Richard B. Doubleday, professor of art/graphic design, has donated the “Richard B. Doubleday Collection on Modern Graphic Design” to LSU Libraries Special Collections. Doubleday worked with Dr. John Miles, Curator of Books and Head of Instruction Services, and Hans Rasmussen, Head of Special Collections Technical Services, at Hill Memorial Library to curate Doubleday’s library collection and catalog.
The “Richard B. Doubleday Collection on Modern Graphic Design” is an archive dedicated to preserving and making accessible significant works by modern graphic design practitioners. Among the material that will be available for the LSU community, students, faculty, and researchers are a selection of antiquarian and out-of-print books, signed and inscribed copies, and old books from the past. The collection also includes original graphic art, over two-thousand modern posters, typographic periodicals (1930s–1960s), printed samples, and printed ephemera.
Dr. Doubleday is an international educator at the LSU College of Art & Design. A specialist in graphic design history and contemporary graphic design in China, his doctoral thesis investigated contemporary Chinese graphic design and its historical antecedents. Doubleday’s research has been supported by distinguished fellowships including a 2022-2023 China-U.S. Scholars Fellowship (CUSP) and a 2017-2018 Fulbright Fellowship as a senior research scholar at the Academy of Arts & Design, Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. His research has specialized on graphic design in the post–Mao era and focused on graphic design in China’s Republican and Mao eras. Doubleday’s teaching practice covers the history of graphic design, motion graphics, fundamental and advanced principles of graphic design and typography, and advises and mentors students in LSU’s Doctor of Design in Cultural Preservation program.
LSU Libraries’ Special Collections features original research and exhibitions in rare books, manuscripts, and other historical documents. Hill Memorial Library, on LSU campus, is a free resource for the LSU community.
Unequalled, both editorially and visually, by British typographic journals of its day, Typography (1936-1939) explored the juncture of popular and high culture and made an important contribution to the graphic industry by covering contemporary typographic developments and unusual historical articles not featured elsewhere. The aim of the magazine was to illustrate the typography of everyday objects such as newspaper pages, transport timetables and tea labels, alongside more serious traditional and modern type design, and included unusual features such as bound-in mounted insets, gatefolds, and decorative colored paper.
Alphabet & Image (1946-1948)
James Shand and Robert Harling resumed publication after World War II under new title, Alphabet & Image (1946-1948) as Typography’s postwar successor. Alphabet & Image was similar in content to Typography, offering critical reviews of typography, type specimens and graphic arts, but also offered wider-ranging articles featuring English illustrators, ceramics, pre-Raphaelite drawings, and English wood engravers.
Motif (1958-1967) magazine’s range of editorial interests was unusually broad for its time and, in the often highly segmented world of periodical publishing, it has rarely been equalled in Britain. In an editorial in the first issue, signed by Motif’s editor, the late Ruari McLean, and its publisher, James Shand, they quote the 19th-century French writer and poet Théophile Gautier: “I am a man for whom the visible world exists.” Motif, they go on to explain, “is a periodical for which the visible world exists.” Over the course of 13 issues, published from 1958 to 1967, Motif ran meticulously researched and beautifully illustrated articles about painting, sculpture, art education, graphic design, typography and lettering, illustration, photography, architecture, wood engraving, and the history of the graphic arts. “Visual culture” had yet to become a branch of academic inquiry and Motif’s urbane editor and publisher, whose careers began before the Second World War, would not have used the term. The magazine’s presentation of a wide array of visual arts on a more or less equal footing can nevertheless be seen as a prescient early example of a new way of documenting and appreciating the “visible world.”