The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) Degree in Print Paper Book
To be a print paper book major is to focus not only on the image itself but also on how it's made, how often, and on what.
This program is all about exploring process, and MCAD provides the technology for discovery: digital, intaglio, lithography, monotype, Eastern and Western papermaking, artists' books—you name it, we have it.
Print paper book is a major offered in the four-year BFA degree program. Our BFA curriculum is rooted by
Core Four—foundation courses that enhance students' professional development.
Select three of: 9 PPB 2000 Print Paper Book Techniques 3
This course introduces students to the interrelated fields of printmaking, papermaking, and bookbinding. Basic printmaking techniques including screenprinting and relief are covered. Western papermaking is introduced along with discussions of commercial printing papers and nontraditional materials. Basic bookbinding techniques are covered and include accordion, stab binding, and single-signature pamphlet binding. While subsequent courses explore each field separately and in-depth, this introductory course provides an opportunity to study all three areas as an integrated whole.
Prerequisites: Foundation: Drawing 1 PPB 3010 Relief Printmaking 3
Students explore a variety of textures, mark-making, and image techniques in the direct and versatile medium of relief printmaking. Media include linoleum and wood block, collographs, pressure printing, stenciling masks, and wood type. Technical information on cutting techniques, printing by hand and press, reduction and multi-block prints, overprinting, and color layering are also covered. Demonstrations, lectures, and field trips support course material.
Prerequisites: Foundation: Drawing 1 and Foundation: 2D PPB 3015 Screenprinting 3
Screenprinting is a direct printmaking technique that builds images from layers of color. Students will explore photographic, computer-generated, hand drawn and painted stencil techniques. Through field trips, slide lectures, print samples, and critiques, the course will provide an overview of the wide range of historical and contemporary approaches. Students will complete a portfolio of editioned and non-editioned prints. Nontoxic, water-based inks will be used.
Prerequisites: Foundation: Drawing 1 and Foundation: 2D PPB 3020 Intaglio 3
Through experimentation with process and practice, including the editioning of copper plates, students use different grounds, aquatints, acids, and dry-point techniques to gain an understanding of the intaglio process. Line work, halftones, Xerox transfers, chine colle, color printing and photo etching are all possibilities. Both historical and contemporary applications are explored.
Prerequisites: Foundation: Drawing 1 and Foundation: 2D PPB 3025 Lithography 3
The process of lithography allows the artist to draw directly on grained lithographic limestone and aluminum plates to create printable matrices. Students experience both the graphic capacity and painterly possibilities of this medium through a wide range of dry and wet lithographic drawing material. Students develop a portfolio of print-based work emphasizing personal imagery using primarily plate lithography while incorporating Xerox transfer, traditional stone lithography, and photo and digital processes. Historical and contemporary contexts are explored through lectures and field trips to museums and/or print studios.
Prerequisites: Foundation: Drawing 1, Foundation: 2D PPB 3030 Photo Processes in Printmaking 3
Students gain working knowledge of a variety of printmaking techniques that involve photographic and digitally generated images. Students explore photo-plate processes such as Z-Acryl etching, photo litho, pronto, and photo-polymer plates. Techniques include contact printing, halftones and four-color separations. Students are encouraged to experiment within a wide range of possibilities while exploring the conceptual and aesthetic exchange between printmaking and photography.
Prerequisites: all Foundation studio requirements, one Print Paper Book course PPB 3035 Digital Printmaking 3
This course introduces students to contemporary printmaking trends in digital technology. The emphasis is on experimentation and discovery through various techniques including the inkjet printer as painting tool, the scanner as camera, the production of oversize prints, and repeat pattern printing. Through screenprinting, relief, and digital output, this course considers the shift and overlap of old and new techniques as a vital investigation in contemporary visual culture. Contemporary artists working in digital and print-based media are discussed.
Prerequisites: all Foundation studio requirements, one Print Paper Book course PPB 3040 Making Space: Large Scale Prints 3
This course investigates print-based concepts and strategies through installation, intervention and site-specificity. Students are introduced to oversize printing techniques, repeat imagery for large- scale works, and unconventional printing surfaces. The context for studio investigations ranges from gallery to public domain, encouraging a variety of perspectives on site engagement while expanding the definition of print.
Prerequisites: all Foundation studio requirements
Select two of: 6 PPB 3070 Papermaking 3
In this course, students learn how to make artwork with handmade paper from recycled materials, botanical fibers, and imported fiber. The course covers sheet formation for drawing, painting, and printmaking purposes, as well as 3D applications in sculpture or lighting projects. Work in related areas such as bookbinding, surface applications, and paper uses in other disciplines are encouraged. Students are expected to experiment with the technical information presented and develop new work.
Prerequisites: Foundation: 2D PPB 3075 Dimensional Paper 2
Students are introduced to Western and Eastern fiber techniques and make 3D work with and without armatures. Fibers include cotton, abaca, and flax for work with plaster molds, vacuum table, and pulp sprayer. Four-foot by eight-foot paper and flexible molds are used with strong, translucent Eastern fiber. Students are encouraged to investigate experimental methods of production in order to develop their own working methods.
Prerequisites: Foundation: 3D PPB 3050 Artists' Books 3
Traditional and sculptural books provide exciting options for artistic expression. This course is an interdisciplinary exploration of art in the book form, ranging from one-of-a-kind books to printed multiples and sculptural works. Individual projects focus on the relationship of form and content and employ a wide range of media and materials for text and/or images. Contemporary and historical artists’ books will be explored through critique, samples, slide lectures and field trips.
Prerequisites: all Foundation studio requirements PPB 3055 Books: Materials and Techniques 3
Students explore the materials and techniques of book construction through a variety of forms, from simple pamphlets for editions to hardcover multiple-section books. Adhesive and non-adhesive bindings and covers, folded and sewn structures, and Japanese and Western styles are included. Additional projects include presentation cases, envelopes, and box-making. Integration of contents to outer wrapping is discussed, from self-promotion to client presentations. Demonstrations, material exploration, and class discussions complement student projects.
Prerequisites: all Foundation studio requirements PPB 3060 Books: Series Sequence Structure 3
This course explores the internal structure and content of the book form. Topics include the relationships between image/text, caption/illustration, and truth/lies. The development of voice, rhythm, and timing is examined as components of narrative structure. Although simple bookbinding is incorporated, the course concentrates on developing subject matter and ways of telling. Assignments include small editions and collaborative and student-proposed projects. Work may be produced using the medium of students’ choice, including photo, illustration, digital, printmaking, and drawing. Lectures, films, and readings complement course material.
Prerequisites: all Foundation studio requirements PPB 3065 Books and Broadsides 3
This course examines the traditional forms and contemporary possibilities of the printed book. From one-page poetry and political broadsides to multi-paged books, students explore a range of printing and distribution methods. Text and image, page layout, and overall book design are covered. Print technologies covered include letterpress with handset type and photo-polymer plate, relief and collograph techniques, and the wood-type poster press. Projects may be one-of-a-kind, editioned, or collaborative. Basic bookbinding as appropriate to the projects will be covered.
Prerequisites: all Foundation studio requirements, one Print Paper Book course
varying Select one additional course from the previous two drop downs 3
Choose any additional one course from the previous 14 courses listed in the two drop downs above.
Select one of: 3 GRD 2000 Introduction to Graphic Design 3
This course provides students with an overview of graphic design practice. Students concentrate on building visual language and communication skills as well as the vocabulary necessary for critical analysis. Topics covered include basic visual and typographic principles, type and image integration, composition, sequence, and craft. Students are also introduced to the design process, which includes research, ideation, iteration, refinement, and implementation. Image/image-series, logotypes, mark-making, digital presentations, and booklets are possible outcomes of this course.
Prerequisites: Foundation: 2D, Foundation: Drawing 1, Foundation: Media 1, Foundation: Media 2 (Foundation: Drawing 1 and Foundation: Media 2 may be taken concurrently GRD 2010 Typography 1 3
This course emphasizes foundational typographic principles from letterform construction to hierarchies of extended text. Particular attention is directed toward typographic vocabulary, type as image, typographic organization, and the utilization of supporting grid structures. Through assignments, larger projects, and critiques, students are expected to demonstrate an understanding of typography as a visual tool used to enhance verbal meaning.
Prerequisites: Foundation: 2D, Foundation: Drawing 1, Foundation: Media 1, Foundation: Media 2 (Foundation: Drawing 1 and Foundation: Media 2 may be taken concurrently)
AH 3367 History of Print Paper Book 3
Print revolutionized the world, making information accessible to the public and advancing the cause of democracy across the globe. It also made possible unique art forms. This course focuses on the history of making unique images and objects, from the Renaissance to present, by focusing on various techniques and media. Emphasis is placed on class lectures and discussions on the exploration, innovation, and technical virtuosity demonstrated by various artists and movements. Classes are primarily lecture with some discussion. Students will be required to complete in-class examinations as well as a research essay.
FAS 3090 Critical Studies 3
Critical Studies examines the relationship between art, culture, and student work. This examination is related to many forms, including the aesthetic, political, social, and philosophical components that exist within works of art. Students focus on making work in the context of cultural issues. The cross-disciplinary composition of this course increases the depth of discussions and critiques. May be repeated for elective credit with a different instructor.
Prerequisites: Sophomore standing
FA 4000 Professional Practice 3
This course addresses processes needed to succeed in the contemporary professional art world. Topics include grant writing, approaching galleries and graduate schools, and documenting and marketing work. Guest lecturers and course faculty will cover establishing a studio, copyright issues, tax and legal documents, and general professional business startup and concerns. Visiting artist presentations connect abstract information with real-world experience.
Prerequisites: Junior standing
PPB 4010 Internship 3
Internships provide an opportunity for students to gain practical experience in a particular career area and valuable on-the-job skills. Internships may be arranged by the Director of Career Services or initiated by students. All internships must be pre-approved through the Career Services Office. For an internship to be approved, a mentor relationship and learning experience should exist beyond a simple employment opportunity. Three-credit internships require working 135 hours at the internship site and keeping a journal of hours and activities.
Prerequisites: Professional Practice
PPB 5010 Advanced Print Paper Book Seminar 3
In this course, students develop imagery and content through studio work and discussions of contemporary print, paper, and book media. By examining their own studio practice in relation to current topics in the field, students expand their perspectives while developing new work. This course is for the advanced student who is interested in developing a self-motivated, sustained body of work and an understanding of the relationships between the formal, conceptual, and historical aspects of print, paper, and book. Studio practice will be supported by development of critical thinking skills, individual and group critiques, guest critiques, writing exercises, and readings covering artists, criticism, and theory.
Prerequisites: three 3000-level Print Paper Book courses, successful Junior Review
PPB 5100 Senior Project 6
During senior year, every Print Paper Book major is required to develop and complete a substantial body of work in a specific field. This course provides a forum for the critical evaluation of this work and curatorial guidance in preparation for the commencement exhibition. Course content includes critical readings, a position paper, individual and group discussions, and informational meetings.
Prerequisites: successful Junior Review, Senior standing
First-Year Studio Foundation 15 FDN 1111 Foundation: 2D 3
Foundation: 2D is an introduction to creative thinking that develops students’ skills in research, observation, interpretation, and self-expression. An emphasis is placed on exploring new ways to read and see the world, as well as new ways to report on it. Students learn basic two-dimensional principles through the use of various media, tools, materials, and processes. As a result, students develop a visual and verbal language for analyzing, organizing, shaping, and communicating two-dimensional form and meaning.
FDN 1112 Foundation: 3D 3
This course is an introduction to understanding of visual creation for the development of knowledge, imagination, and perception. Students are introduced to basic three-dimensional concepts as well as materials and technical production processes. Classroom activities include shop demonstrations of tools and techniques, information, lectures, and discussions appropriate to promote the balanced fusion of practice and theory.
FDN 1211 Foundation: Drawing 1 3
This course is an introductory drawing course designed to prepare students for study in all majors of the College. Students develop basic drawing skills, including the ability to perceive and express visual relationships, organize a two-dimensional composition, and depict and manipulate form, space, and light. Students work from direct observation of still life, interior spaces, and landscape.
FDN 1311 Foundation: Media 1 3
Students are introduced to the digital resources at MCAD while exploring digital media and laptop computing. Areas covered include the Service Bureau, student servers, Media Center, and digital resources. Students discuss media and media artists as well as study various software applications including Adobe Photoshop and web-development tools.
FDN 1212 Foundation: Drawing 2 3
This course is an observationally based drawing course designed to reinforce and develop the basic drawing skills established in Foundation: Drawing 1. Students work with a variety of subjects, including a substantial amount of drawing from the figure. In addition to working from direct observation, students explore drawing as a tool for invention, conceptualization, and idea development. The course also affords students an opportunity to investigate drawing materials in more breadth and depth than in Foundation: Drawing 1.
Prerequisites: Foundation: Drawing 1
First-Year Liberal Arts Foundation 12 AH 1701 Introduction to Art and Design History 1 3
The objective of this course is to familiarize students with the major stylistic, thematic, and historical trends in Western art history from prehistoric times through the nineteenth century. This course is designed to encourage a critical understanding of the meaning and function of art objects, architecture, and design artifacts within their original historical contexts. The final section of this course deals with the emergence of modernity in art. Class sessions consist primarily of lecture with some discussion. Students will take in-class examinations and complete short essay assignments.
AH 1702 Introduction to Art and Design History 2 3
This course introduces students to issues in contemporary cultural theory, popular culture, and contemporary art and design. Topics include anti-aesthetic challenges to modernist aesthetics, the rise of consumerism, the proliferation of the designed object, and the transition from source-oriented media to user oriented media, among others. The course is a roughly equal mix of lecture and discussion. Students will produce short writing assignments and will complete written exams consisting of identification and essay questions.
EN 1100 Reading and Writing 1 3
Effective writing requires innovative thinking and creative engagement. Students in this course focus on building a writing portfolio by developing college-level writing skills and using these skills to produce a variety of assignments. Regular writing workshops will allow students to concentrate on experiential and practical approaches to writing. Assigned course materials will explore a variety of texts and objects. By the end of the course students will have the foundational skills to be reflective and eloquent writers. Class sessions are composed of seminar discussions, group work, and writing workshops. Course requirements include participation, presentations, directed group work and research assignments, and a portfolio of seven essays.
EN 1200 Reading and Writing 2 3
Key to the creative and critical nature of college-level writing is the idea that students explore a topic by developing a thesis that changes as they ask questions, explore ideas, and conduct research. To that end, this course extends and concentrates the thinking and communication skills introduced in Reading and Writing 1. The foci of this course are developing a thesis; engaging in critical and sustained research; and drafting, revising, editing, and proofreading a finished research project. As a result, students will become increasingly adept at utilizing a wide variety of research tools, from published books to online search engines. The final project will be a completed research paper and a visual presentation using programs such as PowerPoint. Class sessions are composed of seminar discussions, research exercises, presentations and debates, and writing workshops. Course requirements include participation, presentations, a research journal, a major research paper and a final research presentation.
Second-Year Studio Foundation 4 FDN 1411 Ideation and Process 3
Everything we make has its beginning as an idea, which takes form as the artist/designer makes a series of decisions to guide its creative evolution. This course is designed to help students explore the development of new ideas and their own process of making. Students also create visual tools to track their creative process from idea through construction and then to post-production analysis. The course consists of discussions, critiques, exercises, and visual logs.
Prerequisites: Sophomore standing FDN 1412 Sophomore Seminar: Contemporary Practice 1
Practice is more than working methods: it’s the context, marketing, and creative space that maintain creative work. This course is designed to introduce students to the variety, tools, and foundations of a professional practice. Students upgrade websites and documentation, enter contests, and create a professional presentation of their work as well as hear from guest speakers from a wide range of disciplines. Classes consist of lectures, student presentations, and guest speakers.
Prerequisites: Sophomore standing
varying Studio Electives 23
Print Paper Book majors take 26 elective studio credits in any media they choose.
Liberal Arts Electives
varying Liberal Arts Electives 24
Print Paper Book majors take liberal arts electives in the following distribution:
Art History (6 credits)
Scientific Perspectives (3 credits)
Economic and Mathematical Systems (3 credits)
Global Perspectives (3 credits)
Political Thought and Ethics (3 credits)
Creative and Professional Writing (3 credits)
Liberal Arts Capstone Course (3 credits)