Artists’ Books in Design Curricula

By Donna Atwood.

Published by The Arts Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Artists’ books can provide real curriculum breadth. As many of them reflect a postmodern design aesthetic they can give balance to programs that may be overly weighted to the Bauhaus and International Style — an inevitability for faculty schooled in the 1970s. Additionally, many artists’ books emphasize interactivity and three-dimensional design — both complex design components that require more than two semesters of instruction in order to achieve substantial competency. And of course, there are theoretical ideals to consider. While well-ordered grid layouts, typographical virtuosity, and clear information design can go far to satisfying the needs of business communications, graphic design is actually much, much larger in its potentialities. And as business communications become increasingly digital, there may be some good reasons to look at the future of print design. The academic environment can be an essential key to cultivating potential and encouraging innovation.

Keywords: Artists Books, Graphic Design, Visual Communications, Creativity, Design Education

The International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 2, Issue 6, pp.27-34. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 850.059KB).

Donna Atwood

Graduate Student, College of Design, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ, USA

Donna Atwood has worked in graphic design for more than two decades,managing her own small studio and handling a wide range of clients from manufacturing, to services, to nonprofit associations. In addition to her experience with applied arts, she has also worked in fine art printmaking,fine book printing, and artists’ books. Her interests focus on the overlap between fine and applied graphics. She recently completed her masters in design theory at Arizona State University's College of Design. Her thesis addresses the historic and contemporary relationship between commercial graphic design and fine book arts.

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