Western New York Book Arts Center | Branding & Environmental Design

Western New York Book Arts Center

The Western New York Book Arts Center is a community print shop and studio for letterpress, screen printing, book binding, paper making, calligraphy, origami, and more. “Book Arts,” as it is known, is a working museum dedicated to preserving the book arts through collaboration and innovation, bridging antique equipment and processes with modern artmaking techniques, and celebrating the heritage of Buffalo’s’ printing industry.

When charged with reimagining the brand identity for Book Arts, two things immediately rose to the surface for us as rich inspiration for a mark – the wood and metal printing type used in letterpress printing, and books. With the mark you see one or the other – or both. Based on the center’s focus on the traditions of printing and bookmaking, there was no need, or desire, for visual gimmicks.

Traditional letterpress printing is an ancient art, not usually associated with vibrant color and energy. There has been a resurgence lately. seeing printing artists and collectives interpreting modern messages and content via traditional printing processes. Book Arts brings this energy to every facet of their operation, so we wanted to celebrate that with custom wall coverings featuring patterns and movement based on the new mark. The website brings these visuals front and center, allowing the art to serve as connective tissue. A prescribed set of typefaces and pattern art support this continuity, and help present the center as a viable, inspired arts hub, and good steward of the grant money that sustains it.