Wednesday, June 6, 2012

45. Lux, Ars, Spes and Night

The first issue of the magazine Black and white was issued on February 6, 1891. The nameplate for volume 1, number 1, was especially designed by Charles Ricketts and incorporated the words 'LUX' (as 'LVX'), 'ARS', 'SPES', and 'NIGHT'. The 'weekly illustrated record and review' carried this nameplate for a short period only. It was not used after 13 June 1891.

Nameplate, designed by Charles Ricketts, for Black and white, 6 February 1891
The pen drawing, 90x232 mm was signed, lower left 'DEL C RICKETTS'. In advertisements (11 July and 7 November 1891) Charles Ricketts and Charles Shannon were mentioned among the artists 'who have aided "Black & White" with brush, pen and pencil', which was true, as they had published a number of drawings in several issues.

For the advertisement leaves another nameplate was in use from the beginning:
Nameplate for the advertisements in Black and white, 6 February 1891
This was not signed, and much more academic in style. After six months another nameplate made its appearance on the opening page:
Nameplate for Black and white, 20 June 1891
In 1900 yet another nameplate was in use:
Nameplate for Black and white, 7 July 1900
The later nameplates have a more restraint, businesslike character, while the first one, which was meant to disseminate the involvement with art work, was done in Ricketts's early drawing style, with crowded images and complex symbolism, filled to the brim with detail, figures and objects, while the lettering was placed a little too loosely, the individual letters sometimes being obscured by other parts of the drawing. The title 'Black and white' did not stand out clearly, and obviously, the sales department did not approve.