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2019 News Type Shop And Bindery For OHIO Students
October 29, 2019 : OHIO Chillicothe professor Darren Baker helps to develop new experience for OHIO students


This past summer, Ohio University Chillicothe’s Assistant Professor of Art, Darren Baker, and Ohio University’s Professor Emeritus of Art, Don Adleta, collaborated to create a new experience for OHIO students. The new experience, TypeShop and Bindery, features 18 type cabinets with over than 200 drawers of metal and wood type for designing cards, books, posters, and more. It is located in Seigfred Hall, room 222.


The concept was originally conceived on a research trip to Basel, Switzerland, which was funded by the OHIO College of Fine Arts, the School of Art + Design, and the OHIO RHE Travel Fund. Adleta and Baker met with curators, project managers, and permanent collection experts at The Basel Paper Museum, Druckwerk, and other organizations all of which focused on papermaking, printing, and bookmaking.


The space is designed around the concepts brought together by Chillicothe native, Dard Hunter. Hunter’s work focused on paper, print, type, and book processes. The TypeShop and Bindery is an opportunity for students to experience these methods.


Students can set type from the collection of metal or wood or they can create their own type by using lasers and computer numerical control (CNC) routers, which are available in the Wood Shop and The Create Space housed in the School of Art + Design.


Using printing presses from the 19th and early 20th century, letterpress printing leaves an ‘impression’ or impact in the surface of the paper so that the printing is below the surface. “In contrast with slick modern printing methods, one can feel the process,” remarked Baker. “This tactile quality has attracted the attention of many graphic designers and has grown in popularity.”


One of the major projects was moving the massive Vandercook proof press. Weighing over 4600 pounds, it required partial disassembly, hydraulic jacks, heavy duty casters, and more than 10 people to move it from the fourth to the second floor. “We couldn’t have done it without OHIO Moving Services,” stated graduate assistants, Terry Davis and Megan McCormick, who documented the entire process.


Students can bind their books using a variety of methods from single-signature, Japanese stab to multi-signature hardback. The binding equipment and methods are only half of the process.


“When you break the book down into its two main components, content and container, the book binding method can become anything that holds information,” commented Adleta. Students are encouraged to explore emerging technology together with these historical processes to re-define, for themselves, what a book is and what a book can be.


Adleta and Baker hope to have aspects of TypeShop and Bindery showcased as part of a Printing Museum at the Ridges in Athens sometime in the near future.