A History of British Magazine Design - the exhibition catalogue from V&A available to buy at Museum Bookstore

A History of British Magazine Design

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'contains plenty of forgotten gems' - Creative Review

visual history of British magazines from 1850 right up to 2011.

This fascinating book investigates the history of British magazines over the past 170 years. Author and magazine expert, Anthony Quinn maps the evolution of the British Magazine from the advent of Punch in 1841 right up to the beginnings of digital distribution. 

The author tells the story of the history of the British Magazine by featuring some 162 magazines – from About Town to The Illustrated London News, from Punch to Zembla - mainly consumer titles.  With some 450 pictures of covers and spreads, Quinn demonstrates the great artistry in magazines, showing how magazines have helped launched the careers of some of our most famous artists, illustrators and writers. The book also underlines the innovation within magazine design looking at famous case studies such as London Life, which redesigned its cover typography every week - half a century before digital manipulation techniques were invented. 

The book draws on the V&A's National Art Library's archive of periodicals as well as author, Anthony Quinn's own personal collection, covers graphic design, typography, photography and print technology. 

Read more about the book in our interview with the author,  Anthony Quinn.

  • Author: Anthony Quinn
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Date published: March 2016
  • Language: English
  • Delivery: Allow 1-2 weeks
  • ISBN: 978-1851777860
  • Product Dimensions: 31 x 22 cm
Author interview

Museum Bookstore: What are your favourite moments from the book?

Tony Quinn: My favourite moment is the image of the front cover that John Gilroy designed for the Radio Times Humour number. It makes me smile every time I look at it. More than that, it underlines the real artistry of magazines. Many of our most famous artists and illustrators started their careers in magazines.

Radio Times: October 9, 1936 - The History of British Magazine Design

Ronald Searle did some of his best work on magazines; the pre-Raphaelites produced The Germ to promote their work and ideas and of course there is the Vorticists' magazine, Blast. 

Read more here