The Journal of Design and Manufactures was published in 6 volumes between 1849 and 1852. It was edited by Richard Redgrave and Henry Cole, who was instrumental in improving the standards of British design in the 19th century, establishing the Royal Society for the Encouragement of the Arts, Manufactures and Commerce. He also lobbied Queen Victoria astutely to establish the Great Exhibition of 1851, famed for Joseph Paxton’s spectacular Crystal Palace. A double-fold plate of the Palace appears in volume V of the Journal. He was active in establishing various cultural institutions from the proceeds of the Exhibition, including the Victoria & Albert Museum which now boasts a wing named in his honour.
Although short-lived, the express aim of the Journal was to improve the standards of British industry and middle-class taste. It includes samples of fabrics and wallpapers throughout the text.