book arts

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“One thing that attracted me to Montserrat was the size. I liked that it was a small school and therefore would be more personal.” – Taylor Kurmis '15

The Book Arts are all of those arts that go into the conception and creation of a book — writing and image-making; editing; design; typesetting; preparation of images for reproduction; printing; binding. The Montserrat Book Arts program presents a structured sequence of encounters whereby students have significant contact with core issues in all of those arts, their craft practices and their traditions. Our program also looks forward to the Book of the Future, by encouraging challenges to the book in terms of structure and concept.

Two courses each in letterpress printing and traditional bookbinding skills, together with one typography course, form the basis of the program and teach students the basics of how to make a book from start to finish. Building upon mastery of these core requirements, students are expected to determine a course of study that might emphasize book structure, book design, or book content — acknowledging that all of these aspects affect each other. The student assembles a customized program from electives in virtually every department in the College, including writing courses in the Humanities. Internship placement might involve settings like a letterpress studio, design firm, or bindery.

Unique to Montserrat, the student chooses from the seminar and other capstone options available, that (or that combination) which best serves her or his own orientation within the Book Arts.

Our Book Arts Facilities

Our letterpress studio is perhaps the heart of Book Arts activities at Montserrat, being home to our lead type, proof presses and bookbinding equipment. An introduction to the studio, together with a list of equipment there, can be found via Imposition Press.

Other facilities and equipment utilized as students learn how to make a book are found in our computer labs, the Printmaking Department (see that page for a full accounting), the Photography + Video Department (digital and traditional), and potentially even the Sculpture area. Naturally, our library is another important resource for book art activity at Montserrat.

Imposition Press is the creative letterpress printing initiative of Montserrat College of Art. It supplements and supports studio courses and activity in the book arts at the College; contributes to the Montserrat experience as a center for fine and adventurous printing; enables student and other artists, designers and writers to pursue work in this area; and provides a means for collaborations with artists and Montserrat faculty.


"My printmaking teacher freshmen year suggested taking bookbinding and I fell in love!"
– Lisa Hersey '12

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