Last night I caught the first episode of the new Showtime Drama, Penny Dreadful. It was chock full of the moors of Gothic Literature pulling references and characters from Bram Stoker's Dracula to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, along with the spirituality and obsession with mysticism of the day in a dark gloomy London setting. A preview of upcoming episodes has me looking forward to Séances! Vampires! Tarot Cards! and more. I can't wait to see how it all unfolds.
What it also did was got me thinking about Victorian graphic design. I did a quick search for Victorian advertisements and there tends to be a gothic element of the humorous grotesque that runs through much of the advertising from the Victorian era. I found some really fun examples.
I really love the hand-drawn text of that era as well and I've seen that it's making a come back especially as decorative text done on chalkboards and book covers.
Modern design inspired by the Victorian era is pretty easy to find with the advent of Steam Punk and the cultural obsession with all things gothic, but I love this example because it's a book set in the 1880's that has the themes and cover illustration perfectly matched with that era, yet it was written in 2008.