The following is a collection of labels, packaging, adverts and so on, that demonstrate not only the Victorian printers skill in creating depth of field within incredibly intricate design but also the vibrant colour of the day. The Victorian period saw all the formulative years of print evolution in terms of press, paper and inks come together to create the foundations of modern lithographic printing that we know today. It’s only through surviving fabrics, porcelain and paper ephemera that you can get a true sense of the vibrancy of the period…one that doesn’t translate through the early photography of the day. The term “Gaslight Style” literally is “Said to have derived from the play of lamps on three-dimensional street lettering [ i.e. storefront signage, etc. / ed ], the style appears to have originated in Germany, spreading, through the influence of German printing skills, throughout the world.” (Collecting Printed Ephemera, London 1988 p.116)
The examples here are displayed with kind permission from Sheaff Ephemera, an amazing and copious collection of all types of vintage printed material. A link to further examples of this style on the Sheaff Ephemera website is supplied at the bottom of the page. Please note that these examples are displayed for inspiration purposes only and All images are copyrighted by Richard D. Sheaff and not to be used for any other purpose without written permission.