As the quality of book design and production declined during the nineteenth century, a few publishers decided to regain the beauty of book design that it had before. One of the publishers was William Pickering and he play an important role in the separation of graphic design from printing production. Working in collabration with Charles Whittingham, Pickering was able to produce quality works for Whittingham`s excellent craftsmanship complemented Pickering`s demands for quality. However, book design still continued to declined during the late nineteenth century until the book-design renaissance began, which is the revival of books where they were treated as a piece of art. This influenced the Arts and Crafts movement where it was led by William Morris.
During the two decades of 1890 to 1910, an international decorative style was developed called Art Nouveau. It was greatly influenced by the Japanese’s art movement Ukiyo-e. Art Noueauv dominated design for the most of the nineteenth century with its organic linear movements, colour and texture. Artist Alphnose Mucha developed Art Nouveau’s graphic motifs with his dominant theme of central female figures surrounded by decorative forms such as plants and flowers, Moravian folk art, and Byzantine mosaics. Art Nouveau’s legacy is still continued with designers adopting its surface appearance, and its attitudes toward materials, processes, and value.
As Art Nouveau came to an end with the turn of the twentieth century, designers searched for new forms of expression in architecture, fashion, graphic, and product design. The Four, which consists of Charles Rennie Mackintosh,, J. Herbert McNair, and sisters Margaret and Frances Macdonald developed a unique style of lyrical originality and symbolic complexity in design, which inspired many designers and illustrators at the time. By the time of 1837 in Austria, young members of the Viennese Creative Artist’s Association resigned in protest and a clash between tradition and new ideas emerged in France, England and Germany. The Vienna Secession became a countermovement to Art Nouveau that flourished in parts of Europe.