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Renaissance Graphic Design
The word renaissance means “revival” or “rebirth.” Originally this term was used to denote the
period that began in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries in Italy, when the classical literature of
ancient Greece and Rome was revived and read anew. Frequently, however, the word is used to
encompass the period marking the transition from the medieval to the modern world. In the history of
graphic design, the renaissance of classical literature and the work of the Italian humanists are closely
bound to an innovative approach to book design. Type design, page layout, ornaments, illustration, and
even the total design of the book were all rethought by Italian printers and scholars. The prototype
roman alphabet designs and the coarse decorative borders of early French books were the first tentative
steps toward unique, Renaissance book designs. The flowering new approach to book design that was
independent of the German illustrated book started in Venice, Italy and continued there during the last
three decades of the fifteenth century.
1. What differences do you notice between the two paragraphs above?
2. How are these two paragraphs the same or different than the times new roman that we are familiar
with today?