Scattered among the dense dictionary pages of words and their definitions come large blanket pages of colour and information - lush colour, every inch of the page used, with outlandish combinations of objects and animals. From the three sets of illustrated dictionaries used above it is clear how the style of layout has changed, from the antiquaries rack to the more magazine based editorial style.


Many children will admit to having poured over these pages without understanding a damn thing. The Larousse Pour Tous aircraft page can be a frenzied aerial battle as well as a comprehensive survey of aeroplanes c1910. The high gloss greasy inks of the natural history pages provide a rich and satisfying almost edible surface. The design debate of course is how to decide where to position the page between the flat abstracted layout and the naturalistic scene. Vegetables are somehow compliant, but a range of beats so close to their pelts proves interesting.