The conference is dedicated to the printed book and book design with a focus on book’s material nature. We invite speakers to present their research on the history of book design, layout peculiarities, image and text relations, typography, binding, cover, and print materials.

Speakers are encouraged to look at the printed book as a space that bridges illustration and design experiments, as well as possibilities given by constantly developing printing techniques. The conference will discuss the material body of the book: what it communicates, and what dialogues it encourages between illustrations and the layout, how it reflects art historical styles as well as patrons’ or clients’ requests?

The following topics are welcome at the conference:

  • The dawn of print: printers; the development of fonts; written and printed word correlation; book-binding workshops and schools; book canons and formats; the impact of functional development on the book form and décor.
  • The book in the Renaissance and Baroque: new visual structure with the emergence and proliferation of the emblem genre; the invention of copper engraving; new possibilities of science and knowledge communication.
  • The book in the 19th century: from machine printing brought about by the Industrial Revolution, and fast publishing, to the return of hand-made book under the influence of the Arts and Crafts movement and its core figure William Morris.
  • The book in the 20th century: different theories behind typography; compositional principles; communicative and artistic unity in the book; idiosyncrasies of publishing under various political regimes and war conditions.
  • The book in the 21st century: new design solutions, forms, and strategies of visual communication; cutting-edge technology; copyright fonts; layout; concepts of typography.

Please submit your paper abstract along with short bio to or by 1 October 2019.

Conference date: 7–9 May 2020.

Organisers: The Institute of Art Research at Vilnius Academy of Arts
Dr. Jolita Liškevičienė, tel.: +370 (650) 32048
Dr. Ieva Pleikienė, tel.: +370 (699) 43952

Partner: Vilnius University Library