American Breeding Standards is the most recent work from Crooked Letter Press run by book artist and graphic designer Ellen Knudson and was produced in an edition of 60 in 2012-2013 in Gainesville, Florida. This artist book explores the systemized rules about what comprises a good or bad horse, a good or bad woman — and the steps one might take to achieve the breed standard.
American Breeding Standards was designed and letterpress printed on Zerkall Book paper. The illustrations and text are printed from photo-polymer plates and handset metal types. Some text excerpted from American Horses and Horse Breeding (John Dimon, 1895) and Canine Breeding Standards of the German Shepherd (American Kennel Club, 2012), while the rest of the text and illustration are by Ellen.
The binding structure is an exposed spine sewn on Cave Paper tapes and attached to paste paper covered boards. The cover of the book has a hinged pop-up that folds out. There are also 3 additional foldout pages throughout the book.
While setting up the Marking Time exhibition for the Guild of Book Workers at Dartmouth College, I came across Ellen’s piece Self-Dual (How to Walk a 30,000 Mile Tightrope). By the way, I’ll be featuring this book in a post later this month. The prints featured in this artist book are beautifully illustrated and printed in rich and muted earth tones. The book was favorably executed as the dos-a-dos style binding.
I’m excited to present this interview with Ellen and to post a portion of her work throughout the month of July. Ellen has such a versatile design sense, offering a range of artist books so throughly executed. Read the interview after the jump and come back each Monday in the month of July for more posts on Ellen Knudson.