A man of many arts: bookending Leo Bensemann's graphic art and book design

Waite, N 2017, 'A man of many arts: bookending Leo Bensemann's graphic art and book design' in P. Stupples and J. Venis (ed.) Art and Design: History, Theory, Practice, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom, pp. 43-60.

Document type: Book Chapter
Collection: Book Chapters

Title A man of many arts: bookending Leo Bensemann's graphic art and book design
Author(s) Waite, N
Year 2017
Title of book Art and Design: History, Theory, Practice
Publisher Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Place of publication Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Editor(s) P. Stupples and J. Venis
Start page 43
End page 60
Subjects Design History and Theory
Visual Communication Design (incl. Graphic Design)
Summary Leo Bensemann can rightly lay claim to being New Zealand's first book designer, and he was also a printer, publisher, company director, accomplished artist and father. He worked professionally as graphic artist in New Zealand between 1937-78, but remained an artisan. As a painter he was notable for both his portraits and landscapes. This chapter examines Bensemann's graphic art, craft and design of books from 'Fantastica' (1937) through his Caxton Type Specimen books (1940-), his limited edition fine press books in the 1950s through to a diverse range of commercially published popular books, and the literary, academic and art journals he designed (1940-78). Initially working within 'New Traditionalism' (Kinross), he drew from a wide range of international art and design influences to inform his graphic design, but primarily he designed books for reading with pleasurable covers and title-pages. While self-taught, he moved from graphic artist to artisan and professional book designer in rapid succession, and exemplifies a pioneering spirit of reflective practice in art, craft and design in New Zealand.
Copyright notice © 2017 The Author(s)
Keyword(s) Design history
Graphic art
Book design
New Zealand
ISBN 9781527503076
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