APHA Comes to Chicago and Columbia College!

The 37th Annual American Printing History Annual Conference comes to CBPA this year on October 12 and 13. Since 1976, the APHA has organized an annual conference on a selected theme in printing history, and this year’s theme is At the Crossroads: Living Letterform Traditions.

In the early years the annual conference was invariably held in New York City, but since the mid 1980s the organization has sought venues further afield. Conferences typically consist of a day or two of formal papers, presentations, and panels combined with tours of local collections, studios and other spots of interest to historians of printing. There are also plenty of opportunities for socializing and fellowship.

This year the conference will be held at Columbia College Chicago, located a mile from Lake Michigan, near the city’s original Printer’s Row. The area, active since the 1880s in design and printing, was home to the Inland Printer magazine, the Union Type Foundry, binderies, engravers and huge printing plants built by R.R. Donnelly and Rand McNally, among others. The Chicago region was also home to the Ludlow and Vandercook Companies and designers such as Oswald Cooper, Will Bradley, Frederic W. Goudy, and Robert Hunter Middleton. Although the printing industry is smaller, Chicago remains part of a continuing, vibrant book arts scene. Attendees will have the opportunity to sample some of Chicago’s cultural riches through walking tours and visits to sites such as the Newberry Library, which is celebrating its 125th anniversary, the University of Chicago libraries, the Joan Flasch Artists’ Book Collection at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Center for Book and Paper Arts itself.

The keynote speaker of the conference will be Rick Valicenti, winner of the 2011 National Design Award in Communication Design from the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. Other speakers include Stan Knight. Russell Maret, Steve Matteson, Bill Moran, Paul Moxon, David Peat, Frank J. Romano, Nancy Sharon Collins, Alastair M. Johnston, Craig Eliason, Mary Catharine Johnsen, Paul Shaw, Philip Weimerskirch, and Tom Greensfelder.

For more information on the conference events and registration, click here.