Master printer and book designer Peter Rutledge Koch will speak on “Why Fine Printing: Remarks on the Fate of the Art” in the Hill Memorial Library Lecture Hall at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, February 21. This free event is open to the public. It is co-sponsored by the LSU Libraries and the Baton Rouge Bibliophiles.
Koch will discuss how he has used his printing business to create and transmit ideas about language and form, both in his own work and by designing and directing collaborative publishing projects with others. He will explore the role of the fine press in the university setting and how a study of the crafts needed to make books can enlighten and enhance appreciation of books and literature. Examples of his work will be on display and attendees will be able to chat informally with Koch after his presentation.
Koch has been designing and printing books and ephemera since 1974, beginning his career in Missoula, Montana and later settling in the San Francisco Bay area. Following the San Francisco literary tradition of fine press printing, he has acquired an international reputation. His clients range from research libraries to bibliophilic organizations, major publishers, and private collectors. Between commissions, he designs, prints and publishes limited editions of ancient Greek philosophers, the musings of maverick poets, and the images of world-renowned wood engravers and photographers. When not working in his studio, he teaches the history of typographic design and printing on the Albion hand press at the University of California, Berkeley’s Bancroft Library Press. Koch has collaborated with writers and artists such as W.S. Merwin, Denise Levertov, Margaret Atwood, Robert Duncan, Jess Collins, Thom Gunn, Robert Creeley, Manuel Neri, Joseph Goldyne, Guy Davenport, Ismail Kadare, Robert Bringhurst, and Toni Morrison. He has won numerous prizes for excellence in design, including the Rounce & Coffin Western Books Exhibition Award of Merit, the American Institute for Graphic Arts Award for Excellence, and most recently, the Book Club of California’s Oscar Lewis Award.
To learn more about Peter Koch and his work, visit his website at http://www.peterkochprinters.com/.