Before Gianfranco Ocampo embarked on his first trip to Europe this fall as a participant in the Berlin Studio study away program, we sat down for a conversation with the upper-term Graphic Design major. Ocampo loves to travel, and over the years his family in Los Angeles has hosted many exchange students, one of whom in turn hosted Ocampo when he visited Japan for his 18th birthday. Already bilingual (English and Spanish), Ocampo learned to speak Japanese and to cook Japanese food. Confident and outgoing, he’s a people-centric person at home in the role of ambassador. As a peer mentor with the Center for the Student Experience (CSE), he welcomes incoming students to ArtCenter and this year was named president of OutNetwork, ArtCenter’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered, Questioning, Intersex and Allies (GLBTQIA) student club. The group is dedicated to fostering a multidisciplinary, multigenerational community that shares an interest in the intersection between GLBTQIA identity and the creative arts; members include current students and faculty as well as alumni. For Ocampo, advocating for important causes is integral to his calling as a designer.
Pasadena plays host to the Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA) 41st annual meeting April 25–29, 2013, with speakers and attendees from the United States, Canada, Mexico, Latin America, Europe and beyond. The conference takes place at the Pasadena Convention Center, with additional programs and activities scheduled at Art Center College of Design.
Art Center’s Betsy Galloway hosts a meeting of fellow library directors from Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD) schools. Archetype Press’s Gloria Kondrup conducts a hands-on workshop in letterpress broadside printing. And Art Center Product and Entertainment Design instructor Justine Limpus Parish leads a tour of the Los Angeles Fashion District.
Master Typographer Paul Soady Writes New Book on Eric Gill
William Humble Ward, 2nd Earl of Dudley, was not a remarkable man. But his name will be remembered forever – at least among type designers and font enthusiasts – because his gravestone was cut by English craftsman and master stone mason Eric Gill (1882-1940), a talented artist and deeply complicated figure. The inscriptional font Gill used for Ward’s headstone became the basis for Monotype’s Perpetua, one of the world’s most widely used book fonts, and is now the subject of a new book.
In the early 1970s, Paul Soady, then a type director at Ogilvy Benson & Mather, bought a “gravestone rough” by Gill in a London book shop. Now an art director, designer and associate adjunct professor at Art Center College of Design, Soady, along with his co-writer Simon Varey, Ph.D., offer a new take with original research devoted mostly to Perpetua. Simon has sadly passed away since they completed the text of the book.
With countless digital fonts available to the current student, Soady feels strongly that a true understanding of the history and significance of artists like Gill is vital to a complete design education. After all, these are people who conceived of and cut by hand some of the most ubiquitous fonts we see today. Through a Samsung Faculty Enrichment Grant, Soady was able to travel to England, pursue his research, and do some gravestone rubbings of his own.
Two Men, One Type Face was a true labor of love for the authors, Soady says, “and from what I can find, the only book written about a single item of Gill’s work.” A limited edition of 250 handmade books is being printed by Traction Press. “Including the halftones,” Soady adds. “Very tricky!”
True to the inspiration for this particular work, the book cover is a deeply engraved cardboard replica of the now-famous William Humble Ward gravestone, so lucky owners may do rubbings all their own. Art Center’s James Lemont Fogg Memorial Library will sponsor a book signing and a copy will be donated to the rare books archive. Collectors can purchase copies from the artist.
The Samsung Faculty Enrichment Fund is an endowed fund that serves as Art Center’s primary faculty enrichment opportunity. Money is made available each year in grants of up to $5,000, awarded according to the merit and relevance of applicant proposals. Application forms are posted on the Faculty Council page on inside.artcenter.edu during the spring term, and proposals are judged by an impartial panel of art, design and humanities professionals who work outside of the Art Center community.
A Q&A with Professor Gloria Kondrup, Archetype Press Director
How did Art Center’s Archetype Press come about?
Archetype Press was founded in 1989 with more than 2,500 drawers of rare American and European foundry type, wood type and ornaments from the collection of Los Angeles typographer and printer Vernon Simpson.
The support from Art Center’s then-president David Brown, the financial backing of five patrons, and the hard work of the founding Archetype Press Director Vance Studley was crucial to its creation. Before coming to its current home at South Campus, Archetype was located on Mills Place in Pasadena. This was before the retail revival of Old Pasadena—most of Colorado Boulevard was boarded up, and finding parking was never a concern.
What role have you played in relation to Archetype?
I discovered Archetype Press and letterpress printing in 1992 as a graduate student at Art Center. Although my design background was in branding and packaging, I found the letterpress experience authentic and tactile. After graduation, I purchased my own presses and established a design studio that straddled both 15th and 21st century technologies.
In 2003, I was given the opportunity to become director of Archetype. In one sense, I view my responsibility as stewardship for the preservation of language and of a cultural artifact while enhancing students’ ability to understand the relationship of language and imagery.
People are often surprised that Art Center teaches students to use this “outdated technology.” What is your response to that?
Archetype continues the tradition of an older—but not outdated—technology. While letterpress is steeped in tradition, Archetype is not nostalgic.
As an experimental typographic workshop, students don’t just study the prototypes of digital letterforms, but are exposed to a sensual graphic experience that is both felt and seen as type is inked and pressed into a piece of paper. They are getting ink underneath their fingernails, not merely replacing ink cartridges in color printers. They are being challenged to expand beyond the margins of the computer screen, engaging in a design discourse that can question the uses of newer technologies.
Without question, digital technologies are the preferred way for the efficient exchange and dissemination of information. But digital technology has also allowed letterpress printing to change and explore new ways of combining image and text.
Don’t miss the South Campus Gallery Salon, featuring the work of illustration alums Seth Drenner, Katherine Guillen and David Jien. A portion of all sales will be donated to the Art Center student scholarship fund.
The salon will be hosted by Archetype Press and Art Center professors Leah Toby Hoffmitz and Gloria Kondrup. Don’t miss it!
South Campus Gallery Salon: “IMPRESSION”
Saturday, June 19, 6-9 pm
South Campus Gallery
Need some new art? Looking for something fun to do Saturday night? You’re in luck. Saturday night is the South Campus Gallery Salon, featuring the work of photography alum Orly Olivier. A portion of all sales will be donated to the Art Center student scholarship fund. The salon will be hosted by Archetype Press and Art Center professors Leah Toby Hoffmitz and Gloria Kondrup. Don’t miss it!
South Campus Gallery Salon: “Please Don’t Feed the Models”
Saturday, March 6, 6-9 pm
South Campus Gallery