Book Design

From Gutenberg to Blurb – learn to make books worthy of the ages.

© Bruce Kennett

For centuries, the book has been the main repository of human knowledge. Every aspect of the book is the responsibility of the designer, from the binding and cover to paper choice and all of the hundreds of typographic details and layout decisions. While the Workshops is known for teaching photography and filmmaking, the book has a direct applicability to both of these pursuits. From the beginning of photography, photographs have always been made to either hang on a wall or be bound into books – photographs and books have coexisted like hands in gloves. For filmmakers too, the concepts of pacing and sequence are basic considerations – equally important in book design. New digital services like Blurb and Apple books have made it possible for everyone to design and publish books. This workshop covers all the aspects of designing a beautiful book – through historic, aesthetic, and practical viewpoints. Typography, book materials, technological considerations, and artistic choices are considered. Discussions, lectures, readings, exercises, demonstrations, and field trips lead to a solid understanding of what excellent book design is and how it can be put to use with grace and competency.

Participants should have a basic understanding of either Adobe InDesign or Quark XPress software. Quark users should bring their own software and laptops.

Instructors

Bruce Kennett

Bruce Kennett is a book designer and photographer based in North Conway, NH. After earning a B.A. in Humanities from Shimer College he went on to study calligraphy and book design with Friedrich Neugebauer at the Hochschule für künstlerische und industrielle Gestaltung in Linz, Austria. He subsequently translated Neugebauer’s calligraphy and design manual from German into English: The Mystic Art of Written Forms. In the 1980s Bruce served as managing director and head designer at The Anthoensen Press, Maine’s great scholarly book printer of the 20th century, working in both letterpress and offset. Since leaving Anthoensen in 1986 Bruce has worked on his own, producing books, general graphic design, exhibits, and large photomurals. His clients include L.L. Bean, Boston College Law School, Burndy Library, Center for Palladian Studies in America, Folger Shakespeare Library, David R. Godine, The Grolier Club, Mount Washington Observatory, Smith College, and Transparent Audio. Bruce adores teaching and has been on the faculty at the Center for Creative Imaging, Art Institute of Boston, Graphic Arts Management Program at Northeastern University, University of Southern Maine, and Westbrook College; and has given lectures for Bookbuilders of Boston, Dartmouth, Harvard, School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Society of Printers, Society of Typographic Arts, Smith College and RIT. His design of a book about poets Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes received a Leab Award from the American Library Association.