Saint Xavier University
#CallingAllDoers #WeAreSXU
SXU News - Saint Xavier University News

SXU Professor Catherine Ruggie Saunders Receives Graphic Design Award


Saint Xavier University (SXU) Art and Design Professor Catherine Ruggie Saunders was awarded the Graphic Design USA 2019 American Graphic Design Award for her book, "For the Love of Letterpress: A Printing Handbook for Instructors and Students." Graphic Design USA spotlights areas of excellence and opportunity for creative professionals. With roughly 10,000 submitted entries, only 10% are chosen as winners.

"For the Love of Letterpress: A Printing Handbook for Instructors and Students" is a unique combination of a gallery documenting contemporary letterpress printing, technical instructions on letterpress printing and instructions on the teaching of letterpress. First published in 2013, the book had been adopted as a textbook in colleges and universities and added as a reference to design libraries in school. The second edition has been released as of 2019 and includes two global calls for entries of work from letterpress artists and letterpress instructors' assignments.

Ruggie Saunders  co-authored the book with Martha Chiplis, an art professor and graphic designer at the Art Institute of Chicago. Ruggie Saunders first met Chiplis as an undergraduate student in 1985. Ruggie Saunders and Chiplis remained friends and colleagues throughout the years. In 2012, the two decided to write the first edition of their book together, and in 2017, they revised and expanded it. "We are honored to be included in such a prestigious national competition," said Ruggie Saunders. "And since our first edition was a winner also, it's a double privilege." 

Their book has contributed to the education of artists and designers to ensure longevity of a medium that dates back to the 15th century. It addresses the current resurgence of interest in the technology and aesthetic of letterpress printing, especially within higher education. Endorsed by several prominent designers, authors and typographers, the book is considered an essential reference for the next generation of artists, designers and printers.

"Working in a letterpress studio is a whole-body experience. One's art demands a rhythmic unity of mind and hand, and in a more palpable sense, all of one's senses are engaged. One's eyes are not just reading the words, but one's fingers are touching and choosing each character, each space. Undoubtedly there is an innate human attraction to letterpress. Love at first glance," said Ruggie Saunders.

Join SXU in congratulating Professor Ruggie Saunders on this esteemed achievement!