Letterpress and Book Arts Center
The Letterpress and Book Arts Center at the Ringling College of Art and Design is an interdisciplinary facility for education, creative research, collaboration, and production. The mission of the center is to bring together students, faculty, staff, visiting artists, alumni, friends, and other members of our community to honor, explore, and advance the potential of artists' publications to serve as connections between art, media, technology, and theory. The Center hosts undergraduate classes, lectures, workshops, and demonstrations, and facilitates the production of artists’ publications by visiting artists, faculty, students, and community members.
The Letterpress and Book Arts Center was established at the Ringling College of Art and Design in May of 2011, with the acquisition of Harold and Judilee Sterne’s studio. Harold "Hal" Sterne, who passed away in 2010, began printing at the age of 14 and is a central figure in the history of letterpress printing and equipment preservation. Hal co-founded NA Graphics with Tom Bell and purchased Vandersons (previously Vandercook & Sons) just days before the company was scheduled to close its doors. As Fritz Klinke (current owner of NA Graphics) explains, if it weren't for Hal, "we would have nothing in the way of support for these presses today."
The Ringling College Letterpress and Book Arts Center currently houses five operational printing presses, including a Chandler and Price 8x12 Old Style platen press, two Vandercook SP-15 flatbed cylinder presses, a Vandercook Universal III AB, and a Nolan Standard proof press. The Center is generously equipped with over 400 cases of type, 4,000 metal engravings, and an Anderson Vreeland Orbital XI photopolymer platemaker. In addition, the Center houses a variety of tools for bookbinding, box making, and creative packaging, with two book presses, a D&K 210M dry mounting press, a Golding Pearl guillotine, an Ideal 1046 Kutrimmer, and two additional paper cutters. Hal's extensive library of printing, bookbinding, and graphic arts resources, which was generously donated to Ringling College of Art and Design by his wife Judi, is also available for on-site access at the Center.
The Letterpress and Book Arts Center can be found on the Ringling College campus in the Edward & Carol Cheek Center. The building is located on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way, between Old Bradenton Road and Cocoanut Avenue. For more information, or to schedule a visit to the Center, please contact Bridget Elmer, Coordinator of the Letterpress and Book Arts Center, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 941-309-4049.