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2015 Conference Speakers

Nancy Bernardo & Kelly Murdoch-KittGeri McCormick & Matt RieckTodd Samuelson
Charles A. Bigelow & Richard ZanibbiJulie MellbyRob Saunders
Alix ChristieRichard MinskyArt Seto
David DamicoAmanda Nelsen & Josef BeeryStephen Sword
Amelia FontanelStan NelsonKathleen Walkup
Jeffrey GrovesAlan NowickiPhilip Weimerskirch
Chad JohnsonMarnie Powers-TorreyAdam Werth
Richard LawrenceSuzanne PowneyGwido Zlatkes & Ann Frenkel
Jamie Mahoney & Dianne L. RomanJeff Pulaski
Richard MathewsFrank Romano


Alix Christie

Gutenberg’s World: How Printing Arose in 15th Century Mainz | recap

Alix Christie is an American writer and journalist. Her debut novel, Gutenberg’s Apprentice, was published in September, 2014. For the past thirty years she has reported for newspapers in California and from Europe as a foreign correspondent, including the Washington Post, Guardian of London, the San Francisco Chronicle, and She currently reviews books and arts for The Economist.


Jeffrey Groves

A Hands-On Approach to Printing History: Lessons Learned in the Construction of a Common Press | recap

Dr. Jeffrey D. Groves is professor of literature and dean of the faculty at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California. His interest in nineteenth-century American publishing led to his current work in letterpress printing, and he is the founder of the First-Floor Press at the Claremont Colleges Library. During recent sabbatical work, he studied Isaiah Thomas’s wooden common press at the American Antiquarian Society and built a full scale replica.


Nancy Bernardo & Kelly Murdoch-Kitt

Adopt-a-Font Condensed | recap

Nancy Bernardo is Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at the Rochester Institute of Technology. She is an award-winning designer whose design work has been recognized by PRINT magazine, HOW magazine, Design Observer, the American Institute of Graphic Artists (AIGA), Designers and Books, and AIGA Western New York. Her design work explores the boundaries between old and new technologies and is an interesting and often whimsical blend of analog and digital techniques.

Kelly Murdoch-Kitt is Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at the Rochester Institute of Technology. She has taught a variety of courses in the Graphic Design Programs at University of San Francisco and California College of the Arts. Her interest in design pedagogy has led to recent research collaborations exploring the socio-cultural benefits of technologically mediated cross-cultural design education, and the advantages of teaching visual literacy concepts to students outside of Design disciplines.

Charles A. Bigelow & Richard Zanibbi

Analysis Of Typographical Trends In European Printing 1470-1660: Comparison of Automated Methods To Palaeotypographical Approaches | recap

Chuck Bigelow was the Cary Distinguished Professor of Graphic Arts at RIT from 2006 to his retirement in 2012, and is currently Scholar in Residence at the RIT Cary Graphic Arts Collection. He is the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship and the Frederic W. Goudy Award, among other honors. He is co-creator, with Kris Holmes, of Lucida and Wingdings font families. He is a principal of the Bigelow and Holmes studio.

Dr. Zanibbi is the Associate Professor Computer Science at RIT, and Director of the Document and Pattern Recognition Lab.

David Damico

Printing and Interpreting at the Genesee Country Village Living History Museum on a 19th Century Washington Iron Handpress | recap

David Damico is Visiting Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at the College at Brockport, SUNY, in Brockport, New York. He works summers at the Genesee Country Village and Museum in Mumford, New York, as an interpreter in the Print Office, printing on a 1848 Washington Iron handpress. David is proprietor of the Gardant Press in LeRoy, New York, loves singing barbershop harmony, and documenting life at the historic village in stereoscopic “3D” photography.

Amelia Hugill-Fontanel

One Press to Rule Them All: The Kelmscott/Goudy Legacy at the RIT Cary Collection | recap

Amelia Hugill-Fontanel is associate curator at the Cary Graphic Arts Collection at Rochester Institute of Technology, a library on typographic history. She is an art historian and editor who has contributed to numerous publications about Cary Collection holdings, including those about graphic design, calligraphy, wood type, and typefounding. As manager of the Cary technology holdings, she is responsible for teaching and maintaining some 16 different presses and several hundred fonts of metal and wood type. She has spoken at TypeCon and the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum.

Richard Lawrence

A New Wooden Press for Everyone to Try: The Dürer Press  | recap

Richard Lawrence started printing at school in the 1970s. When he left school he bought a Heidelberg platen and has been printing, collecting, and teaching ever since. He has a science degree and worked in publishing producing and commissioning complex science titles for more than 25 years. He has also taken time out to complete an MA in printing history from the Department of Typography at the University of Reading, UK. He is a past editor of the Journal of the Printing Historical Society. He is one of the people who set up the printing workshop at St. Bride Foundation in London where the newly commissioned Dürer press is housed. He teaches at St Bride Foundation (e.g. The London Rare Books School) and in his own workshop as well as taking machinery out to give public demonstrations in schools and museums. He strongly believes in the value of practical experience to printing history.

Richard Mathews

Frederic Goudy and the American Hands-on Hand Press Tradition | recap

Richard Mathews is Director of the University of Tampa Press and the Tampa Book Arts Studio and is Dana Professor of English at the University of Tampa. He is also a fine press printer, founder of Konglomerati Press (1971-1988) and was inaugural Visiting Research Fellow to the William Morris Centre at Kelmscott House, U.K., where he printed on their Kelmscott Press Albion hand press.

Julie Mellby

Lew Ney: Greenwich Village Printer | recap

Julie Mellby is Curator of Graphic Arts in the department of rare books and special collections at Firestone Library, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey.

Richard Minsky

Restoring and Adjusting Two Iron Handpresses | recap

Richard Minsky bought his first letterpress in 1960. He founded the Center for Book Arts, which has been providing workshop facilities and classes in letterpress, bookbinding, and the other book arts since 1974. The Center has mounted more than 250 book art exhibitions. In 1974 Minsky joined APHA, which began the same year.

Amanda Nelsen & Josef Beery

When the Printer is a Press. Teaching with the Common Press | recap

Amanda Nelsen is the Director for Programs & Education at Rare Book School at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. She received an MFA in Visual Art from the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University and a certificate in Bookbinding from the North Bennet Street School in Boston, Massachusetts.

Josef Beery is a cofounder of the Virginia Arts of the Book Center in Charlottesville, a program of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. He is also the proprietor of a publication and book design practice known for fine quality literary work ranging from hand press broadsides to conventional book production. He is an instructor in the history of the book and book arts, and a guest printer at the University of Virginia’s Rare Book School.

Stan Nelson

Printer’s Ink Balls: Their History and Use | recap

Stan Nelson is Museum Specialist Emeritus, Smithsonian Institution and National Museum of American History. His career has focused on the history of printing technologies, with an emphasis on methods employed during the first four centuries of printing.

Alan Nowicki

The (Re) Birth of Roycroft Printing | recap

Alan Nowicki is Program Director at Roycroft Campus in Aurora, New York, where he came by way of PBS in 2010. He is responsible for classes, programming, tours, workshops, the Roycroft conference, performances and events, as well as the training and handling of volunteers and docents. He has also been a teacher for 20 years and has taught in every grade level from Pre-K through college, specializing in art and history.

Jeff Pulaski

After the Iron Press—The Grasshopper | recap

A life-long Kansan, Jeff Pulaski earned a BFA from Wichita State University in 1990 and a MFA in Visual Communication from Kansas State University in 2008. He is currently Associate Professor at Wichita State University. He is an active letterpress lecturer, printer and collector and has spoken internationally at CAA, SOTA, and ATypi. His letterpress collection includes various platen and cylinder presses, a Prouty Power Press newspaper press, a Model 31 Linotype, and large assortment of metal and wooden type.

Frank Romano

Letterpress Workshops at the Museum of Printing, North Andover, Mass. | recap

Frank Romano, is President of The Museum of Printing in North Andover, Massachusetts. He is Professor Emeritus at RIT, and began his career at the Mergenthaler Linotype Company in 1959. A renowned authority on graphic communications, printing, and publishing, Romano has published over 50 books, including History of the Linotype Company (RIT Press).

Todd Samuelson

“Manageable Engine:” The Common Press as a Focus for Book History Pedagogy  | recap

Todd Samuelson is Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts at Texas A&M’s Cushing Memorial Library & Archives. He is also the Director of the Book History Workshop. His research on book history, bibliography, and librarianship has appeared in Printing History, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, College & Research Libraries, and portal: Libraries and the Academy. He is a letterpress printer who designs and produces fine-press chapbooks and broadsides under the imprint Fat Matter Press, as well as literary posters and stationery with Anise Press.

Rob Saunders

Inspiring Young Designers with Letterpress Artifacts | recap

Rob Saunders has been collecting letterforms and design for forty years, while pursuing a career as a designer, teacher, publisher, and management consultant. He recently founded the Letterform Archive to share his collection with fellow designers. He serves on the board of the Northern California Chapter of APHA. Recent speaking engagements include: TypeCon 2013 & 2014, Cooper Union Lubalin Lecture Series 2014 & 2015, Colophon Club 2015, Scripps College Goudy Lecture, 2015, and Typo SF 2015.

Art Seto

Bootstrapping a New Student-initiated Letterpress Club: A Case Study  | recap

Art Seto is a bookbinder, letterpress printer and educator. In addition to using his home C&P Pilot hand letterpress, he is a member of the Richmond Hill Book Arts Guild where he uses the C&P 10×15, Vandercook SP-15, and Adana presses. Associate Professor Art Seto currently teaches binding and finishing within the four-year bachelor degree Graphic Communications Management program at Ryerson University in Toronto Canada. He is the Faculty Advisor to The Ryerson University Letterpress Club. Art is the recipient of the 2012 Dean’s Teaching Excellence Award, chosen from amongst 100 full-time professors in the Faculty of Communication and Design.

Stephen Sword

Skills and Mechanization: The Transition from Hand Press to Cylinder | recap

Stephen Sword is a printing historian and proprietor of the Stiff ‘n’ sore press in Stouffville, Ontario, an experimental shop committed to historic letterpress techniques. His printing interests encompass everything from typography and technology to shop practices and the place of the press in society. He combines his scholarly interests with hands-on craftsmanship. His current research in printing history and practices are centered at Black Creek and Lang Pioneer Villages, and at the Massey College Bibliography Room in Toronto.

Kathleen Walkup

Pulling the Devil by the Tail: Elizabeth Corbet Yeats’ Cuala Press |recap

Kathleen Walkup is Professor of Book Art and Director of the Book Art Program at Mills College. Her ongoing research interests are in women and printing and contemporary artists’ book. Her talk, “The Book is a Public Place,” is forthcoming in Threads Talks, Granary Books and Cuneiform Press. She is a 2015 Botein Research Fellow at the American Antiquarian Society.

Philip Weimerskirch

Some Little-Known Sources for the History of Early American Printing Presses | recap

Philip Weimerskirch is former librarian at Providence Public Library and curator of their D.B. Updike Collection.

Gwido Zlatkes & Ann Frenkel

A Pushmi-pullyu: The Collaborative Multidisciplinary Work Process at VigodaPress | recap

Gwido Zlatkes and Ann Frenkel are creators of VigodaPress, a publisher/printer of hand crafted artists’ books and sheet music of original scores. VigodaPress features translations, mainly of poetry, from Polish to English and from English to Polish. Gwido is the book-designer, printer and binder; Ann is the composer and performer; they collaboratively translate the texts. Gwido received the APHA 2011 Mark Samuels Lasner Fellowship in Printing History and was a Fulbright scholar in Poland in 2013–14 working on underground printing and publishing during the “Solidarity” period (1970–1980s). Ann and Gwido are librarians at the University of California, Riverside.

Workshop Presenters

Chad Johnson

Quality Assurances for Printing on the Hand Press | recap

Chad Johnson is a letterpress printer who has printed professionally for over a decade. He is Studio Manager & Resident Instructor at the San Francisco Center for the Book, where he teaches and develops letterpress curricula including the use of the hand press. He has an MFA in Book Arts and Printmaking from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

jamie mahoney & Dianne L. Roman

Druksels on the Hand Press: Experimental Printing Based on the Work of H.N. Werkman | recap

Jamie Mahoney is Assistant Professor and Director of the Bowe House Press, a letterpress studio at Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of the Arts. As Creative Director of thINK, a letterpress student publication, she teams students with published poets to produce Artist Books that are distributed throughout the nation in special collections, including Yale University’s Haas Arts Library, UCLA’s Arts Library, and The Library of Virginia. Jamie experiments with both traditional and 21st century printing technologies. Metal and wood materials of letterpress are combined with new technologies like 3D printing with the understanding of how old processes re-imagine the new. Taking over author and historian, Philip Meggs’ course in 2003, Jamie teaches the History of Graphic Design at VCU and live streams to Virginia Tech.

Dianne L. Roman is a doctoral candidate in Media, Art, and Text at Virginia Commonwealth University. Her dissertation: “Women At The Crossroads, Women At The Forefront, American Women In Letterpress Printing In the Nineteenth-Century” focuses on identifying the women who ventured into the American print shop from 1800 until the creation of a woman’s type union in 1869 and on assessing the quality of the work they produced. She is also developing a comprehensive timeline of female involvement in American printing from 1638 until 1869, with the anticipation of continuing on into the twentieth and twenty-first centuries upon the completion of her doctorate. She has a background in teaching Graphic Design and Visual Communications since 1994.

Geri McCormick & Matt Rieck

Making Wood Type Today: Using the Same Methods from Yesteryear |  recap

Geri McCormick is a wood type cutter and letterpress printer. She graduated from RIT with a BFA in painting. She worked as a graphic designer for 35 years and now spends her time running Virgin Wood Type, which she started with her late husband Bill Jones in 2010. Her letterpress prints are represented in several galleries.

Matt Rieck cuts and hand trims wood type. With a degree in English, he naturally has an affinity for the book arts, letterpress, and the letterform.

Marnie Powers-Torrey

4-Up with a Side of Bearers

Marnie Powers-Torrey holds an MFA in Photography and a BA in English and Philosophy. She is the Managing Director of the Book Arts Program and Red Butte Press at the University of Utah. Powers-Torrey teaches letterpress printing, artists’ books, and other courses. She is master printer for the Red Butte Press, harnessing the mighty printing power of a talented staff of printers. As a founding member of the College Book Art Association, she serves as the Vice-President for Nominations and Membership. Her work is exhibited and held in collections nationally.

Suzanne Powney

Printing Expressively with Furniture and Reglet, a Typographic Map | recap

Suzanne Powney is a graphic designer and letterpress printer. She earned her MFA in Graphic Communications in 2011 from University of Houston. She has been teaching letterpress since 2002 at institutions including the Museum of Printing History in Houston, Texas, University of Houston, and Mississippi State University where she is currently an assistant professor of graphic design. She is the owner and operator of Blackdog Letterpress, founded in 2004, where she prints artists’ books and broadsides as well as an occasional calendar.


Adam Werth

LetterPress Remix: High Tech + Low Tech = New Tech

Adam Werth teaches printmaking at Rochester Institute of Technology. He is the president of the Print Club of Rochester.