viewed online. This exhibition took place in Museum M in Leuven.


Jan 14

Layouts and elements from manuscripts

Posted by Benedikte Vanderwee├źn on 14/01/2011

A good thing about spending too much hours on the web looking for inspiration, is that you find historical resources that shows us manuscripts that are absolutely stunning to watch at.

Lately, i visited this new launched Belgian project: de bijbel van Anjou, an exhibition that showed a royal manuscript dated 1340 revealed. This bible is completely digitized and can be viewed online. This exhibition took place in Museum M in Leuven.


What is so great about this manuscripts?

Not only are these manuscripts great to watch, but they contain - at least for me - so much elements that bring inspiration. On how to layout a page, be it for web or for print. These pictures tell us so many stories about historical moments and ways of living that i keep returning back at them if i'm looking to give my designs more feeling, more passion, more strength...

This bible is also fantastic because you can zoom at any level. Sometimes when i watched these manuscripts, i close my browser and start designing and drawing elements and layouts.

Following manuscripts drew my attention because i can see a direction in them that can take me to designing a page, a layout without copying the layout but more as a starting point, a foundation on which i can build my own layouts:

Source:Medieval and earlier manuscripts blog

Source:Tudor manuscripts and documents

Source:Tudor manuscripts and documents

Source: own layout


Make your own elements

The ornaments in the manuscripts are another superb subject at which i can look for hours. The colors, the shapes, the overall impressions are things that inspire my mind.

Mostly, when looking at the details of the ornaments in the manuscripts, i begin to draw shapes of my own on a piece of paper and start from these own shapes to come to a new one. Just pieces of an ornament, or the colors just the things that you like about it.

Source:Tudor manuscripts and documents

Source: page 3 of Bible of Anjou online

Source:Manuscripta mediaevalia

Source: own sketch

Source: Boy stealing cherries


Small list of most visited resources

Creative Market