Title pages start appearing circa 1480
like medieval manuscripts, early incunabula did not have title pages. the high cost of animal skin used as the medium did not allow the waste of any part of the material for other than the text. instead, the title, author's name, transcriber's name, place and year of transcription and other related matters were written at the end of the manuscripts.
following the design of manuscripts, printers of incunabula also had the first letter (initial) of the first word of each chapter in large size and in red ink. in the process of printing, the corresponding part of the page for the initial was left blank, and later, a craftsman called a "rubricator" drew a decorative initial in that space. to designate the letter to be drawn, a small form of the letter was sometimes printed in the space beforehand. this small printed letter is called the "guide letter."
(All images and text taken from INCUNABULA).