Deborah Barnett

Since July 2018 Deborah Barnett has worked as the college printer at the John M. Kelly Library at the University of St. Michael's College in the University of Toronto. She has revived and expanded the Print Studio, which was featured in DA 81 (Fall/Winter 2017). Deborah takes a hands-on approach to teaching design, lead typesetting and letterpress printing in support of the Book and Media Studies program offered at St. Michael’s.

Deborah's expertise in letterpress printing and design dates from the 1970s, when she was a co-founder and designer of Dreadnaught in Toronto. Dreadnaught was formed by an idealistic group of autodidactic creatives, including Robert Macdonald and Elizabeth Abraham, who were interested in the traditions of fine printing and design. During the late 1970s and 1980s they produced stunning fine press work, such as the limited edition of Greg Gatenby's Whale Sound (1977) and 52 Pickup 76 (1976). Dreadnaught collaborated with leading writers and visual artists of the day, everyone from Margaret Atwood to Ludwig Zeller. During the 1990s Dreadnaught changed direction, moving from its letterpress roots to become a design studio, of which Deborah was the executive director. When Dreadnaught closed in 2000, Deborah founded someone.ca, a professional design studio. In 2015, someone.ca revived its interest in letterpress printing and began to produce chapbooks, limited literary editions and visual art prints under the imprint Someone Editions (see someoneeditions.com). It is now publishing collaborative fine art works as well as a chapbook series, Little Letter Press.

Deborah lectured on design, art direction and colour theory for more than ten years at the Banff Publishing Workshop. She is currently enrolled in a master's program in Interdisciplinary Art Media and Design (IAMD) at OCAD University.

— Don McLeod

The Devil's Artisan would like to acknowledge the generous financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council.

Deborah Barnett Magnify

Deborah Barnett

Credit: Paul Till