tomorrow I’ll be posting the first in a fun new series of Fonts in Focus. In the meantime, don’t forget to check out “From Milky Way to Multiverse”, especially for those who love the night sky and typography. …

Exquisite engravings from two early English editions of Palladio (1715 & 1721).

Magnificent illustrations from Wenzel Jamnitzer’s “Perspectiva Corporum Regularium” (Perspective of the Regular Bodies), 1568.

Even the mighty Hydra is not immune to the curse of the Legos. From Albertus Seba’s zoological Thesaurus (1734). More at @BibliOdyssey …

From Mezzotint to the Multiverse, and the wonderful illustrations from Thomas Wright’s ‘New Theory of the Universe’. …

From the magnificent Flora Graeca (The Flora of Greece), now at @bodleianlibs. Forty years in the making, and published in 10 volumes, 1806–40. …

Pretty far out for the 18th century. These are among my favorite early(ish) cosmological illustrations.

From Thomas Wright’s “An Original Theory or New Hypothesis of the Universe”, 1750.

Will be posting more here:

Best depiction of Noah’s Ark, ever. Looks as though Noah & fam have dropped anchor off the coast of Capri to catch some rays.

[From a German Bible of 1483; printed by Anton Koberger.]

Also, in Noah’s day, mermaids carried compacts!

When you drop anchor and start preparing dinner for the crew, only to discover you’re on a giant whale! Charming woodcut from Gessner’s 16th-century encyclopedia of animals.

I’ve written a short review of @ProfTomMole’s [spoiler alert!] wonderful ‘The Secret Life of Books’ …

Wonderful 17th-century book design. A foldout, opposite the title-page, that serves as a quick-reference index. And, not that I have, but if you have ever wondered how “to make a horse pisse” see page 126.

[‘The Gentleman’s Jockey’, London, 1681]

An intriguing 17th-century game that never quite made it to Xbox. From the brilliant @PublicDomainRev …

HOW's design competitions are designed for one reason: to highlight the incredible work of the design community. This year, it amounts to 156 pages stuffed full of innovative, interesting design. Download our free digital special issue to see all the work!

Magnificent illustrations from ‘On the Motion of Animals’, 1680. And look at those numerals. That mad big-headed 3!

Among many other things, Catherine Whitwell wrote and illustrated a wonderful children’s guide to astronomy — here’s one of her hand-colored engravings from that book, ‘An Astronomical Catechism’ (London, 1818).