From 1880 to 1910 and after previous eras of intricate bookplate design, illustrative or pictorial bookplates slowly popularized. This was partly due to the profitable art of book decoration at this time, and often the same designer worked in both areas. Additionally, users of these bookplates could now bypass the restrictions of social class since illustrative forms traded the traditional, expensive engravings and embossments for affordable ink and colorization.
Despite these changes, illustrative bookplates still represented their owners personally. In light of increasing technological capabilities such as printing and its subsequent increase in accessibility, illustrative bookplates are still used today.