The Inland Printer was a trade magazine that showcased the best printing techniques and technology between 1883 until 2011. It has been described as a designer’s Bible and “the single greatest resource for the study of the American printing industry.”
The magazine kicked-off as a response to the booming Mid-Western printing industry which was supplying an insatiable demand for books, magazines, newspapers, advertisements, and other printed materials—from labels and wrapping paper to business cards and serviettes. The first issue of the Inland Printer was a mere “twenty-four pages, thirteen of copy and eleven of advertisements.” This quickly grew in size month-by-month until the magazine maxed at a hefty 200-pages for one of its editions.
It was popular because it highlighted new techniques, offered a forum for discussion of ideas, and heralded the changes in design from Art Nouveau to Bauhaus and beyond. The magazine featured many of the big name artists and designers of the day like William Henry Bradley and Frank B. Nuderscher. The magazine was also the first American publication to change its cover every month which is now the standard for every periodical. A selection of these earlier covers can be viewed here. Below, a selection of pages from the magazine that feature many fo the cutting edge printing techniques of the day (like intricate and overly elaborate engraving) to use of color and photographic image.
More design classics, after the jump…