Commercial Art by Gene Byrnes Figurative Art Illustration Cartoon 1952 HC B131

This is from 1952 and is a relatively scarce book.

In the US, we had a Golden Age of Illustration, from before 1880 to the early 1900s. This was spurred by improvements in printing, leading to higher quality advertisements, and, thus, the need for artwork. Figurative artists were in great demand, and anyone with a knack for drawing wanted to be an artist or cartoonist.

Correspondence art schools opened up, and thousands joined up.  Some even made it big, like Milt Caniff of Terry and the Pirate and Steve Canyon.  Maybe you don’t know those comic strips 🙂

This book came a decade or so after that era, when art was being displaced by color photography. Unlike most art books, this combined cartooning with illustration, and focused on technique more than showing off the art.  Many industry-insider tips are shared within these pages, and it’s a resource for people researching how artwork and printing were done before the computer, but after letterpress and linotype, mainly with photocomposition and plate printing.

Source: Commercial Art by Gene Byrnes Figurative Art Illustration Cartoon 1952 HC B131

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