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Book Review: Savage Impressions—An Aesthetic Expedition Through the Archives of Independent Project Records & Press

Paul Moxon, Website Editor

Compiled by Bruce Licher and Karen Nielsen Licher. Rochester NY: P22 Type Foundry and P22 Analog, 2020. ISBN: 978-096310826-5 (Standard edition). Hardcover. 240 pp. Full color. Discography and Index. Order

Savage Impressions is a sumptuous book sure to delight designers, printers, record collectors, and graphic arts enthusiasts. The publisher notes that it is the first extensive monograph devoted to Independent Project Press, one of the most influential letterpress studios active today. The proprietor, musician, artist, and designer, Bruce Licher, has been producing innovative, limited edition letterpress printing since 1982. He was among the first to print on chipboard for music package design. But it is his virtuosity in hand composing vintage metal types and his restrained palette that elevates this work above its professed purpose.  [Read more]

Open Forum on Diversity in the Field with Jesse Erickson

Nelly Maciel

Fri., Oct. 25 | Jesse Erickson commenced the session by telling us why he came up with the idea to hold an open forum on issues of diversity that pertain to the study of printing history. When Jesse was at the SHARP (Society for the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publishing) conference, the subject came up multiple times and it was not a subject that was on the program. As a result, he wanted to address it directly and make it part of APHA’s annual conference schedule in order to address any thoughts on the issue of diversity. [Read more]

ISO: Coffee table book

From the Contact form:

We are looking for a coffee table book with the history of the printing press as a gift. Do you know of anything that can be of help?


Maryland Session, Panel Recap

Charles Cuykendall Carter

Edmonds, S. Emma. E. Unsexed; or, The Female Soldier: the thrilling adventures, experiences and escapes of a woman, as nurse, spy and scout, in hospitals, camps and battlefields. Philadelphia: Philadelphia Publishing Company, 1854. Stamp engraver unknown. From: “Publishers’ Bindings Online, 1815-1930: The Art of Books” University of Wisconsin-Madison and University of Alabama.


Sat., Oct. 26 | Kadin Henningsen, “Biblionormativity and the Construction of Gender in Nineteenth-Century American Publishers’ Case Bindings”  ❉  Douglas P. McElrath, “Moses the News Vendor: Newspapers and African Americans in Ante-Bellum Baltimore” [Read more]

Labor and Identity Session II, Panel Recap

Nelly Maciel

George Cruikshank, “The New Union Club,” ca. 1819. Etching with engraving and publisher’s coloring. (National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Michael Graham-Stewart Slavery Collection. Acquired with the assistance of the Heritage Lottery Fund)

Sat., Oct. 26  |  Robyn Phillips-Pendleton, “The Role of Illustrators, Engravers, and the Printing Press in the Discussion of Race in America” María Helena Barrera-Agarwal, “Lanuza, Mendia & Co.: A Spanish-language Publishing House in Early Nineteenth Century New York” Jordan Wingate, Special Mark Samuels Lasner Fellowship Paper: “The ‘Negro Press-hand’ of the Charleston Courier” [Read more]

Ands & Ampersands

Ray Czapkowski

Frederic W. Goudy’s many interpretations of the ampersand’s design through history. Original printing form, ca. 1946, with a modern print. (RIT Cary Graphic Arts Collection)

“What in Sam Hill is an Ampersand?” asked Frederic W. Goudy in The Typophiles 1936 Christmas keepsake titled Diggings from Many Ampersandhogs. The Typophiles, founded in 1930, brought together typographers, designers, and printers. The organization published many important books on the history and practice of the typographic craft, some of them scholarly, some playful.  [Read more]

Frontiers Session, Panel Recap

Amanda Nelsen

A small collection of Haldeman-Julius’s Little Blue Books. (Steve Cox)

Sat., Oct. 26 | Moderated by Seth Gotleib: Steve Cox, “A Radical Press in Kansas: Haldeman-Julius’s Forgotten Publishing Dynasty” ❉ Jessica Barness and Amy Papaelias, “Radical Scholarship: The Visual Language of Emerging Disciplines in the United States” ❉ Matthew Kirschenbaum, “Kamau Brathwaite’s Printer”

This session provided a lively glimpse into the unique printing and publishing practices of three radical subjects. [Read more]

Summary of 2019 Lieberman Lecture/APHA Conference Keynote Address by Colette Gaiter

Jae Jennifer Rossman

Left: Valmor and Sweet Georgia Brown Beauty Products No. 27 (Yvonne Chireau Collection). Right: page from Charles Dawson’s ABCs of Great Negroes, Dawson Publishers, 1933 (Source: AIGA Design Journeys: Charles Dawson, Rights: Art Institute of Chicago)

Fri., Oct. 25 |   “Outside in: image and words of assimilation and resistance in American print history” by Colette Gaiter, Professor, Art & Design and Africana Studies, University of Delaware. Professor Gaiter is an artist, graphic designer, and writer. Her work over the years includes mixed and digital media, video, interactive installation, and digitally manipulated photographic prints. Her remarks came from the perspective of a maker as well as an educator and scholar, which embodies the spirit of the APHA conference.  

[Read more]

Keynote Address by Kinohi Nishikawa

Mia D'Avanza

Left: cover of Frank Marshall Davis, Black Man’s Verse (Chicago: Black Cat Press, 1935). Decoration by Calvin Brazelton. Right: interior page, with typography by Norman W. Forgue. (Images courtesy of the presenter)

Sat., Oct. 26 | Kinohi Nishikawa began by showing an image of a marbled black and white slipcase from a 1935 Frank Marshall Davis fine press edition. He used this object to pose questions about the contents it would hold, asking how viewers would perceive the value of those contents. [Read more]

Building Bridges through Letterpress Postcards, Workshop Recap

Josef Beery

(Photo: Lynette Spencer)

Fri, Oct. 25. | Visitors grabbed pencils and linocutters and returned to the world of relief printing in Lynette Spencer’s “Building Bridges” letterpress workshop. Hosted by BookLab, the University of Maryland’s one-year-old book arts and letterpress space, participants engaged in a four-hour intensive class designing and printing graphic two-color postcards reflecting on the APHA conference’s theme of social diversity and inclusion. [Read more]