Ellen Knudson, “Ingress / Egress”

Clamshell / wrapper enclosure for suite of six books.

Interior of enclosure and fan display of the 6 french-fold books.

The six books: (1) Books are Architecture, (2) Books are Collections, (3) Books are Environments, (4) Books are Maps, (5) Books are Plans, (6) Books are Processes.

Wrapper enclosure.


Ellen Knudson
Gainesville, Florida

Ingress / Egress
Letterpress printing
edition size of 50
24 pages
9 x 12 x 1/8″
9 x 6 x 3/4″


Artist Statement

The work produced by crooked letterpress is the synthesis of images and words in the form of letterpress printed handmade books and printed matter. In all of the work produced by the crooked letterpress, a visual environment is created in which the reader/viewer is an active participant; the typography is to be viewed, the imagery to be read, and vice versa. The choices of text, imagery, materials, and binding structure are made entirely in support of the environment of the printed piece.

“I’m interested in the distillation of a subject using typography and image within the book form. Reading is a sequential and time-based process. My interest in the book lies in the opportunity to guide a reader’s progression through the visual organization of text and image. I also revel in the craft of book art: the exploration of materials, and the effort to strike a balance between artistic and practical choices. Those processes involve intimacy and acute observation. That is ultimately what my work is about.”

Artist Biography

Ellen Knudson is a book artist / designer producing handmade books under the imprint Crooked Letter Press. She is currently an Associate in Book Arts at The University of Florida. She holds an MFA in Book Arts from The University of Alabama. Ellen has been a book artist for 18 years and a professional graphic designer for 25 years including graphic design positions at The Art Institute of Chicago and The Detroit Institute of Arts. She has taught letterpress printing and Book Arts at The University of Florida, The University of Alabama, and graphic design at Mississippi State University and Wayne State University, as well as letterpress & book arts workshops around the country. Her work is in the collections of The Library of Congress (DC), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (CA), Yale University (CT) and many other national and international collections. Her most recent work is titled Made Up (2015), a non-scientific science book about the imaginary cellular composition of the human body.

Ingress / Egress

Ingress / Egress is an artist’s book that contemplates the design of artists’ books. The intent of the piece is to encourage ideation on the theme “books are”. The six French-fold books use a visual design system, geometry, typography, and color to investigate these ideas: (1) Books are Architecture, (2) Books are Collections, (3) Books are Environments, (4) Books are Maps (5) Books are Plans (6) Books are Processes. The French folds are housed in a wrapper & clamshell enclosure. Books are letterpress printed on Japanese mulberry paper from photopolymer plates. The translucency of the mulberry paper produces layers of reading in each book, and the potential interaction of layers amongst the entire suite of books. Edition of 50 books. 6”W x 9”H x 3/4”D.

Ingress / Egress is the 2015 edition in the Artists’ Publication Series from the Ringling College of Art and Design. The book was designed by book artist Ellen Knudson of Crooked Letter Press, Gainesville, Florida. The edition was letterpress printed and produced at the Ringling College Letterpress and Book Arts Center. Special thanks to the Ringling College student assistants that helped with the production and binding stages of the process. The six french-fold structures are printed on Japanese mulberry paper from photopolymer plates by Boxcar Press. The typefaces used are Humanist 521 BT, Spectrum MT, and a typeface named Spindle, drawn by Ellen Knudson. Other materials used are Colorplan papers and Dover book cloth.