How to use the Visual Search Engine

You can now search Compositor visually, allowing you to find matching and similar ornaments from the database. Here’s how. Find an ornament you’d like to find matches for in Compositor. Here is an example: From here, click “Load Ornament in Visual Search”. Once the Visual Search page has opened, use your cursor to highlight the … Continue reading “How to use the Visual Search Engine”

Fleuron is now Compositor!

The database of eighteenth-century printers’ ornaments formerly known as Fleuron has found a new home at! The new name reflects the fact that there is a lot more in the database beside fleurons (or ornamental type), such as block ornaments (head and tailpieces, initial letters), factotums, rules, borders, and some woodcut illustrations, diagrams, and … Continue reading “Fleuron is now Compositor!”

Themes in Ornaments 1: Books

This is the first of a series of short blog posts on the images depicted in printers’ ornaments. Each post will explore a different theme found in printers’ ornaments of the eighteenth century (and beyond). Here are six ornaments that all depict books. Ornaments depicting books are satisfyingly self-referential. These two headpieces feature open books, … Continue reading “Themes in Ornaments 1: Books”

An Introduction to Compositor

What does Compositor contain? Compositor is a database of eighteenth-century printers’ ornaments, broadly defined as the decorative features of the pages of printed books. It also contains some illustrations: the boundaries between the categories of ‘ornament’ and ‘illustration’ are somewhat blurred. ‘Printers’ ornaments’ is an umbrella term for the devices, flourishes, and images that decorate … Continue reading “An Introduction to Compositor”