‘Une page est une image’: Text as Image in Arts et métiers graphiques

Kristof Van Gansen


Arts et métiers graphiques (1927–39) was a French graphic arts periodical published by type founder Charles Peignot. It tried to address all aspects of graphic design and the art of the book in articles written by prominent art critics, graphic designers, book historians, and literary authors. These contents were presented curiously: on fine paper with an intricate page layout and multiple fonts, and with offset inserts serving as illustrations or samples of technical innovations such as colour printing, all of which would please the bibliophile readership. Apart from advocating the renaissance of the beau livre and bibliophilism, Arts et métiers graphiques tried to redefine or adjust the traditional view of the literary text. A literary text was not only a thing to be read, it was also a visual and material object, hence the editors’ virtually exclusive focus on material aspects of the books they discussed. In doing so, they wanted to broaden the scope of literary criticism to include such aspects. After a historical overview of the magazine and a discussion of the editors’ views on bibliophilism, this article aims to investigate the visual and material conception of the text in Arts et métiers graphiques.


French typography; modernist magazine; French literature; bibliophilism

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21825/jeps.v2i2.7893

Copyright (c) 2018 Kristof Van Gansen

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