Metal and Digital Are In Our Blood

We learned to make books the old-fashioned way: one letter at a time. We also know how to turn on a computer. Because we’ve had our fingers and faces in ye olde metal type, we know that letters aren’t just pictures of things. They are things. We treat things with respect. Better still: We treat readers with respect.

All about Michael Russem, Principal

Michael Russem grew up in North Andover, Massachusetts, before moving to Syracuse, Florence, Athens, and now Cambridge. For a good eighteen years he was a printer and a book designer. Now he’s just a book designer. When he’s not designing books, he’s looking at books or reading books or walking or shopping or selling linen or looking at overlooked design or visiting book stores or wearing a cardigan. Actually, he’s usually wearing a cardigan. And he’s definitely not spending time updating this site. Or that picture above.

Regarding Katherine Russem (d. 2009), Vice Principal

Having grown up in Syracuse, Katherine was anxious to move away to Florence and Cambridge. She didn’t go to fancy schools. Her senses of design and what’s right and wrong were more innate. She was a doer, not a thinker. Attentive and caring, she was the one who would turn into the “attack dog” of the office if you crossed us. She enjoyed eating bread, walking, resting, and sitting for portraits. She was the best.

A Short Note on Our Clients

Since its founding in 1994, the Staff of M. Russem Book Design has designed books, portfolios, catalogues, and ephemera for

Boston Athenæum
Brandeis University Press
Farnsworth Art Museum
David R. Godine, Publisher
Granary Books
Grid Books
The Grolier Club
Handel & Haydn Society
Harvard University Press
Hudson Hills Press
The Lone Oak Press
New England Historical Society
New York Review Books
NSU Art Museum
Oak Knoll Books
Pressed Wafer
Rare Book School
Rhode Island Historical Society
RIT Press
Shambhala Publications
Society of Printers
Smith College
Suntup Editions
Swarthmore College
Triolet Rare Books
Two Ponds Press
University of Washington Press
Vassar College
Veatchs Arts of the Book
The Watkinson Library