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Colour for commerce: letterpress-printed ephemera in Britain, 1740–1830

Banham, R. (2020) Colour for commerce: letterpress-printed ephemera in Britain, 1740–1830. In: Savage, E. and Grasselli, M. (eds.) Colour Printing 1700-1830. Proceedings of the British Academy. British Academy/Oxford University Press, London. (In Press)

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From 1740–1800 there are occasional instances of letterpress-printed ephemera in one or two colours, but such examples are very much the exception. This situation was to change rapidly in the first 30 years of the nineteenth century, driven by the burgeoning advertising industry and aided by the introduction of the iron hand press and new display typefaces. In the 18th century London’s theatres were at the forefront, being the first to print ephemera in two colours. From 1800–26 developments were led by the state lotteries, which made significant advances, not only using colour much more frequently, but also greatly extending the range and number of colours used and printing multi-coloured images. Lottery printers demonstrated that mass-market colour printing had become a commercially viable prospect, paving the way for later developments in prints and books.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Arts and Communication Design > Typography & Graphic Communication
ID Code:82746
Publisher:British Academy/Oxford University Press

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