Encouraging an interdisciplinary approach, Jan Baker inspires her
students in the field of book arts, with hands-on experimentation in
letterpress printing, papermaking, bookbinding, visual poetry and
Regardless of her medium: textiles, bookmaking, letterpress, collage, printmaking or installations…
Jan Baker transforms her passion for the written word, in her art and
design work. She combines expressive letterforms with diverse materials
to inspire meaning through visual language.
You can observe her at RISD lectures, poetry readings and even faculty
meetings, taking visual notes. These notations or jottings she
formulates, are enlarged and then printed or woven. Her unique textiles
are developed into upholstered chairs, curtains, clothes, tote bags,
pillows and book covers.
Jan enjoys creating in collaboration with other artists and designers.
With Anita Meyer at plus design, they worked on identity systems,
signage, book and poster designs together. Jan has collaborated on award
winning textile and wall covering designs with Lori Weitzner. She also
worked as the Graphic Designer at Pace Gallery + Editions in New York
Jan studied Printmaking and Aesthetic Studies at the University of
California at Santa Cruz and received her Master’s Degree from Yale
University in Graphic Design. In addition to teaching at RISD in the
Graphic Design department since 1980, she has taught at Boston
University; began the Graphic Design program at SUNY New Paltz; and held
the Koopman Chair for Visual Arts at Hartford University.
Coming to Providence from Venice, California, Jan Baker is an avid
traveler. Jan taught book design at the National Institute of Design in
India as a Fulbright Scholar. She was invited to lead a textile workshop
in Vietnam for the UNESCO project: Vital Traditions, revival +
innovation of traditional textiles in Asia. She enjoyed the spirit of
hand papermaking in Japan and the challenge of teaching bookbinding in
Laos. For two years, Jan guided RISD interdisciplinary honor students,
as Chief Critic of the European Honors Program in Italy. With each
journey that she ventures into, Jan produces innovative travel journals and recently had a creative voyage during her sabbatical in Asia.