Typography: Mark Making, Letters, Words, & Books

There are no available registration dates at this time.

The origin of written language is unknown, but started with marks on a surface. In this weeklong workshop, students will explore ink as a means to create beautiful surfaces on which we will then write and print messages to form pamphlets, posters, books and more. 

Led by calligrapher Jan Owen, we will do mark making exercises and experimentation to create lines, textures, images and words with a variety of implements: invented and conventional. There will be a brief history of letters and calligraphy (with dip pens) so that personal handwriting can become expressive and consistent. Students will make books combining these elements. 

The second part of the week, working with Richard Reitz Smith, will engage in handsetting type and letterpress printing to help learn and understand the expansive history and realm of typography – the art and practice of arranging type, processing data, and printing of it.

Please bring an apron or old shirt, plus short poems or songs you might want to work with. Feel free to bring any specialty paper or photographs or ephemera that you would like to use. 

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Instructor: Jan Owen

Jan Owen is a calligraphic book artist. Her hand lettered books and scrolls are in the Library of Congress, National Museum of Women in the Arts and many library special collections.

Instructor: Richard Reitz Smith

Richard Reitz Smith is a letterpress and book artist who excels in marrying traditional techniques with technology and is the Book Arts Program Chair and Studio Manager at Maine Media. He is the owner of DoubleDoor Creative in Camden, ME. In 2015, Richard was the first Book Artist in Residence at Maine Media where he wrote, illustrated, printed, and bound a limited-edition abecedary of alliterative haiku. Richard received a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University in painting and illustration.

After working for three years developing products for Crayola and Liquitex, he returned to school and earned an MFA in graphic design (Tyler School of Art- Temple University). Then started a five-year tour of universities as an art and design professor which led him to New York City, where he taught at Pratt Institute and School of Visual Arts. While doing this, he freelanced as an illustrator and graphic designer for companies like The GAP, Macy's, American Craft Museum, Metlife, Pearson Education, and Scholastic. Then he took positions at Clicquot, Inc. and Clinique Cosmetics consecutively. For Clinique Cosmetics, he managed multi-million-dollar, international, seasonal product and promotional launches as the director of package design worldwide. For Clicquot, Inc. he was a one-person art department for the wine importer/promoter of Veuve Clicquot, Krug, Bouchard, and many other ultra-premium wines. It was in NYC, that he found and frequented The Center for Book Arts learning much about letterpress and the book as an art form.