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The Grammar of Ornament

The Grammar of Ornament

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First published in 1856, The Grammar of Ornament remains a design classic. Its inspiration came from the pioneering architect and designer Owen Jones. His observations of decorative art on his extensive travels in Europe and the Near East were employed to improve the poor quality of British design. He increasingly disapproved of the Victorian habit of mixing elements from a wide variety of sources and applying this mix indiscriminately to buildings, graphics and products.
His resulting study is a comprehensive analysis of a remarkable collection of styles of ornamental design - from Ancient Egypt and Greece to Imperial China and Renaissance Italy. With its sumptuous illustrations, its detailed survey of individual cultures, and its manifesto of "General Principles" it offered guidance to the designers of the future. In this new edition the designs are further illuminated by lain Zaczek's perceptive commentaries.
Hugely influential since its first publication, The Grammar of Ornament inspired great figures such as William Morris and Frank Lloyd Wright. Contemporary designers, entertained by the archaic charm of Jones's descriptions, cannot fail to be struck by the book's enduring relevance and its soundness on the principles of good design.