Published April 17, 2023

This webpage was updated on August 25, 2023

Milestones and Dates

  • April 16: Project Launch – Members sign up for the mailing list and begin idea generation.
  • May 21 & June 11: Project Organizational Meetings – 2:00 PM at the Center for the Book.
  • June-September: Participants will submit rough designs and work with coordinating project members to ready designs for production.
    • In Center Work Days for help in designing signature ideas against the book parameters. 
      • Sunday, September 10th from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
      • Friday, September 15th from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM
  • September 30: Due date for final comps (this is a physical dummy, not a digital file)
  • September-October: Groups produce their signatures. The Cover Team develops the cover for the book.
    • Saturday, October 28: Due date for printed (finished) signatures
  • November: The Cover Team prepares the final covers for the book and the Binding Team binds books.
  • Project Close: After the Binding Team finishes we have a River Party to celebrate our accomplishment!

Project Documents


As a result of profound climate change, newly revealed archaeological and paleontological finds are surfacing along the banks of the Rivanna River. We are creating a scientific field journal cataloging these incidences in a fictional case study. Lost treasures unearthed, lost landscapes exposed, lost life forms revealed or revived, lost memories recovered – we are moved by these unexpected finds. Our fictional field journal will contain many examples of these newly uncovered discoveries.

Physical discoveries cited in the journal will be accompanied by an artifact catalog tag. An “artifact” can be a physical object or objects, flora or fauna, or an event or series of events that are brought about through climate change on the Rivanna River. Climate change events can occur in a variety of ways (flooding, mudslide, excavation) not just drought. All of these various “artifacts” will be brought together in the form of our fictional case study as a reaction to climate change on the Rivanna River.

Conceptual Guidelines for the Project

What wonders or terrors have been discovered along the Rivanna River as of late? Has a new species been discovered or sadly, one lost? Has a historical anachronism created an archeological paradox that is throwing the historical society into a tailspin? Has a previously unknown culture of intelligent beavers been uncovered or a hauntingly long-lost trove of letters uncovered from the Underground Railroad? Be creative! What sort of “artifact” will you uncover?

Participants begin by signing up for the mailing list. (See Membership Participation at the bottom of this article!) Once on the mailing list, participants will pitch different ideas for “artifacts” that they want to site (Remember, this could be specific as a specimen or as broad as an event!) We want our mailing list to pollinate and spread ideas like honey suckles on the river banks!

We encourage participants to work in groups so that 1.) no one person gets overburdened with a project and 2.) we can foster the community connections that the book center thrives on. See an “artifact” concept that you really resonate with? Sign on to join up and form a group!

Groups are responsible for creating one signature or more signatures.
Signatures may include (but are not limited to) a single artifact, multiple artifacts, events, and historical data.

Project Specifications

  • Edition Size: TBD (= 20 copies plus # of participants)
  • You are free to work individually though we encourage interaction and involvement by working in a self-organized group.
  • ALL text or images appearing in signatures must be that of the participants or work that is in the public domain, copyright free, or used with permission (with documentation that permission has been obtained).

Design Elements and Specifications

Groups are responsible for creating signature(s) for their included artifacts. A “signature” means one set of pages nested inside one another that creates one small section of the book.

  • Signatures may vary in style according to the needs of the design but must measure 7” x 6” as the finished size when folded within the book.
  • A paper specifically for this project will be provided by the center for the signature material.
    • Additional materials (paper, inks, etc.) to complete the design may be used so long as the predominant page material for the signature is the paper provided by the center. For additional materials:
    • Participants may use any archival material (paper, fabric, synthetic, vellum, faux skin, Tyvek, acetate, etc.). 
      Ask Garrett about available paper stock at the Book Center. 
    • NOTE: If you use a non-absorbent material, you’ll need ink that dries on non-absorbent surfaces. Consult Garrett!
  • Finished signatures should avoid being overly bulky so as not to hinder the final binding.
    • Please refrain from designs that exceed 1/4” finished width.
  • Each artifact must be accompanied by the Artifact Catalog Tag design.
    • This is a unifying design element for our book.
    • The center will provide polymers of the Artifact Catalog Tag icon as well as a digital file for digital print methods.
  • The field journal will feature an ink color that we ask participants to use as the predominant color of their signature material. PMS-448U
    • We are attempting to match the earthy tones of the Rivanna River and provide another unifying design element for our book.
    • Participants are free to use other colors as the design needs but it is requested that the main body text and the Artifact Catalog Tag be printed in the project ink color.
  • Garamond has been picked as the main body font for our book.
    • It is readily accessible in Word and Pages applications and it is our house font at the center.
    • Participants are free to use any font the design needs but it is requested that the main body text used is Garamond.

Acceptable Printing Methods

  • Relief: linoleum, wood, foam, rubberLetterpress: lead or wood type, photopolymer plates (see Limitations* below)
  • Silk Screen: hand-cut stencil
  • Lithography: hand-drawn stone, aluminum, or pronto plate
  • Intaglio 
  • Photogravure: (see Limitations* below)
  • Digital printing: Only as a layer. (see Limitations* below)
*Limitations on the use of photopolymer plates (and other processes involving digital preparation, such as pronto plates, photogravure, digital printing) :
  • Please contact Garrett about your plans for these techniques; they will be allowable on a case-by-case basis.
  • Digitally obtained images must be in the public domain.
    • Digital manipulation should be kept to an absolute minimum.
  • Artists are responsible for the digital preparation of art and the cost of plate manufacture.
    • Consult Garrett about digital prep and about placing orders with other artists to save on cost.
  • Request assistance and give yourself plenty of lead time if you are not familiar with the process!

Helpful Links

Here are some links to help inspire you!

Member Participation
The project is open to all current Studio Members of the Book Arts Program at the Virginia Center for the Book

In order to participate (or follow the project’s progress) individuals and collaborators must sign up for the mailing list by completing the following steps:

  • From the email application that you wish to receive 2023 Member Project messages on…
  • Send an email To:
  • In the Subject line, type subscribe 2023memproject yourName (substitute yourName for your first and last name)
    • Do NOT write anything in the message area.
  • You will receive a subscription confirmation.
  • If this fails, please email Garrett via and he will get you on the mailing list.

We’ll begin to manage the project via a participant’s mailing list so as not to “spam” our general membership with operational missives
If you’re interested and not yet sure of your contribution, you still should get on the list

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