The Expert Class Book Design has been offered by the Plantin Institute for 10 years now and the formula is rock solid. From now on, the Expert class is offered alternately in Dutch and English. The Dutch edition in 2022–23 will be given in contact education. The English course is scheduled for 2023–24 and will be delivered through distance learning.
During this Expert Class, you will design a book from A to Z. During ten course days, spread over a period of six months, graphic designer and typographer Jurgen Persijn will guide you step-by-step through 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.
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.
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 lecturer: Sara De Bondt
Guest lecturers for the program in Antwerp: Sofie Jacobs
Examiners: Jurgen Persijn, Sara De Bondt, Johan Van Looveren
Calendar: From now on, the Expert class is offered alternately in Dutch and English. The Dutch edition in 2022–23 will be given in contact education. The English course is scheduled for 2023–24 and will be delivered through distance learning. The course dates in 2023–24 have not yet been decided.
Location: all the lessons will be held online (Zoom).
Enrolment fee: € 1850.
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.
Enrolling for the 2023–2024 course is not yet possible. If you are interested, fill in our contact form.