Senior Communication Design student Vanessa Koch has created an exhibit at Carnegie Mellon’s prestigious Posner Center. The exhibit, titled “Through the Looking Glass: The Changing Experience of Books,” will have its opening reception on Friday, December 4, from 5:00 – 8:00 pm, and will be open through the end of April. Normal exhibit hours are Monday through Friday, from 1:00 – 4:00 pm.
Excerpt from the event poster
Koch has an interest book arts, creative writing, and illustration, and says that she has become increasingly drawn to the book as a design artifact. “After working on personal book design projects and studying letterpress and bookbinding, I have come to understand how much detail goes into the process of designing a book from the inside out: the feeling of each corner as the page is turned, the sturdiness of the binding, the imprint of the title, and the layout of the typography. Each element of the book must work to support the overall structure, providing a medium that aids in storytelling without becoming overbearing or distracting from the content.”
Koch was awarded the highly competitive Posner Center internship based on her proposal ideas for the book exhibit: “… an exhibit that brings people to consider books as artifacts of history and to examine the book’s intricate qualities as clues to the historic, cultural, and artistic context from which it sprung.”
The Posner Center houses a collection of fine and rare books, providing Koch access to a full body of illustration work including wood block and hand coloring, as well as various typographic and print treatments. The available fine bindings and coverings also served as indications of the intentions and desires of their designers and makers, allowing Koch to draw comparisons from books of different eras and geographic locations, revealing the progress and variation that has occurred in book design over time.
“We use books to gather knowledge, discover treasure, and travel to other worlds. As we plunge into great literary works, we often neglect to think about the medium through which we access these stories. As a design artifact, the book takes on a life of its own, and upon close inspection, reveals its own rich story about the time period, location, and condition in which it was produced,” says Koch.
View the event poster (PDF)
Koch’s exhibit will be on display in the Posner Center through April. Hours are Monday through Friday, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm.
Posted on Dec 4, 2009