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Laboratory Press

Otis Laboratory Press is a fully functioning letterpress studio with four Vandercook proof presses and a comprehensive collection of wood & metal type. Established in 1984 by Sheila de Bretteville as part of the Communication Arts Department, the Lab Press has a rich history of small edition book publishing, introducing generations of students to the origins of typography and the notion of the book as a visual communications medium. Conceived as a laboratory for aesthetic exploration and a place for practical production, the Lab Press is an integral part of the graphic design curriculum. It provides a key link between traditional tools and digital media.

Otis Laboratory Press is unique among Southern California schools in having the ability to make & utilize photopolymer plates in letterpress printing. Photo-polymer plates are the contemporary and versatile medium that has become the industry standard for printing images and type. Our efficient, well-organized assets in the lab enable experimentation and smooth production.

We are the only school in Southern California that offers a Printmaking and Bookmaking Minor. Students actively participate and produce award-winning books that have become a permanent part of rare book collections throughout Southern California. 

Our experienced technicians and instructors are working professionals, whose work is represented in book special collections and shown in museums and galleries internationally.


Artists' Books Collection
Laboratory Press Collection of the Artists' Books