Euclid’s Elements was a collection of 13 books about geometry originally written circa 300 BC. Shortly after the advent of the printing press, many editions and translations have been created over the centuries. Byrne’s 1847 edition of the first six books stands out for its unique use of colorful illustrations to demonstrate proofs rather than using letters to label angles, edges, and shapes. His edition was one of the first books to be published with such detailed use of colors and combined with its detailed diagrams makes it an impressive feat of publishing for the times and it stands out even today as a work of art.
This project was created to bring Byrne’s colorful edition to life by making it available to a modern audience by reproducing the entire book online so it would be accessible to anyone with modern equipment and a flexible design as true to the original as possible. Each diagram was created by tracing the originals and ensuring their dimensions and relationships stayed true to Euclid’s geometric principles. Proofs accompanying each diagram have been enhanced with clickable shapes to aid in understanding the shapes being referenced.