Jerry Kelly is a book designer, calligrapher, type designer, and typographer. Since the late 1970s he has designed hundreds of books for numerous clients, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Pierpont Morgan Library, The American Federation of the Arts, The American Academy of Arts and Letters, The Grolier Club, The American Printing History Association, Association Internationale de Bibliophiles (AIB), Columbia University, Yale University Press, Cambridge University Press, David R. Godine Publisher, George Braziller Publishers, Rizzoli International, International Typeface Corporation (ITC), and others too numerous to mention.
His work has received numerous awards, including more than thirty selections in the prestigious “Fifty Books of the Year” awards for excellence in book design of the American Institute of Graphic Arts, three selections of the Type Director’s Club, awards from the Society of Typographers (England), the American Library Association, etc.
Following a few years working in lettering and calligraphy he left employment in those fields to pursue a career in book design, first with the Press of A. Colish in Mount Vernon, New York (1981–1991), and then with the Stinehour of Press of Lunenberg Vermont, where he rose to the position of Vice President (1991–1999). After The Stinehour Press was sold he went out on his own, designing and producing books as proprietor of Jerry Kelly LLC.
Since 1978 he has been a partner at the Kelly-Winterton Press, a small shop printing fine editions by letterpress (and occasionally other means where appropriate). He has also taught and lectured widely, including Pratt Institute and the Parsons School of Design.
He has many articles and several books on the subjects of calligraphy and printing, including Artist and Alphabet (The American Institute of Graphic Arts, 2000), The Fine Art of Letters: The Work of Hermann Zapf (The Grolier Club, 2000), A Century for the Century (The Grolier Club, 2000), Spend Your Alphabets Lavishly (Rochester Institute of Technology, 2007), The First Flowering: The Work of Bruce Rogers at The Riverside Press (Club of Odd Volumes, 2008), The Art of the Book in the Twentieth Century (Rochester Institute of Technology, 2011), About More Alphabets (The Typophiles, 2011), and The Best of Both Worlds (The Grolier Club & David R. Godine, 2010), among others.
Kelly is an honorary member of the Double Crown Club (England), a corresponding member of the Bund Deutsche Buchkunstler, and an active member of the American Printing History Association (where he served as Chairman of the Board and Vice President), The Grolier Club (where he has served on several committees including Modern Fine Printing), and The Typophiles (where he served as President, 2014-2015).