Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on the Future of the Book

The Marriage of Digital and Traditional Techniques in the Production of Small Edition Handbound Books

Karen Ackoff.

This presentation will cover various issues, both digital and traditional, in the production of small edition handbound books for niche printing. The focus will be one of permanence of materials, with the intention of producing an archivally sound product.

Digital issues will include permanence of various inkjet inks readily available to consumers. Some consumer-level inkjet printers have ratings of up to 25 years. Of even more interest is the Epson 2200, utilizing Ultra Chrome inks, which can produce prints rated up to 100 years or more. Various papers will be discussed, including the two-sided printing necessary for book production.

Discussion of traditional hand-binding techniques will be from the standpoint of a small edition, but will set up the binding in an assembly-line fashion. Recommendations for archival boards, papers, and glues will be covered. The binding process will be documented, including the sewing, trimming, and casing in of the contents.

All steps will be documented with illustrations and photographs, so that anyone may easily reproduce the steps outlined to produce a small edition book that combines both digital and traditional hand techniques.


Karen Ackoff  (United States)
Associate Professor of Visual Arts
Ernestine M. Raclin School of the Arts
Indiana University South Bend

Karen Ackoff is an illustrator, designer, and fine artist. She has exhibited both in the U.S. and abroad, and her illustrations have been published in numerous books and journals. Ms. Ackoff has taught for numerous institutions, including the University of the Arts (Philadelphia), Maryland Institute College of Art (Baltimore), New York Botanical Garden (NYC) and The Scottsdale Artists' School (Arizona). She worked as a Scientific Illustrator at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution from 1987-1997. Her work ranges from small, delicate renderings of natural objects, to imagined composite creatures. She works in a range of techniques, including egg tempera, silverpoint, watercolor, as well as creating computer-generated imagery. Ms. Ackoff is presently the Program Coordinator for the Graphic Design Program at Indiana University South Bend.

  • digital printing
  • handbinding
  • archival
  • niche printing

(Virtual Presentation, English)