June 18, 2020
Brenda and Ned reveal their long process of collecting, designing, and printing that resulted in a beautiful, limited-edition letterpress book, a true labor of love.
After their son was born in 2013, Ned and Brenda began to conceive of a meaningful purpose for the collection of type, woodblocks, and line-engraved images that they have been amassing for 20+ years. They decided to create a learning tool, a unique letterpress book of ABCs that took five years to make. The project combines many facets of their lives: family, teaching, letterpress printing, design, and collecting.
The project was born out of their shared passion for design, a focus on typography, an engagement with design history, and an infatuation with letterpress artifacts. Ned and Brenda strongly believe in the preservation of a living history of letterpress, as there is no greater tool for teaching future generations of typographers about the craft and the value of hands-on work.
They also believe that it is essential to intentionally make space for those projects that are labors of love, projects that integrate play and discovery into the creative process, on personal terms. The freedom of those experiments is essential for creative growth.
About the Speakers
Ned Drew is a senior faculty member within the Graphic Design Program at Rutgers University-Newark where he teaches design and design history courses. Drew was a member of the AIGA’s DEC Steering Committee and is the Founding Director of The Design Consortium, a student/teacher design studio.
Drew was the co-editor of Design Education in Progress: Volumes 1, 2 and 3 and co-author of BY ITS COVER, Purity of Aim: The Book Jacket Designs of Alvin Lustig and George Giusti: The Idea is the Heart of the Matter.
Drew’s work has been included in Typographic Design: Form and Communication, Graphic Design Referenced, US Design 1975-2000, Working with Computer Type, the AIGA’s Rethinking Design 3: Speaking Volumes, Graphic Design Solutions and Color Management. Drew’s work has also been recognized by the AIGA, the TDC, the IDA, the Art Directors Club, Creativity, the FPO Awards, the UCDA and the AAM as well as Graphis, Communication Arts, Print and How magazines.
Brenda McManus is an Assistant Professor of Graphic Design in the Art Department at Pace University–NYC. Brenda’s research encompasses typography, integrating antiquated and contemporary technology and methods of making and collaborative design processes.
Brenda received her MS and MFA from Pratt Institute’s Graduate Communication Design Program and has experience in design research, design management, art direction, design writing and a passion for typography.
McManus is the co-author of George Giusti: The Idea is the Heart of the Matter. Her work has been included in Graphic Design Solutions, 4th Ed, Typographic Design: Form and Communication, 6th edition, Color Management for Logos and Color Management: A Comprehensive Guide for Graphic Designers. McManus’s work has also been recognized by the AIGA, the TDC, the Art Directors Club, the FPO Awards, Creativity, the UCDA, IDA as well as Graphis, Communication Arts, Print and How magazines.