Mark Argetsinger Book Design

Mark Argetsinger 

Book Design


Mark Argetsinger is the best book designer in the United States, without exaggeration. Working with him is to extend one’s education.

— Norman Fiering
Director & Librarian Emeritus, John Carter Brown Library


Mark Argetsinger is one of the very few typographical book designers in the world. That is, he thinks in terms of type, not graphical layout. He handles printers’ flowers with the bravura and assurance of Frederic Warde, and can achieve that rarity, optically spaced capitals, with apparent ease....  

— Nicolas Barker
The Book Collector, Vol. 42, No. 2, 1994


Let me begin this letter by expressing once again my great satisfaction with the design and production of the ninth and final volume of The Frick Collection Catalogue. As is the case with the two volumes on furniture that you designed earlier in this series, the new book stands, in both its typography and its illustrations, as a testament to your intelligence and taste. In this I am not at all surprised. What does surprise me, even after my thirty-five years as Editor at the Frick Collection, is your unparalleled attention to, and comprehension of, the content of the text that you transform into type. I know no other designer so willing and able to study written language and determine the best means for expressing it graphically on the printed page. Finally, the book speaks to your willingness, in every case, to take the extra steps which insure that what needs to be done will be done not just expediently, but right.

 Joseph Focarino
 The Frick Collection


We have worked with Mark Argetsinger in copyediting and designing these Index volumes for the last seven or eight years and his work continues to impress and amaze me. He weaves a magic spell with a lot of hard work over a bundle of loose papers and image files and makes volumes such as this appear, as if effortlessly.

  —Colum Hourihane
 Director, Index of Christian Art, Princeton University
in Patronage: Power & Agency in Medieval Art


Mark Argetsinger brings a wealth of experience and artistic talent to the design and production of a book. His creativity, attention to detail, and speed of execution make working with him a pleasure indeed. Mark is a professional of the highest calibre.

— George Edwards
 Editor, The Grolier Club Iter Gallico-Helveticum


A book done with care and taste without any extra fancy additions. The title page is our example of perfect letterspacing, including the italic, something that you don’t see too often. The binding in green with a black panel stamped in gold is beautiful.

  Hermann Zapf
Regarding Theology and the Scientific Imagination from the Middle Ages to the Seventeenth Century


Boccaccio’s Decameron is a subject that allows a designer to show his skill and imagination. I am taken with the title page with its ornamental border and decorative ornament. The decorative ornament is used throughout the book with different arrangements of the basic elements. The unusual color of the Dutch cloth and the thin flexible boards are quite nice. The spine design is delicate and masterfully done with everything fitting together precisely. The overall design is nicely understated.

  Hermann Zapf
Regarding The World at Play in Boccaccio’s Decameron


Few books of contemporary birth provide the tangible experience of the antiquarian book. This is a book designed and crafted with thoughts and appreciation for the works described within. The book blends the best that technology offers, making the book itself an object of beauty Argetsinger’s behind-the-scenes attention and direction to detail, coupled with expertise in the beautifully printed book and innate sense of design infuse each page. This is a labor of love.

 Steven Foster
 Regarding An Oak Spring Herbaria 


Books designed by Mark Argetsinger have won awards in publication design competitions hosted by the Association of American University Presses (AAUP), the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), and the American Alliance of Museums (AAM). Argetsinger is also the recipient of the Carl Hertzog Award for Excellence in Book Design (1998). 


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