In lectures, we learnt about key images in the history of illustration and graphic design. Both argued that the Book of Kells was a influencing factor on the development of their discipline.
The book includes all four Gospels written on vellum (calfskin) in elaborate typography intertwined with illustrations. The manuscript is traced back to early 9th century, and Iona monastery – on an island off the west coast of Scotland. When this monastery was attacked by Vikings in 806, some of the monks managed to escape and take shelter in the monastery at Kells, meaning there is no way to know if the Book was written at Iona, Kells or a bit of both.
The Book of Kells is highly valuable to the history of illustration because of the early Celtic illustrations with complex detail, and graphic design because of the rich calligraphy. The Book is illustrated with intertwining patterns, humans, animals, mythical beasts, intricate knotwork, religious pictures and even some irrelevant little sketches down the margins.