submitted by Green Chair Press/Susan Angebranndt
I call the books I design and make "artist's books". According to Wikipedia, "Artists' books (also called bookworks) are works of art realized in the form of a book. They are usually published in small editions, though sometimes they are one-of-a-kind objects. Artists' books have employed a wide range of forms, including scrolls, fold-outs or loose items contained in a box."
I guess that's an ok definition, but a few pictures would help. While there are lots of pictures on the web and lots of books available, I particularly like Sarah Bodman's book Creating Artists' Books (Watson-Guptill, 2005). She doesn't try to define “artists’ book" and instead presents copious examples in this “guide for visual artists who are interested in creating work in the artist’s book format.” The chapters touch on all aspects of the book arts, from unique books to collaborations, from inexpensive multiples to making books with limited equipment, plus there's even a section on ways to display books effectively. Bodman, based in England, has a European slant, although the book covers the US as well. In addition to the many examples and photographs, the appendices provide a resource guide to the book arts—book shops, galleries, fairs, events, organizations and journals. [It's available used from Amazon.]
Bodman works at the Center for Fine Print Research at UWE Bristol, where she is big promoter of artists' books. The Center has an informative bi-monthly newsletter that is available online and produces a bi-annual yearbook of the book arts. One of their projects I particularly like is Bookmarks: Infiltrating the Library System, which distributes bookmarks made by artists to encourage interest in the book arts.