Book and Publication Arts

Students take book arts class

The Book and Publication Arts program is uniquely situated in the Black Rock Press—a working museum environment with book and print equipment that spans the centuries. Antique presses are used alongside modern digital tools and software—the program emphasizes building contemporary practices and research through the history and evolution of book and print technologies. Students focus on the book as an artistic medium of expression: from fine press printing and the deluxe livre d'artiste to artist books, zines and even sculptural bookworks. Learning graphic design and typography basics through letterpress printing on presses from the 19th and 20th centuries gives students a rare perspective on the importance of process and media choice in art and design. This program uses design tools, image-making techniques, typography, hand-lettering, bookbinding and structural bookwork to develop artistic voice and an understanding of book and publication arts within a contemporary art practice. This program is naturally conducive to mixed media and interdisciplinary studies.

  • Art 214 - Introduction to Book Arts: Intersection of Art & Design
    • The class introduces students to the field of artists' books as a form of artistic expression and inquiry. It examines the history and craft of the book as art and as a carefully designed object in the cultural landscape.
  • Arts 320 - Letterpress: Art of the Page
    • This course teaches basic design and typography principles through the art and craft of letterpress printing at the Black Rock Press. Students will learn about the history of typography, letterpress printing and design - and how this history continues to influence contemporary art and design. The history of graphic design, books and printing are rooted in the past but are continually relevant to visual communication and artistic practices of all kinds. Students will explore these principles through both typesetting by hand and digital design for letterpress.
  • Art 330 - Letterpress: The Expanded Page
    • This course explores image-making processes for letterpress printing including traditional and digital techniques. Complex test-image relationships are examined while the print multiple is explored in non-traditional formats.
  • Art 414 - Book Arts
    • Book Arts explores the technical and conceptual making of contemporary artists' books with a focus on the
      connection between content and form and the book in contemporary art and culture.
  • 2 Vandercook Universal I letterpress printing presses
  • Vandercook 4 letterpress printing press
  • Vandercook 219 AB letterpress printing press
  • Heidelberg Windmill
  • Chandler & Price Old Style 8x12 platen press
  • 1837 Super Royal Columbian hand press
  • Washington hand press
  • More than 100 cases of metal and wood type
  • Anderson Vreeland photopolymer platemaker
  • Hollander Beater and other papermaking equipment
  • iMac computers with the Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Scanner

For more information: Black Rock Press website