Students from UB’s Shintaro Akatsu School of Design (SASD), along with leading artists and art book makers, invited the public to go ahead and judge their books by their covers on Friday, December 11 at a unique exhibition held at the Yale University Art Gallery.
The show, “Odds and Ends,” showcased books by ten student graphic design majors from SASD; small independent publishers who focus on art, architecture, photography, and design; rare and limited-edition books; and ’zines printed in short runs. Student designers from Yale School of Art, and the Rhode Island School of Design were also included.
“We were really excited to give students an opportunity to develop their own ideas from scratch, and share them in a broadened context,” said Emily Larned, chair of the Graphic Design program at SASD.
“Many students were in control of every aspect of production of their books, and they learned a lot from those processes. And now to be part of this really dynamic, exciting event where among such brilliant books their work is attracting a lot of interest—it really gives them confidence in their abilities. [SASD professor] Karl Heine and I are very proud.”
SASD students produced an astonishing range and diversity of books.
YoungHee Do, a senior graphic design major at SASD, hand silkscreened images and printed copy using a letterpress to produce a traditional Korean fairy tale about dokkaebi, or spirits. Her old-fashioned printing techniques reflected the story’s longevity, which Do said has been told and retold for generations.
“These creatures love mischief and playing mean tricks on bad people. They also reward good people with wealth and blessings,” said Do.
Student Erin McNally took a more contemporary approach, utilizing computer-generated digital pictures, each slightly different than the other, to create a flipbook animation of a cat trying to get into a goldfish bowl.
Their classmate, T.J. Sallah, wanted to pay tribute to Connecticut, so he created “a consumable book” of high-quality art postcards—which he said he hoped people would use—illustrated with vintage drawings of sea life from Long Island Sound.
“A book can be utilitarian,” said Sallah, underscoring both the beauty and functionality of nature and art.