We learned to make books the old-fashioned way: one letter at a time. We also know how to turn on a computer. Because we’ve had our fingers and faces in ye olde metal type, we know that letters aren’t just pictures of things. They are things. We treat things with respect. Better still: We treat readers with respect.
Metal and Digital Are In Our Blood
All about Michael Russem, Principal
Michael Russem grew up in North Andover, Masachusetts, before moving to Syracuse, Florence, Athens, and now Cambridge. He spent three years working at the Press & Letterfoundry of Michael & Winifred Bixler, where he learned almost everything he knows about the minutiae of letters and spacing and pages. For a good eighteen years he was a printer and a book designer. Now he’s just a book designer. When he’s not designing books, he’s looking at books or reading books or riding his bike or running or shopping or selling linen or looking at overlooked design or wearing a cardigan. Actually, he’s usually wearing a cardigan.
Regarding Katherine Russem (d. 2009), Vice Principal
Having grown up in Syracuse, Katherine was anxious to move away to Florence and Cambridge. She didn’t go to fancy schools. Her senses of design and what’s right and wrong were more innate. She was a doer, not a thinker. Attentive and caring, she was the one who would turn into the “attack dog” of the office if you crossed us. She enjoyed eating bread, walking, resting, and sitting for portraits. She was the best.
A Short Note on the Staff of Kat Ran Press
It’s not just Michael. (Well, now it is). The staff has included Leah Allen, Kirsten Baringer, Mary Jane Dean, Stephanie Gibbs, Ella Gray, Corinne Gill, Phoebe Mathews, Melissa Schmechel, Jocelyn Webb, and Mollie Zanoni. Only two are still involved in the making of books. The others have become an art director, landscape architect, artist, midwife, editor, environmental activist, designer, and a baker. They all had good ideas, were good company, and were very patient with us. We couldn’t have done it without them.
A Short Note on Our Clients
Since its founding in 1994, the Staff of Kat Ran Press has designed books, portfolios, catalogues, and ephemera for
David R. Godine, Publisher
The Grolier Club
Handel & Haydn Society
Harvard University Press
Hudson Hills Press
The Lone Oak Press
New England Historical Society
New York Review Books
NSU Art Museum
Oak Knoll Books
Rare Book School
Rhode Island Historical Society
Society of Printers
Triolet Rare Books
Two Ponds Press
University of Washington Press
Veatchs Arts of the Book
The Watkinson Library