APRIL 18 – JUNE 29, 2019

Featured artist, Inge Bruggeman will be exhibiting her new project Deposits, which is the second piece in her ongoing series called The Active Reading Series where readers explore the physical act of reading in different ways. Deposits is a book that is meant to be read while ascending or descending a short ladder.

She will also be displaying another recent book project titled, The Quickest Forever, a contemplative series of works rendering language as an attempt to know, control, and own one’s existence over time. Inspired by the life and work of Orra White Hitchcock, one of America’s earliest women botanical and scientific illustrators and artists, Inge investigates the book as a geological artifact in itself. The exhibition will also feature other sculptural and framed works that engage the viewer in asking how we embody information (text, words, language) from our surrounding environment and how it becomes part of the layers of ourselves.

The Quickest Forever by Inge Bruggeman, 2017. 10.5 x 7 x .5” (last spread), mixed media letterpress printed artist book.

Opening Reception: April 18, 2019, 6:30 pm
Artist Talk: June 27, 2019, 6:30 pm

New Book Art

Scholar Residents of 2018

January 18 – March 30, 2019

New Book Art: Scholars 2018 at the Center for Book Arts, 2019

Each year the Center invites three talented emerging artists, who have demonstrated a commitment to book arts, the opportunity to spend a year at the Center. Each scholar has 24/7 access to the Center studios and equipment, and the opportunity to take advanced classes with master book arts instructors here at the Center. The year culminates in a group show for the artists to exhibit the work they have created while in residence. This year’s show features the works of Laura Byrne, Elizabeth Castaldo, and Ben Denzer.

Opening Reception: January 18th, 2019, 6:30 pm

Artist Talk and Reception: February 21, 2019, 6:30 pm

Dignidad: Maria Veronica San Martin

JANUARY 18 – MARCH 30, 2019

Photo by Catalina Riutort

An exhibition based on secret telephone documents about Colonia Dignidad in collaboration with The National Archives of Chile, The Association of Memory and Human Rights on Colonia Dignidad and the lawyer Winfried Hempel.

Dignidad is an Art installation at The National Archive of Chile of the Chilean artist María Verónica San Martín based on secret telephone documents about Colonia Dignidad. Found in 2012 by the ex-colonel and lawyer Winfried Hempel, the audios reveal for the first time to the public conversations between Paul Schäfer and other Nazi agents during 1978. Through sculpture, sound, performance, text, and a selection of historical archives, San Martín reveals a complex system of codes and transcontinental actions that culminated in crimes against minors and opponents of the Chilean civic-military dictatorship (1973-1990). Next year the exhibition Dignidad will travel to the The Center for Book Arts in New York, the ATA gallery in San Francisco as a performance, and to the Museum Meermanno in The Hague.

María Verónica San Martín is a Chilean-born, New York-based artist working in printmaking, artist books, installations, sculpture, and performance art. San Martín addresses memory as a pivotal factor for the understanding of the neo-liberal, globalized present, turning recently to the subject matter of the Chilean dictatorship’s violence (1973-1990), vis-à-vis the United States and Nazism’s involvement in that violence. She was a studio artist at The Whitney Museum ISP during 2017-2018 and has had exhibitions at The Museum of Memory and Human Rights, Chile; BRIC Arts Media, NY; The Cantor Art Center, Stanford University, CA; The Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Germany. Her work is in the collections of The Pompidou Centre, The New York Public Library, and The Walker Museum, among others.

Photo by Catalina Riutort


Una exhibición basada en documentos telefónicos secretos sobre Colonia Dignidad en colaboración con el Archivo Nacional de Chile, La Asociación por la Memoria y los Derechos Humanos Colonia Dignidad Y el abogado Winfried Hempel.

Dignidad es una instalación de la artista chilena María Verónica San Martín basada en documentos telefónicos secretos sobre Colonia Dignidad. Encontrados el año 2012 por el ex colono Winfried Hempel, los audios revelan por primera vez al público conversaciones entre Paul Schäfer y otros agentes Nazis durante 1978. Por medio de la escultura, el sonido, la performance, el texto y selección de archivos históricos, San Martín revela un complejo sistema de claves y acciones transcontinentales que culminaron en crímenes a menores y disidentes políticos. El próximo año la exposición Dignidad viajara al Center for Arts de Nueva York, la galería ATA en San Francisco como performance, y al Museo Meermanno de la Haya.

María Verónica San Martín es artista chilena residente en Nueva York. Desde el año 2012 se ha especializado en técnicas de grabado desarrollando la serie Memoriales Móviles compuesta por siete libros de artista en torno a las violaciones a los derechos humanos ocurridas durante la dictadura chilena, y la directa participación de Estados Unidos y el Nazismo. Su obra se encuentra presente en más de 44 colecciones en siete países alrededor del mundo, incluyendo el Museo Pompidou en París, el Museo Meermanno en La Haya y la Librería del Congreso en Washington DC, entre otros. San Martín ha exhibido de forma individual y grupal destacando el Museo de la Memoria y los Derechos Humanos de Santiago; BRIC Arts Media en Nueva York; The Bayerische Staatsbibliotheken Múnich. San Martín es representada por la galería Booklyn Inc. en Nueva York.

Opening Reception: January 18, 2019, 6:30 pm

Artist Performance: March 7, 2019, 6:30 pm



October 5 – December 15, 2018

Surface Area by Sally Alatalo

Alatalo’s current projects originate in the investigation and rehabilitation of an orchard, small farm and woodlands at the edge of the Great Lakes Basin in rural SW Michigan. Cultivating Book and Land features works that draw from Alatalo’s career as an artist, writer and publisher in relationship to the agri/horti/cultur/al practices with which she is now engaged. The landscape of the book serves as apt metaphor for cultivation, seeding, nurturing and harvest. Soil science, bird migration, the sky, sun, moon, flowering plants, and perhaps surprisingly, plastics, all contribute to Alatalo’s concurrent cultivation of book and land.

Cultivating Book and Land at the Center for Book Arts, 2018

Alatalo has performed her texts at the Poetry Foundation and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, Room Gallery in Rotterdam, The Poetry Society in London, and exhibited her work at museums, galleries and artist book fairs across the globe, including in New York, Los Angeles, London, Hamburg and Seoul. She is Professor and Chair of the Writing Program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Artist Talk: Friday, December 7, 2018, 6:30 pm

Master Class: Saturday & Sunday, December 8-9, 10 am – 4 pm

INSIDE/OUT: self-published photobooks


October 5 – December 15, 2018

Inside/Out at the Center for Book Arts, 2018

Organized by Carole Naggar, poet, artist, curator, educator, and photography historian

Self-published photobooks first made their appearance in Europe right after World War II. At that time photographers mainly published in magazines, and the form of the photobook was still somewhat exotic, used infrequently by photographers. Today, self-published photobooks are also well represented in collections such as the New York MoMA’s library, The Indie Photo Library at the Beinecke (Yale), which inspired the creation of other independent photobook archives, like The Asia-Pacific Photobook Archive, as well as private collections.

This exhibition features thirty-four self-published photobooks, varying in sizes and aspect, usually printed in small editions. Their form varies from the classic, traditionally printed book to the zine, the folio, the leporello book, the panoramic shape, the I-phone… Also including selected photographs, Inside/Out shows a range of media from gelatin prints to C-prints, collotype, inkjet and Xerox.

Libretto by Julia Borissova

The photographers and artists in this exhibition see the self-published photobook as a place of independence, a place where they can experiment freely with form, but, more importantly, as a testing ground for reflection, self-examination, meditation and ideas that the main market does little to accommodate. The quick turnaround from concept to creation also allows them to react to national and international news, making the books not only an aesthetic endeavor but also a political one.

The chosen books illustrate very personal subjects such as family, memory, loss and identity as well as larger topics such as immigration, displacement and exile and catastrophic events such as World War II, the AIDS epidemic, September 11 and Fukushima. A few are historical and most contemporary. They originate from twenty countries: Argentina, Azerbadjian, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Great Britain, Mexico, The Netherlands,The Philippines, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United States and Vietnam.

It had been predicted that the rise of the Internet would mean the end of the book on paper. However, it had an opposite effect, creating “digital fatigue” because ephemeral images are everywhere. Readers still crave a hands-on experience and the concrete sensations associated with reading and looking.

While some deplore the rise of self-publishing because it tramples the gates and gatekeepers who once decided what should be published, the trend gave artists new freedom. Self-published photobooks provide the experience of looking at work the way the artist envisioned it. Most self-published photobooks are issued in limited editions, hand-numbered or signed, which makes them works of arts themselves. They become places for debating ideas, articulating insights and experience, and testing out new forms. And many are objects of beauty.

Artists include: Olivia Arthur, Barbara Bash, Doug Beube, Julia Borissova, Machiel Botman, Chien Chi Chang, Cristina De Middel, Giovanni del Brenna, Michel Delsol, Eamonn Doyle, Carolyn Drake, Tina Enghoff, Veronica Fieiras, Claire Fouquet and Patty Smith, Lee Friedlander, Ralph Gibson, Hiroshi Hamaya, Simone Hoang, Fumiko Imano, Miho Kajioka, Kent Klich, Anouk Kruithof, Susan Meiselas, Editha Mesina, Kazuma Obara, Pablo Ortiz Monasterio, Sophie Ristelhueber, Alec Soth, Jordan Sullivan, Peter Van Agtmael, Todd Walker, Mo Yi, and Ksenia Yurkova

Roundtable Discussion: Friday, October 19, 6:30 pm

Purchase the Exhibition Catalogue

Arabic Type: Between Heritage and Modernity

On March 5, 7 & 19 The Center for Book Arts held a three-part series dedicated to Arabic type design, the heritage of Arabic letterforms in the context of current technologies, contemporary Arabic branding design, and the history of Arab graphic design. The series brings together renowned and award winning designers working with Arabic type, both from the US and the Middle East. The series was curated and moderated by Dr. Nadine Chahine.

NOTE: all presentations were conducted in English.

Dr. Nadine Chahine is an award-winning Lebanese type designer and principal at ArabicType Ltd. She has an MA in Typeface Design from the University of Reading, UK, and a PhD from Leiden University, The Netherlands. She has numerous awards including two Awards for Excellence in Type Design from the Type Directors Club in New York in 2008 and 2011. Her typefaces include: Frutiger Arabic, Neue Helvetica Arabic, Univers Next Arabic, Palatino Arabic, and Koufiya. Nadine’s work has been featured in the 5th edition of Megg’s History of Graphic Design and in 2012 she was selected by Fast Company as one of its 100 Most Creative People in Business. In 2016 her work was showcased in the 4th edition of First Choice which highlights the work of the 250 top global designers. In 2017, Nadine was selected by Creative Review to their Creative Leaders 50.

Panel topics include Modernity in Arabic Type Design; Contemporary Arabic Graphic Design; and Technology & Heritage.

Modernity in Arabic Type Design

March 5, 2020 at The Center for Book Arts

This panel featured Dr. Nadine Chahine who discussed Modernity in Arabic Type Design; Wael Morcos, led a talk entitled Right to Left: A Practice; and Thomas Jockin, who presented Two Decades of Type Directors Club Award-Winning Arabic Typefaces.

Between Heritage and Modernity: Modernity in Arabic Type Design

The first panel discussion of the 2020 History of Art Series will be on Modernity in Arabic Type Design. The evening will feature Wael Morcos, with a talk entitled Right to Left: A Practice, Dr. Nadine Chahine discussing Modernity in Arabic Type Design, and Thomas Jockin, who will be presenting Two Decades of Type Directors Club Award-Winning Arabic Typefaces.

Posted by The Center for Book Arts on Thursday, March 5, 2020

Wael Morcos is a graphic designer and type designer from Beirut, Lebanon. Upon receiving his BA in Graphic Design from Notre Dame University (Lebanon), he spent three years developing identities and Arabic-Latin bilingual typefaces, in addition to working in print and exhibition design. Wael received his MFA from RISD in 2013, after which he moved to New York and worked with several studios in the city before founding Morcos Key. Wael has been featured in Print Magazine’s 15 under 30, was named a Young Gun by the Art Directors Club and an Ascender by the Type Directors Club.
Thomas Jockin is the founder of TypeThursday. TypeThursday is a global superfamily that converges monthly to help one another improve our letterforms over drinks. The monthly events around the world start with social time and drinks. Followed by a moderated group critique of in-progress projects that focus on letterform design and/or usage. The audience may recieve, give, or simply listen to feedback. 
Jockin is an adjunct lecturer at City University of New York Queens College, City College and State University of New York Fashion Institute of Technology. He is also a practicing typeface designer. Previous clients include Google, Express, Footlocker, and Michael Kors. Thomas‘s fonts are available on Google Fonts, Adobe Fonts, and other distributors for you to use.

Resources & Citations:

Contemporary Arabic Graphic Design

March 7, 2020 at the Center for Book Arts

This panel featured Tala Safié, who presented, “Haza al Massa” (or “Tonight”), a documentation of the golden years of Lebanese cinema through posters, zines, press books, and film ephemera; Bahia Shehab who discussed, From Calligraphers to Type designers: Arabic Script in Transition; and Tarek Atrissi, who discussed Branding with Arabic Typography.

Between Heritage and Modernity: Contemporary Arabic Graphic Design

The Center for Book Arts is hosting a series of 3 seminars dedicated to Arabic type design and typography, curated by Dr. Nadine Chahine, taking place on March 5, 7, and 19.The theme of the series revolves around concepts of modernity in Arabic type design, the heritage of Arabic letterforms in the context of current technologies, contemporary Arabic branding design, and the history of Arab graphic design. The series brings together renowned and award winning designers working with Arabic type, both from the US and the Middle East.This History of Art seminar will be on Contemporary Arabic Graphic Design. The afternoon will feature Tarek Atrissi, who will be discussing Branding with Arabic Typography; Tala Safié will be presenting, "Haza al Massa" (or "Tonight"), a documentation of the golden years of Lebanese cinema through posters, zines, press books, and film ephemera; and Bahia Shehab, who will be giving a discussion entitled, From Calligraphers to Type designers: Arabic Script in Transition.

Posted by The Center for Book Arts on Saturday, March 7, 2020

Lebanese-Dutch Tarek Atrissi established in 2000 his design studio, Tarek Atrissi Design (, with offices in Barcelona and The Netherlands. The studio’s cross cultural design approach has gained an international reputation and produced projects that left a significant influence on the contemporary graphic design landscape in the Middle East. His awards includes TDC New York, the Adobe Design Achievement Awards, and the Design for Asia Award, among others. 
Tarek Atrissi holds a BA in Graphic Design with distinction from the American University of Beirut; a Masters of Arts in Interactive Multimedia from the Utrecht School of the Arts in Holland; and an MFA in Design entrepreneurship from the School of Visual Arts in New York. He holds a postgraduate degree in Typeface Design from the type@cooper program of the Cooper Union. Atrissi founded – an Arabic Type Foundry specializing in multilingual typeface design. He has been on the judging panel of many international design competitions, including the Tehran Typeface Design competition in Iran, The Taiwan International Student Design Competition, The TDC competition in New York, and 100/100 Poster design competition in Egypt. He is board member at Creative Industries Fund NL in the Netherlands: the Dutch cultural fund for architecture, design and digital culture.
Tala Safié is a graphic designer from Beirut based in New York. She currently works as a designer for AIGA Eye on Design, and as an art director for the New York Times.
Bahia Shehab is Professor of design and founder of the graphic design program at The American University in Cairo. Her work has been exhibited in museums, galleries and streets around the world. She has received a number of international recognitions and awards, which include the BBC 100 Women list (2013), a TED Senior fellowship (2016), and a Prince Claus Award (2016). She is the first Arab woman to receive the UNESCO-Sharjah Prize for Arab Culture. Her publications include “A Thousand Times NO: The Visual History of Lam-Alif” (Khatt 2010), “At The Corner of a Dream” (Gingko Library 2019) and a co-authored book “A History of Arab Graphic Design” (AUC Press 2020). 

Resources & Citations:
A Thousand Times No

Technology and Heritage

March 19, 2020 Webinar

This panel featured Mamoun Sakkal, who discussed Calligraphy, Type, Image: My Journey into Arabic Script; Stephen Coles who presented A Brief Typographic Trip Around the World with Letterform Archive (with commentary from Dr. Chahine and Dr. Sakkal; and Erich Scheichelbauer who presented Technology and the Arabic Script with Dr. Chahine.

Stephen Coles is an Editorial Director & Associate Curator at Letterform Archive in San Francisco. He also publishes Fonts In Use and Typographica and wrote the book The Anatomy of Type.
Dr. Mamoun Sakkal is founder and principal of Sakkal Design in Bothell, Washington. Providing graphic design and communication solutions to major national and international corporations, his firm has focused on Arabic calligraphy and typography since the 1990’s and received several awards for calligraphy, graphics, and type design including awards of excellence from ADC, TDC, Granshan, and IRCICA in Istanbul. His work is widely published in typography and calligraphy books and annuals including Communication Arts, Hroof Arabiyya, Letter Arts Review, LogoLounge, and Yearbook of Type among others. Dr. Sakkal was commissioned to design the corporate Arabic typefaces for Burj Khalifa and Armani Hotel in Dubai. He is the Arabic language consultant for Microsoft and several of his Arabic fonts are now widely used as Windows system fonts. He holds a PhD from the University of Washington in Seattle, and his clients include Adobe, Amazon, Apple, Google, Linotype, Microsoft, Monotype, and National Geographic. 
A trained photographer, Rainer Erich (‘Eric’) Scheichelbauer (b. 1977 in Vienna, Austria) holds both a philosophy and a Dutch studies degree. He creates typefaces, works as a digital punchcutter for other type designers, and gives type design workshops on a regular basis. Since he has joined the Glyphs team in 2012, he has been writing articles, tutorials, and Python scripts, as well as the blog and the handbook. He lives and works in Vienna, where he runs his type studio Schriftlabor.

Resources & Citations:

Mamoun Sakkal
Sakkal type design work:
Shilia new release:
Sakkal graphic design, type design, artwork:
Sakkal art and typography prints on demand:
Sakkal Kitab typeface in Kindle e-books:  then-> Kindle e-Books  then-> Foreign Languages  then-> Arabic

Stephen Coles
Low resolution presentation:
High resolution presentation:
A video about Letterform Archive and how to join:
Coming soon: material related to global scripts. Sign up to be notified:
That material will also go on the Online Archive:
An excellent primer for learning about the Arabic script, how to write it, and how to design and use Arabic type:
Resources on Writing Systems: http://www.worldswritingsystems.org
Links to some of the work shown:

Rainer Erich Scheichelbauer
Glyphs (font editor)
Creating an Arabic font in Glyphs: