Laurie Szujewska (shoe yév skä) is a typographer and artist in whose work the word is the image. She makes prints using the mediums of letterforms, words, oil paints, and inks on a Vandercook printing press.
A love of words, type and all things typographic has been central to her work. In 2005 she focused on the letterpress as an artistic medium and began designing and hand-printing small editions with the Ensatina imprint. Writing in The Education of a Typographer (2004), a collection of essays edited by Steven Heller, Ms. Szujewska noted that:
“Working with the press…provides me with a visceral experience of letterforms as shapes and sculpture moving in space.”
Szujewska acquired her first printing press while living in New York City and working in the printing industry. She studied at the Center for Book Arts and began making artworks focused on working with type and relief printing as an artistic medium. She created graphics for the new music organization, Roulette, and was a member of the band, The Chairs. Her passion for typography led her to advanced study in the masters program at Yale School of Art, where she studied with design masters Paul Rand, Bradbury Thompson, Armin Hoffman, and Wolfgang Weingart.
She then served as a designer, and later art director, for the type products division of Adobe Systems, where she was responsible for the design of numerous award-winning projects, including the Adobe Originals Type Specimen Book Series and the popular typeface Giddyup.
After seven years at Adobe, Ms. Szujewska started her own design firm. Shoe yév skä Design focused on exhibits, logos, books, corporate communications, and publications. The recipient of numerous graphic design awards, Szujewska’s work has been exhibited worldwide.
Ms. Szujewska’s artwork has been exhibited in galleries in Chicago, Portland, Philadelphia, the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, New York, Boston, Houston, and Dublin, Ireland. She has been a guest artist at the San Francisco Art Institute, and has taught design and typography at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. She has also been a guest lecturer Center for Creative Imaging in Camden, Maine; Kent State University; Ball State University; Reed College; and UC Davis.
Szujewska received her Masters degree in Design from the Yale School of Art, and her Bachelors degree in Journalism from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urban, where she first set hot type and designed newspaper pages.
Ms. Szujewska’s home and studio lies nestled in an oak woodland on Sonoma Mountain in Northern California’s wine country, where a diversity of wild life, including the namesake ensatinas of her press, make their home.
Ensatina Press, founded 2005, owner/artist
Letterpress art studio.
shoe yév skä design, principal · 1995 to 2005
designing graphic work including annual report, book, direct mail, exhibit, logo, and publication design. Clients include AAA, Adobe Systems, Chronicle Books, Friends of Calligraphy, Greenwood Press, Los Altos Museum, McGraw Hill, Shedd Aquarium Chicago, 3M, and others.
Adobe Systems Incorporated, Art Director · 1989-94
Designed and art directed 16 award-winning books for Adobe Originals typefaces. Designed, managed, and produced marketing materials for the Adobe Type Library. Designer of the 1993 annual report and the typeface Giddyup.
Adobe Systems Incorporated, Designer · 1987-1989
Designer of Colophon, a magazine which showcased state of the art computer design and printing using Adobe software.
Center for Book Arts, New York City, Artist · 1980-87
Created and printed letterpress artworks.
Fred Weidner & Son Printers, New York City
Designer/Production Manager · 1980-1985
Designed newsletters, brochures, and books; managed and directed the production of a full range of printed matter including sheet-fed and web-offset printing, silkscreening, engraving, embossing, die-cutting, letterpress and book manufacturing.
Reed College, Spring 2014
San Francisco Art Institute Guest Lecturer, Winter
2006 Minneapolis College of Art and Design Adjunct Faculty, Winter/Spring 1997
California College of Arts and Crafts Instructor, Fall 1993
Center for Creative Imaging, Camden, Maine Guest Lecturer, 1992
Kent State University Guest Lecturer, 1991
Ball State University College of Fine Arts Guest Lecturer, 1988