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Friday, June 2, 2023


Seniors in a bind for Book Machine exhibit


The Book Machine Exhibit was hosted in the Texas Contemporary Arts fair Sept 5-7. | Julie Nguyen/The Cougar

Twenty-two seniors from the School of Arts Graphic Design Program at UH took on the challenge of designing book covers in just 3.5 hours during Book Machine, which took place from Sept. 5 to Sept. 7 at George R. Brown Convention Center.

“It’s a really unique experience for them to work in a public environment: working with a very quick turnaround, collaborating with the artist, getting exposure on a large scale in a large venue and an event like the Texas Contemporary (Art Fair). It’s been a really unique process,” said associate professor Cheryl Beckett.

French printing company Onestar Press paired graphic designers with authors to design and print a book in 3.5 hour sessions.

“There’s a lot of layers in this project, and the experience that the students can have is great,” Beckett said.

She said she was partially interested in this project due to the extra elements it could add to the students’ education.

“In the sense of them working with, negotiating and collaborating with the artists, I think that that is a wonderful opportunity … Certainly one we do in our profession, but not usually combined with a race against the clock.”

Every member of Beckett’s class participated in the exhibit.

“It was kind of daunting to design five books in one weekend,” said graphic design senior Camille Domangue. “A lot of it was just me remembering how to do things that I hadn’t used in over a year. We didn’t know we were signed up for this. But it was an exciting experience.”

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