Starting from now, we will be offering the Expert class Book design alternately in Dutch and English, giving more people the opportunity to participate in this highly regarded course program. The English edition is scheduled for this academic year 2023–24, and it will be delivered through distance learning. Meanwhile, the Dutch edition of the course will be held in 2024–25 and will be conducted through in-person contact education.
During this Expert Class, you will have the chance to learn how to design a book from A to Z. Over ten course days, spread across a six-month period, graphic designer and typographer Jurgen Persijn will provide you with step-by-step guidance throughout the design and production process of your book. He is also assisted by external experts, such as Sara De Bondt, Sofie Jacobs and Johan Van Looveren.
Learn more about the Dutch edition (2024–25)
Each student designs the same book. The content is of a scientific-academic nature and will include numerous photos, illustrations and footnotes, a family tree and an index. All texts and images are delivered digitally on the first day of class. Each student is thus confronted with the same material and must find an optimal form to convey the information to the reader. Therefore, the exchange of experiences and insights between students is a valuable part of the course. Experiments are encouraged.
This year you will be working on a book containing the correspondence of the famous Belgian painter James Ensor with the Rousseau family. The book consists of essays (lavishly illustrated with Ensor's work), the complete correspondence and translations of the essays.
Jurgen Persijn has been working as a self-taught graphic designer since 1999, mainly for the cultural sector. His focus has gradually shifted to book design, with a great deal of attention for the architecture and tactility of the book. Over the years, he has designed books for publishers such as Mercatorfonds, Lannoo, Ludion, nai010, Hatje Cantz and has worked for institutions and museums such as BOZAR, S.M.A.K, WIELS or the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium.
His books have won the Best Designed Book Award four times. In recent years, in addition to book design, he has also started to focus on the scenography of exhibitions.
Sara De Bondt is a Belgian graphic designer, educator, curator, researcher, and publisher. Her books, The Master Builder: Talking with Ken Briggs, The Form of the Book Book, and Graphic Design: History in the Writing (1983-2011), have been published by her own publishing house, Occasional Papers, which is a non-profit publisher of affordable art books.
Johan Van Looveren has been working as an independent graphic designer, typographer, and book designer since 1995. Since 2005, he has been teaching graphic design at LUCA School of Arts in Brussels.
Sofie Jacobs is a paper consultant for the international paper distributor Papyrus.
To start the Expert Class Book Design, we expect that you have attended at least a graphic education course. You should also have a thorough knowledge of Adobe InDesign, the software package used in the Expert Class. You already have at least a basic knowledge of Photoshop and Illustrator. As a student, you can rent the Creative Cloud software at a reduced rate.
To get to know your competences and to gauge your expectations of the Expert Class, we have an intake interview with everyone beforehand. We will go over with you where you stand in the field of book design, what you would like to learn, how the Expert Class is conceived as a practical course and whether this can meet your expectations. You will receive an individual appointment for this interview, which will also be held via Zoom.
If there is doubt about your software knowledge, we can carry out a level test in InDesign. The exercise takes one hour and you will receive valuable feedback and tips afterwards.
We limit the number of participants in the Expert Class Book Design. This promotes interaction with the lecturer and allows for individual follow-up.
Students who positively complete the course obtain the private degree of graduate of the Plantin Institute of Typography and the certificate of post-higher education studies from the AP University of Applied Sciences and Art Antwerp.
Tutor: Jurgen Persijn
Guest teachers: Sara De Bondt and Sofie Jacobs
Examiners: Jurgen Persijn, Sara De Bondt, Johan Van Looveren
In 2023: December 14 and 15
In 2024: January 19, February 2, February 23, March 8, March 22, April 19, May 3, May 24, June 14
Location: All lessons will be conducted online via Zoom, except for two in-person events. There will be a two-day kick-off session on December 14 and 15, and book presentations for the examination panel on May 24, both of which will take place in our classroom in the Museum Plantin-Moretus, Vrijdagmarkt 22, Antwerp, Belgium.
We highly recommend attending these two events in-person as they offer valuable networking opportunities and a chance to connect with other students face to face.
Enrolment fee: € 1800.
We offer 20% reduction to students until one year after graduating at university or comparable institutes, and to alumni of the Plantin Institute of Typography. Please contact us by e-mail to check you are eligible for the reduced enrolment fee.
Enrol by filling in this form or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org