Typography in the Art Nouveau Period

The goal was to renew all areas of life but retain older sociopolitical perspectives. This inconsistency caused the Art Nouveau movement to become simply a pompous style of the Bell Époque. Symbols which might have been meant as social criticism quickly degenerated into bourgeois accessories. Meant to effect change, the Art Nouveau actually stabilized the cultural autonomy of the landed bourgeoisie, which had been wavering in the wake of industrialization. Because the Art Nouveau was an art form for the few and not for the many, it could only enjoy a limited lifespan. The problems of the modern times demanded other solutions on a broader basis, and the Art Nouveau had no sense for the developments in this direction which were already starting to overtake it.


New Year’s greeting card, Glasgow, 1901


Calligraphy by Ethel Larcombe, Exeter, ca. 1900

more ... True Reactionaries or Embarrassing Kitsch?

A selection of Linotype Art Nouveau Fonts:

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