Art Nouveau

Art Nouveau was an artistic movement which peaked in popularity between 1890 and 1905 which was practiced in the fields of art, architecture and applied art. It is a French term meaning "new art" and is characterized by organic and plant motifs as well as other highly stylized forms. The organic forms often took the form of sudden violent curves which were often referenced by the term whiplash. Its short success was a reaction against the late 19th century academic art and was replaced by the development of 20th century modernist styles.

Relative to graphic design it was popular in book production and poster printing, although it was used by artists for a variety of other types of work including advertisements, magazines, labels and typography. The typography was so heavily ornate that it was not desirable for text faces but great for display work.

Arthur Mackmurdo Wren's City Churches Cover, 1883

Grand Palais, Paris  

Edward Everard Building,  Bristol, England

Jugendstil Typography,  Brewery Sign