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3D Design Inspiration: Handbook of Ornament by Franz Sales Meyer #3DThursday #3DPrinting

Handbook of Ornament Dover Pictorial Archive Franz Sales Meyer 9780486203027 Amazon com Books

Each week, I share some of the books and other resources I have found inspiring in my investigation into 3D design for 3D printing. The full list lives here on the pinboard “3D Design to 3D Print Inspirations” and each #3DThursday I share about those that I most highly recommend.

This week, I wanted to highlight a book in the public domain, Handbook of Ornament (Dover Pictorial Archive) by Franz Sales Meyer. While a visit to any bookstore will produce heaping piles of visual design guides and old art books worth mining for design inspiration, few of them have the strange simultaneously antiquated and timeless clarity of these striking illustrations.

I find that this book — with over 3,002 lucid illustrations by Meyer — to be one that I returned to time and again. These illustrations are well enough presented, even checking through some of the so-so volunteer book scans of it in Wikipedia and in my trashed used book edition — and of such tremendous and often odd variety — that I always come away with ideas for how to solve the project at hand, and a bunch of new projects to attempt next.

Another treat in a similar vein is Styles of Ornament by Alexander Speltz, also in the public domain, which has more of an emphasis on historical epics and world cultures. (I only featured the Meyer book because i have a really handy paperback of this on my design shelf — and only the digital version of the Speltz book.)

From the publisher’s description:

This excellent collection of historic decorative ornament contains over 3,000 examples ranging from the cultures of the Greeks and Romans through the Victorians. Among the many different kinds of objects depicted are fine line drawings of chairs, thrones, crowns, heraldic emblems, altars, armor, architecture, and scores of objects used in everyday life. 3002 black-and-white illustrations.

Read more.

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