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Uncle Goose Ocean Blocks

What is Art Nouveau?

Your Uncle Goose features Art Nouveau letters on four of our block sets. You'll see the Art Nouveau font on Flower Blocks, Ocean Blocks, Bug Blocks, and Bird Blocks.

But what is Art Nouveau? And why did we choose to feature the Art Nouveau font type on these four block sets?

Bug Blocks art nouveau


Art Nouveau is a style that came to life at the turn of the 20th century. It was extremely popular from the late 1800’s to the early 1900’s.

Highly decorative, Art Nouveau was a deliberate attempt to invent a new art style. Art Nouveau proponents thought a new century would be a great time for a massive change in approaching art, architecture, and design.

For most of the 19th century, a historical style of art dominated the design world. In a historical style, artists drew inspiration from past events to create new works.

But Art Nouveau is the antithesis of the historical style. The historical style drew inspiration from history and the past. But Art Nouveau draws inspiration from nature. It uses the undulating lines of plants, waves, birds, and insects.

bird blocks

The historical style used balance to create a sense of order and stillness. But Art Nouveau uses asymmetry to create movement and excitement. It rejects the notion of stability.

When you look at our Art Nouveau letters, you’ll see curves, curlicues, and hashmarks. You’ll see fat, thick lines juxtaposed against narrow, thin lines. And you’ll see bits of decor that serve no purpose other than ornamentation.

ocean blocks art nouveau font


Since Art Nouveau draws inspiration from nature, is it any wonder that your Uncle Goose chose to use it for our nature-based sets? And that we also created these four sets as the 20th century turned into the 21st century?

The Art Nouveau style was only popular for a few short decades. It was largely replaced in influence by Art Deco, Modernism, and Postmodernism.

And yet, people still appreciate the short-lived but influential Art Nouveau style. Many like learning about history and different artistic approaches.

Do you enjoy being a rebel? Are you in possession of a contrarian nature? Do you like learning about art and history? Then you might enjoy the fanciful nature of spelling words with an Art Nouveau font type.

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