Deborah Barnett, College Printer

Deborah Barnett


College Printer


Kelly Library 229

Office Phone: 416.926.2332


Co-founder of and designer at Dreadnaught Press in the 1970s, Deborah apprenticed with Robert MacDonald and several other autodidactic participants. She applied design principles, book history, and both traditional and innovative materials and equipment exploration to develop her skills in design, typography, and specialty printing.  As a key member of this historic literary fine press, she worked on their publishing and book-packaging, including early written and visual works by Margaret Atwood, Greg Gatenby, Ludwig Zeller and Susana Wald, Susan Musgrave, John Robert Colombo, A.F.Moritz, George Bowering, Robert Priest, and Steve McCaffery. In Dreadnaught’s later iteration as a design studio, Deborah became the executive director. 


When Dreadnaught closed, Deborah began, a professional design studio, which in 2010 revived its hand press and publishing operations and produced, among other things, chapbooks, limited literary editions, and visual art prints. Now publishing under the imprint of Someone Editions, Barnett’s recent projects include someone:water, which has works by A. F. Moritz, Astrida Neimanis, Beatriz Hausner, Zile Liepins, Karl Jirgens, Paul Till, Susana Wald, Seth Scriver and Pamela Dodds, and a new chapbook series, Little Letter Press, which launched in May this year with poetry by Jay MillAr and images by Natalia Moskwa. Releases planned for Fall 2018 include the image + literary collaborations someone:air (bilingual, with Nicole Brossard and Mauricio Corteletti), someone: elements (with David R. Carlson and Rei Misiri), Little Letterpress (LL) #2 (with Luciano Iacobelli and Deborah Barnett) and LL#3 ( with Margaret Christakos and James Ridyard).


For more than a decade, Deborah has brought her knowledge to enrich the community, lecturing on design, art direction, and colour theory at the Banff Publishing Workshop—intensive summer semester workshops during which she supported participants’ design solutions with art direction and design consultation.


Deborah brings to the library a long and accomplished history of limited edition art and literary publishing, design, and printing in collaboration with gifted partners, co-workers, and clients, as well as experience in creating interdisciplinary learning environments for training students in design, typesetting in wood and lead, letterpress printing and art print making, design for publishing, digital production, and binding.