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This class is designed for visual artists that have a body of work(s) that they wish to translate into a book(s) in an edition size somewhere between 150-500 copies–a book project that lives between the world of small edition, fully handmade artist books and the often unattainable, pay-to-play world of publishing deals.

The class will emphasize material exploration, empowering students with the ability to clearly define how each element of the book structure and design supports the concept of the work. This will be coupled with practical exercises in understanding how material choices and design elements will impact the financial and logistic feasibility of your project.

Students should bring a body of work to class that they are hoping to publish. Throughout the week, there will be hands-on lessons in basic bookbinding and covering techniques to introduce students to the pros and cons of the most common trade book structures, specifically the perfect binding, the accordion structure, sewn binding, soft cover, hard cover, and hardcover with image inlay. The class will also cover the basics of using InDesign for book design (students should have a working knowledge of the program) and run test prints with various papers on inkjet and laser printers to get a sense of what print method and paper works best with their project. Other topics will include the challenges of working with printers & binders (and the industry vocabulary needed to communicate your design ideas to professionals), editioning, material restrictions, cost restrictions, fundraising, and how to facilitate production on a given budget.

Through this combination of hands-on exploration and practical lessons, students will leave with a working moquette of their book project and the vocabulary and knowledge needed to produce a professional print project.

Header Image Credit © Shawn Bush

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Instructor: Shawn Bush

Lens based artist Shawn Bush grew up in Detroit, Michigan, a city whose civic history and geographic locations has profoundly influenced the way he thinks about space within the American socio-political landscape. He is interested in over-built systems, failing icons and crumbled mythologies. His debut artist book A Golden State won first prize in the handmade category at the 2016 Lucie Photobook Prize in New York City and the trade edition of the book was recently published by Skylark Editions.