To open a book is to expose the intimate details of story, experience, and idea. Actually creating a book, however, is an art in itself. A part of the J. Willard Marriott Library since 1995, the Book Arts Program at the University of Utah champions wide-ranging explorations of the book. In the fully-equipped book arts studio, bookbinders, printers, and book artists utilize type, letterpress, photo engravings, and bookbinding equipment as they combine traditional techniques with modern aesthetics and technology. The Book Arts Program promotes involvement with the art of the book, and students take classes exploring letterpress printing, bookbinding, artists’ books, and typography. Studio access is then provided to students who have completed foundation courses.
Students enrolled in the minor complete 18 credits, choosing at least four courses from the core plus two electives (or a fifth core course plus one elective). Students can also choose the Book Arts Certificate, which requires 21 credits.
Two Interesting Courses
BART3360 – Book Arts: Letterpress Printing I
Using movable type, linoleum blocks, pressure print matrices, collagraphs, photoengravings, and photopolymer plates, students design and print several editions on hand-operated letterpresses. Through discussion and critique, students learn basic elements of design and typography with the option of integrating other printing processes into relief-printed work. Typically, students participate in a class exchange of prints. The class also views samples of letterpress work from the Marriott Library’s Rare Books Collection.
ENGL2510 – Introduction to Creative Writing with Book Arts Workshop
This course introduces students to the techniques of both creative writing and book arts. It includes four visits to the Book Arts studio in the Marriott Library, during which students will view artists’ books from Rare Books, get hands-on experience with bookbinding and letterpress printing from moveable type, and collaborate to produce a limited-edition book. Instead of a final portfolio, students will produce chapbooks for their final projects. In both the studio and the classroom, students will explore the creative process, especially the relationship of form and content, by considering how typographic decisions affect creative texts and how a book’s shape might transform its meaning.
Five Possible Complementary Majors at the University of Utah
Unique Opportunities within the Minor/Certificate
The Book Arts program is housed within the University of Utah’s J. Willard Marriott Library. Students enrolled in the minor have unique access through their coursework to the Library’s Rare Books Collection.
Sample Similar Programs