Craig Jobson, Professor of Art and Design (now retired) and owner of Lark Sparrow press has transformed 22 years of art direction for design, books and magazines into a passion for the publication arts. In his design career he has held positions as Art Director for the National Office of the American Heart Association, Art Director for Tracy-Locke/BBDO Advertising, Design Director for Holt, Rinehart and Winston and Design Director for McDougal Littell Houghton Mifflin. He holds a B.A. in Literature and B.F.A. in Printmaking and Design from the University of Texas at Austin, and an M.F.A. in Interdisciplinary Arts concentrating in Book and Paper Arts from Columbia College Chicago where he taught for the past 17 years. His studies about the Private Press movement in Britain and the United States, resulted in the purchase of a Vandercook press and the founding of Lark Sparrow Press — a private press dedicated to letterpress printing of works of contemporary short action and poetry.
Recently printed work
The 2017 printed work of Lark Sparrow Press consists of Professional Development, a 24-page, illustrated, letterpress printed short story by Megan Stielstra, the 2017 Artist-in-residence at Northwestern University. It is a limited edition book ( 30 copies ) with 2-color illustrations and features handset type. In it, our story teller goes to New Orleans for an academic conference but has life changing experiences that include an omnipresent marching band.
A book, long in production, but finished, is WELLS & SONNE–Selected Short Stories of Chelsea Laine Wells and Lex Sonne. It is a 60-copy, limited edition book of selected short stories. Chelsea Laine Wells and Lex Sonne each authored three of the six stories. Derek Goodman illustrated each story. This is a 72-page, letterpress printed book with handset type, and six 3- and 4-color letterpress printed and hand-tinted illustrations, hand-bound with handmade paper and sewn on boards. Each of the stories deals with loss and various unexpected results.
Past work consists of a 64-page, fully illustrated, three-color, letterpress printed abecedarium, A Field Guide to Urban Fowl, editioned to 100 copies. In the summer of 2006 Lark Sparrow Press published a volume of poetry, I Am Already, printed on handmade paper, made by Rhiannon Alpers and set in Ludlow typography. The book was dedicated to his wife / editor and editioned to 100 copies. The Republic of Texas Stamp Album and The Mini Republic of Texas Stamp Album are digital abecedariums, open editions, that commemorate many wonderful and suspicious artifacts of the nation state. The Totally Legal Abecedarium, another digital open edition book, traces the progress of a patent application through text images from the United States Patent Office. The suite of short stories titled The Billy Chronicles, representing the first offerings of the press, were completed over a period of two years from fall of 2001 to the summer of 2003. Each story is a separate book that is handset, illustrated, letterpress printed on hand-made paper, recorded on a CD and editioned to 15 copies. The Chronicles consist of D.B. and the Double-Five, Lizard and Julio Go Nel-o, and The Colonel’s Chicanery. All stories are true Texas tales of transgression, retribution, reconciliation and dominoes.
Florence: The Sacred and the Profane is a livres d’ artiste collaboration with faculty member Craig Jobson and Columbia College Chicago Art and Design students during the summer of 2004 while visiting the Santa Reparata International School of Art in Florence, Italy. The work consists of 12 intaglio prints accompanied by brief letterpress printed texts written by the artists, in a loose bound portfolio held together in a dropped spine case, lined with hand made Florentine papers. The book was editioned to 16 wonderful copies. Coda is also a livres d’ artiste collaboration with faculty member Craig Jobson and Columbia College Chicago Art and Design students during the summer of 2002, while visiting the Santa Reparata International School of Art in Florence, Italy. The work consists of 14 intaglio prints accompanied by brief letterpress printed texts written by the artists, in a loose bound portfolio held together with a slip case. The book was editioned to 18 splendid copies.