Letterpress and Book Arts Center

wooden cut letters laid out

paper stacks in sections

letterpress shop equipment

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 students, faculty, staff, and visiting artists.

We Moved!

We are excited to announce that the Letterpress and Book Arts Center recently moved to our new home on the first floor of the Richard and Barbara Basch Visual Arts Center. In our new location, we share a space with the Digital Fabrication Studio, creating an innovative lab in which students, faculty, and staff can access equipment ranging from our turn-of-the-century printing presses and over 300 drawers of vintage metal type to a state-of-the-art laser cutter and vacuum former. In addition, our campus facilities for glass (hot shop and cold shop), woodworking, papermaking, printmaking, photography, and sculpture are just a few steps away. We are thrilled to have relocated to this visually stunnning new building, designed and built to accommodate hands-on fabrication and art-making. We look forward to expanding our hours and celebrating our new shared space in the fall of 2019!

Monitored Studio Hours

Monday 8:30 AM–4:30 PM (by appointment)
Tuesday 8:30 AM–4:30 PM (by appointment) and 7:00 PM–10:00 PM
Wednesday 9:00 AM–12:00 PM and 7:00 PM–10:00 PM
Thursday 8:30 AM–4:30 PM (by appointment)
Friday 8:30 AM–4:30 PM (by appointment)
Sunday 7:00 PM–10:00 PM

Monitored Studio Hours at the Letterpress and Book Arts Center are available during the academic year for Ringling College of Art and Design degree and continuing education students and faculty. Orientations are required prior to use of the Letterpress, Bookbindery, and Risograph equipment. Project consultations are also available, by appointment, for degree students and faculty who are new to the studio or need some help getting started. Continuing education students can use the facilities during their scheduled class times. Ringling College of Art and Design staff may make a written request for special permission from the Vice President for Academic Affairs to use the facilities for a specific project for a specific period of time. Students, faculty, staff, and community members who are interested in learning more about the Letterpress and Book Arts Center are welcome to schedule a visit by contacting the Coordinator of the center.

Contact Us
Bridget Elmer, Coordinator
Richard and Barbara Basch Visual Arts Center
1188 Dr. Martin Luther King Way
Sarasota, FL 34234

Campus Map #18



What's New?

Workshops and Orientations

Workshops and orientations are available for Ringling College of Art and Design degree students, faculty, and permitted 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. Please contact Bridget Elmer at (941) 309-4049 or belmer@c.ringling.edu for more information.

printing equipment

Risograph Orientations

Thursday, March 28, 2019
11:30 AM–12:15 PM

Tuesday, April 2, 2019
11:30 AM–12:15 PM

Wednesday, April 10, 2019
11:30 AM–12:15 PM

hand pressing letter through printer

Bookbindery Orientations

Tuesday, March 26, 2019
11:30 AM–12:15 PM

Thursday, April 4, 2019
11:30 AM–12:15 PM

Wednesday, April 17, 2018
11:30 AM–12:15 PM

Events and Opportunities

Letterpress Luncheon
Meet and Greet with Erin Beckloff and Scott Moore
Wednesday, February 27, 2019
11:30 AM–12:15 PM

View letterpress prints, wood type samples, and the pantograph-router in action! Free and open to the public. Snacks, coffee, and tea provided.

poster for pressing on

Pressing On: The Letterpress Film
Screening and Q&A with Erin Beckloff

Wednesday, February 27, 2019
12:30 pm–2:30 PM
Explore the question: why has letterpress survived in a digital age? Open to students / faculty / staff / invited guests. RSVP to attend (limited seating).

Open Studio with Moore Wood Type
Thursday, Feb 28, 2019
10:00 am–4:00 PM
Make some wood type of your own with the pantograph-router and laser cutter! Open to students / faculty / staff / invited guests. No RSVP (drop-in and hang out).

Artist's Publication Series

letterpress equipment with students working in background

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 FrancisGraciela IturbideJulie ChenEllen KnudsonJessica Peterson, and Sheryl Oring. For more information about the series, to submit a proposal, or to inquire about collecting one of our original artists' publications, please contact Bridget Elmer at (941) 309-4049 or belmer@c.ringling.edu.

Visiting Artists

Erin Beckloff
February 27–March 1, 2019

letterpress artwork

Erin Beckloff is a letterpress printer, designer, educator, and filmmaker who preserves anecdotal and technical knowledge of printing history and culture. Her research explores letterpress community’s expansiveness through time and how the letterpress printing process will survive through educating others in the craft. She is the co-director and writer of "Pressing On: The Letterpress Film," a documentary about the survival of letterpress and the remarkable printers who preserve the history and knowledge of the craft. Beckloff has given presentations at two Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum Wayzgoose conferences; ATypI Antwerp, UCDA Educator’s Summit; College Book Art Association Conferences; and universities around the U.S. She serves as an Assistant Professor of Communication Design at Miami University and holds an MFA in Graphic Design from Vermont College of Fine Arts. 

Scott Moore
February 27–March 1, 2019

wooden cutout sign that reads "St. Printers Burg"

Scott Moore continues the tradition of cutting end grain hard maple wood type by the historic pantograph method. Scott’s company, Moore Wood Type, is located in central Ohio, where for the past three years he has been making and selling historic based ornaments, catchwords, and replacement letters to letterpress printers around the world. His philosophy is that every printer deserves to have some special “printers candy” wood type to use on their own projects. He has conducted wood type workshops at educational institutions across the country and enjoys sharing wood type history and production with eager learners. Scott recently retired after 35 years of teaching Industrial Arts at Pickerington High School near Columbus, OH. He has two degrees from Miami University in Oxford, OH where he worked as a lab assistant in the print shop as part of his Industrial Arts studies.


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 300 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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