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San Francisco State University
This guide explores the graphic arts of the Medieval, Renaissance, and early Baroque periods housed in the Frank V. de Bellis Collection.
Last Updated: Jan 29, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Frank V. de Bellis with "The Canticum"


About the Collection

The Frank V. de Bellis Collection in the Library of San Francisco State College - San Francisco State College. Library.
Call Number: DE 46.5 .S26 1964
Publication Date: 1964
This brochure was produced when the Frank V. de Bellis Collection opened in 1964. It describes some of the treasures in the Collection that include early examples of Italian typography and graphic arts.


Introduction: Graphic Design

This guide will explore the rich array of early graphic arts that are housed in the Frank V. de Bellis Collection at San Francisco State University. Graphic design demonstrates artistry to blending words and pictures to create published books, magazines, advertisements, and electronic texts. Graphic design is a form of visual communication that conveys concise strategic messages to a specific audience. Graphic designers utilize various methods to create and combine color, words, and images to represent ideas visually. The graphic arts combine typography, symbols, and carefully composed page layouts that focus the viewer to a balanced and focused message.


Illuminated manuscripts on vellum, the early development of paper mills in Italy, along with watermark technology that identified quality products of papermakers in Medieval Europe that advanced papermaking technology that originated in the Far East and Muslim world made Italy a natual hub for designers. During the mid-fifteenth century the development of woodcut images, movable type, and the printing press fueled the Renaissance when the earliest printed documents closely emulated the symbiotic form of contemporary manuscripts. Florentine book publisher Aldus Manutius innovated the Humanist or Old Style book design during the Renaissance and introduced a portable vessel for ideas in the form of a pocket-sized book featuring italicized type.


Books About Italian Graphic Design in the J. Paul Leonard Library

Disegno: Italian Renaissance designs for the Decorative Arts.
Call Number: NK 1452 .A1 D59 1997
Publication Date: 1997

How Typography Happens - McLean, Muan
Call Number: Z 124 .M44 2000
Publication Date: 2000

Graphic Design & Stage Design

This is an example of graphic design that documents contemporary technological advances, in this case, the work of Giacomo Torelli ( 1608-1678), who was also known as the "grand stregone" or "great magician." Torelli is remembered for innovating opera with the use of sub-stage trolleys connected to ropes to operate scenery and novelty special effects such as machinery to create the illusion of flying characters and weather changes.


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