Letterpress and Book Arts Center

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.

Monitored Studio Hours

Monday 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM (by appointment)
Tuesday 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM (by appointment), 6:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Wednesday 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM, 6:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Thursday 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM (by appointment)
Friday 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM (by appointment)

Monitored Studio Hours, with full access to our printing and binding equipment, are available for Ringling College of Art and Design undergraduate students who are currently enrolled in, or have successfully completed, Intro to Letterpress (ELEC 220), Advanced Letterpress (ELEC 330X), Collaboratory: Artists' Publications (ELEC 350), or an Orientation Session. Project consultations are also available, by appointment, for students who are new to the studio or need some help getting started. Students, faculty, staff, and community members who are interested in learning more about the Letterpress and Book Arts Center are welcome to drop in for a visit during Monitored Studio Hours.

Contact Us
Bridget Elmer
Edward & Carol Cheek Center
Campus Map #15



What's New?

Demonstrations, Orientations, & Classes

Letterpress Luncheons

January 17, 2018

Artist Talk with Emily Larned
11:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Lois and David Stulberg Gallery

February 14, 2018

Risograph Valentines with Bridget Elmer
11:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Lois and David Stulberg Gallery

March 14, 2018 
Artist Talk with Margaret Sheppard
11:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Willis Smith Gallery

Grab your lunch and join us each month for our Letterpress Luncheon. Each month, we feature a different artist and/or printing technique. Artist talks and hands-on demonstrations are provided, and a small selection of work is usually displayed. All Ringling College students, faculty, staff, and community members are welcome. No experience necessary, no fee, and no registration required.

Orientation Sessions

February 7, 2017
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Letterpress and Book Arts Center

February 14, 2018
Risograph (concurrent with Letterpress Luncheon)
11:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Lois and David Stulberg Gallery

February 28, 2018
11:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Letterpress and Book Arts Center

These sessions are available for Ringling College students, faculty, and staff who are interested in working in the Letterpress and Book Arts Center during Monitored Studio Hours. Each session includes hands-on instruction with an emphasis on learning to work safely and creatively with the equipment at the center. Anyone who successfully completes an orientation may use the demonstrated equipment during Monitored Studio Hours. Elective courses and intensive workshops are available for those interested in more extensive instruction. No experience necessary and no fee. All materials provided. Registration required. Please contact Bridget Elmer at (941)309-4049 or belmer@c.ringling.edu to register.

Continuing Studies Classes

VBKW140: Risograph Workshop 
Jan 20, Sa/10 AM-3 PM, 1 session, 5 hours
$75, Emily Larned, Visiting Artist

Combining the aesthetic of silkscreen with the convenience of the photocopier, the Riso uses an inky, stencil-based duplication process that yields tactile results. Learn the basics of printing in multiple colors on the Risograph! Whether you are a budding or experienced artist, designer, zinester, self-publisher, activist, illustrator, or cartoonist, the Riso makes multi-color printing easy, quick, and fun. Member, faculty, and staff benefits are not applicable. Tuition includes a $10 donation to the Ringling College of Art and Design Galleries.  Pursuant to the Revenue Reconciliation Act of 1993, this gift is 100% tax deductible. No goods or services were received in return for this gift. Ringling College’s federal identification number is 59-0637903.

LTP150: Letterpress
Feb 3-11, Sa-Su/9 AM-4:30 PM, 4 sessions, 30 hours
$295, Polly Johnson

Celebrate the elegance and craftsmanship of letterpress printing as you learn the foundations of this centuries-old art form. Using our extensive collection of vintage type and antique metal engravings, students in this workshop will be introduced to the basics of hand setting type, make-ready, and printing on the letterpress. Beginner through advanced skill levels welcome.

BK200: Guided Projects: Book Arts
(Letterpress +/or Book Forms)
Feb 17-25, Sa-Su/9 AM-4:30 PM, 4 sessions, 30 hours; plus March 1 exhibition
$295, Bridget Elmer and Polly Johnson

This guided studio is designed to support students who have received previous instruction and achieved a fundamental level of knowledge and skill in Letterpress and/or Book Forms. Students are free to explore and develop a project of their own conception. Studio sessions will be guided by faculty to support ideation, development, and process. The project will culminate in an exhibition/reception in the Brizdle-Schoenberg Special Collections Center in the Alfred R. Goldstein Library on March 1, 2018 from 5:30-7:00 PM. Prerequisites: BK105 or LTP150 or demonstrated equivalent experience. This course satisfies the Artists’ Books requirement for Book Arts Certificate students.

Click here to register for Continuing Studies classes.


As Many Hours As It Takes–
10 Years of Impractical Labor
January 12-March 24, 2018
Lois and David Stulberg Gallery

This exhibition celebrates the ten-year anniversary of Impractical Labor in Service of the Speculative Arts (ILSSA), a socially engaged art project founded in 2008 to investigate labor, time, and what we value. Currently taking form as a Union and Research Institute, the project creates opportunities for ILSSA members to nurture alternative, authentic value systems for their labor and their time. The exhibition will feature a selection of publications and ephemera from the first ten years of the project, as well as the interactive creation of a collaborative, community-based publication, produced on-site and facilitated by ILSSA co-founder Emily Larned, who will be in-residence in the gallery for the first two weeks.

Peace Paper Project
In Collaboration with Yale University
January 12-March 27, 2018
Willis Smith Gallery

Compelling artwork and ephemera from the living archive of the Peace Paper Project, located at the Robert B. Haas Family Library at Yale University. The Peace Paper Project is an international community-arts initiative that utilizes traditional paper making as a form of trauma therapy, social engagement, and community activism. Since 2011, the group has conducted over two hundred workshops worldwide in conjunction with community leaders, mental health professionals, and art therapists, and helped launch thirty-five papermaking programs that use paper making as a form of healing and community engagement. Because of the project's innovations in portability and interest in resolving current social issues, paper is no longer just a chapter in a history textbook, but a beacon for socially engaged art. Co-founders Drew Matott and Margaret Sheppard will present talks and workshops in conjunction with the exhibition.

Other Events

Wednesday, January 10
Gallery Talk, Emily Larned
Co-Founder, ILSSA

Stulberg Gallery, 11:30 am-12:15 pm

Wednesday, January 17
Artist Talk, Emily Larned
Co-Founder, ILSSA

Stulberg Gallery, 11:30 am-12:15 pm

Tuesday, February 13
Artist Talk, Drew Matott
Co-Founder, Peace Paper Project

AC Auditorium, 11:30 am-12:15 pm

Monday, February 19
Archives Talk, Jennifer Jae Rossman
Associate Director for Special Collections,
Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library,
Yale University

AC Auditorium, 11:30 am-12:15 pm    

Wednesday, March 14
Artist Talk, Margaret Sheppard
Co-Founder, Peace Paper Project

Willis Smith Gallery, 11:30 am-12:15 pm

Wednesday, March 14
Papermaking Workshop
Margaret Sheppard and Amy Richard

Scott Plaza, 12:30 - 6:15 pm

Visiting Artists

Emily Larned
January 8-19, 2018

Emily Larned is an artist-printer-publisher, writer, & educator. She makes things by hand (things like publications, meals, sweaters, websites) and organizes collaborative, socially engaged art projects. She is co-founder of Impractical Labor in Service of the Speculative Arts (ILSSA), a participatory art & publishing project. Through her imprint Alder & Frankia, she publishes handmade, collaborative books with other artists, thinkers, & doers. Emily likes working directly with materials to learn, and lets the inherent feedback loop of making & testing determine the form. She's not so good at following instructions. She prefers the artistic, investigative, & social aspects of work. Emily's artist books & publications are collected by over 70 institutions internationally, including the Tate, the Brooklyn Museum, the V&A, & the Smithsonian, & are exhibited around the world. She graduated from Yale School of Art with an MFA in Graphic Design. Emily is currently Chair & Associate Professor of Graphic Design at SASD, University of Bridgeport, in Connecticut.

Margaret Sheppard
March 12-16, 2018

Margaret Sheppard is an artist and co-founder of the Peace Paper Project.

Artist's Publication Series

The Letterpress and Book Arts Center invites applications for our annual Artist's Publication Series. This program invites visiting artists to propose an original artist's publication that, if chosen by the selection committee, is produced in collaboration with Ringling College students, faculty, and staff at the Letterpress and Book Arts Center. Production takes place over the course of the academic year and the finished edition is released at the conclusion of each spring semester. Artists previously featured in the series include Ke Francis, Graciela Iturbide, Julie Chen, Ellen Knudson, and Jessica Peterson. For more information about the series or to submit a proposal, please contact Bridget Elmer at (941)309-4049 or belmer@c.ringling.edu.


About Us

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 six 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, a Nolan Standard proof press, and a Risograph EZ591U. 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 4315 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.

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