Within the last year, much of my personal work has taken great influence from the art nouveau period of design. I am attracted to the flowing, organic lines and the subtle, earth toned, color palettes. The movement evolved from the ideologies of the Arts and Crafts movement. In the late 1800's, a man named William Morris desired to create handmade goods such as bound books similar to those of the Incubabula. This was in direct response to the industrial revolution and cheap, mass produced goods. He created textiles, wallpapers, furniture, jewelry, etc... All the work was based around organic design, using floral patterns, vines, and earth-tones.
Art nouveau, however, took a different direction. The goal was to integrate this natural beauty into everyday objects. All aspects of visual design were affected: architecture, graphic design, illustration, typography, industrial design... you get the picture. My favorite artist of the period is easily Alphonse Mucha and his advertisement posters. He designs within a set of parameters and it works beautifully (pictured above). Notice the floral decoration and the hand drawn typefaces. This man was a true master of his craft. Notice the style in which he illustrates the womens' hair and portrays their soft facial features. There is a book's worth of these prints. His detail thrives, examine the patterns on the dress in the middle image; to me it is stunning.