Talwin Morris - book cover designer

This month we are celebrating the birthday of Talwin Morris (1865-1911), book cover designer of the Art Nouveau movement. He was initially employed as an assistant art editor at weekly magazine called Black and White. In 1893 he became the Art Manager at Glasgow publishers Blackie & Sons. At this time, Morris discovered the work of the ‘Glasgow Four’ lead by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, his wife Margaret Macdonald, her sister Frances and her husband Herbert MacNair.

Morris’ book cover designs were heavily influenced by the Glasgow style and were featured in the aesthetic magazine The Studio. The designs were created by stamping designs, either in colour or gold foil, directly onto cloth, which was then bound onto the cover of the book. Morris’s favourite motifs are birds, roses and hearts. 

The image below is from our own collection of seven Morris books.

After great success as a book cover designer, mostly for Blackie & Sons, Morris expanded his repertoire to include textiles, metalwork, furniture and interiors.

Talwin Morris