The Byzantium imprint was established by BARBARA HODGSON for packaging trade books. Her four novels and seven nonfiction books – published by Chronicle, Greystone, Seuil, and others – were all designed by her and feature extensive historical illustrations and original art and photography. Since 2007, and in collaboration with Claudia Cohen, she has concentrated exclusively on writing and designing nonfiction books about specific aspects of design and paper arts. These books, printed letterpress under her direction, are custom-bound by Claudia. By limiting each edition to a very small number of copies, Barbara and Claudia are typically able to spend several hundred hours per copy illuminating the printed sheets with original handwork, including art and graphic samples.
CLAUDIA COHEN has been working with some of the top names in fine press and artists’ books for nearly four decades, including Gehenna Press, Pennyroyal Press, Cheloniidae Press, the Museum of Modern Art, Grenfell Press, the Whitney Museum, and David R. Godine, to name just a few. It was at Baskin’s Gehenna Press that she was introduced to the book arts, initially apprenticed to master printer Harold McGrath. That eventually led her to binding and an apprenticeship with Gray Parrot. She established her own bindery in Massachusetts in 1983, and moved it to Seattle in 2003. Since meeting Barbara in 2005, and discovering a wide range of shared passions, Claudia has increasingly focused on their collaborations. In addition to planning and designing the bindings and boxes, she enthusiastically hunts down the historical samples frequently included in their books,
Up until 2019, Barbara and Claudia’s collaborations were published by HM Editions. Starting in 2022, their works will carry the Byzantium imprint. Barbara and Claudia’s books can be found in private and public collections across North America and Europe, including the libraries of the Metropolitan Museum of New York, the Huntington, the British Library, the Bodleian, University of California, Yale, Library of Congress, University of Toronto, and University of British Columbia, among many others.
For information about any of their books, please write to Barbara Hodgson (vesalius[at]pacificcoast.net).