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The University Magazine

RIT publishing initiative enters new era

Lawson Center
Noted typeface designer Hermann Zapf, left, and calligrapher Julian Waters examine original artwork for Zapf’s 1949 book, Feder und Stichel (Pen and Graver), recently donated to RIT by Zapf and his wife, Gudrun Zapf von Hesse.

RIT’s new Alexander S. Lawson Publishing Center will serve as home for RIT’s Cary Graphic Arts Press as well as a new imprint, RIT Press.

Named in honor of RIT’s first Cary Professor, the Lawson Publishing Center is a major step in establishing a university-wide press at RIT. The Cary Graphic Arts Press has been spearheading publishing projects with increasing regularity since its first commercial release in 2001. It has published 40 books to date.

“We expect to use the new RIT Press imprint in the future on all titles that are non-graphic arts related,” says David Pankow, curator of the Cary Library and director of the press.

“This additional imprint allows us to legitimately describe ourselves as RIT’s university press without appearing to favor any particular discipline. We are very excited we have reached the point where we can broadly advertise our presence to the academic community,” he says.

“The press follows customary university press standards and every manuscript is peer reviewed and then, after being accepted for publication, each new title is produced to the highest possible design and production standards,” Pankow says.

The renovated space on the second floor of Wallace Library features an exhibition gallery, a sales area, office space and expanded production offices.

Hermann Zapf, a noted typeface designer and Lawson’s successor at RIT, traveled from Germany to attend the opening. Zapf taught in RIT’s School of Printing from 1977 to 1987. Zapf, along with award-winning calligrapher and graphic designer Jerry Kelly, prepared the typography for the center’s glass wall, inscribed with famous quotations about reading, publishing and typography. Valerie O’Hara ’76 (art and design), owner of Pike Stained Glass Studios in Rochester, handled the glass fabrication.

The first publication with he RIT Press imprint will be a revised and enlarged edition of the history of RIT written by Dane Gordon, professor emeritus of philosophy. Rochester Institute of Technology: Industrial Development and Educational Innovation in an American City, 1829-2006 will be published this year.

Kelly Downs