The art of bookmaking, exhibition 'making books together'

7 april 2023

In November 2022, the Graphic Design department orchestrated an event titled 'Love, Friends, and Hard Work', centered around the art of bookmaking, self-publishing, and its tangible realisation. This conference was complemented by the exhibition, 'Making Books Together', which unveiled the complete journey of (self)publishing within an immersive setting.

The exhibition portrayed the evolution from initial idea to the intricate processes of editing, designing, printing, binding, and distribution. An array of books served as living examples and case studies, each revealing its development through a kaleidoscope of trials, experiments, prototypes, and more.

What stood out was the dedication of the students. Their collaboration transcended mere cooperation, resulting in remarkable final outcomes. To underscore the significance of these masters in their respective crafts uniting to craft extraordinary works, we were privileged to host a remarkable lineup of speakers at the conference.

Élodie Boyer, publisher at Édition-Non-Standard (, was present, and her energy was inspiring. She shared insights into her persistent pursuit of the ideal working environment, one that resonated with practitioners from diverse backgrounds.

The internationally acclaimed designer, Karel Martens, with over 40 years of teaching and a distinguished artistic career, enthralled us with his tales of daily inspiration and an unwavering urge to create, driven by ceaseless curiosity.

Intriguingly, author and typography professor Sebastien Morlighem transported us back in time, delving into French history. He illuminated the existence and utilisation of sans-serif type through historical imagery, artfully weaving a delicate and multi-layered visual narrative within an exceptional book.

In conclusion, Stefano van der Knaap (creative director printing house Zwaan Lenoir, NL) elucidated the transformation of these thoughts, works, ideas, and plans into the industrial production process of printing and bookmaking.

We marveled at the workmanship, absorbed the captivating stories and anecdotes, and imbibed lessons from these distinguished speakers. The 'Making Books Together' exhibition served as the perfect backdrop, allowing us to witness the entire creative journey firsthand, from inception to its realisation in the form of books.