Monumental: A Speaking in Faces Artist’s Specimen Profile

“Monumental.” English isn’t designer Cecilia Sorochin’s first language, but she couldn’t have chosen a better word for the VABC’s long-awaited specimen book. “This is monumental.”

Born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Ceci received her BA in Graphic Design from the Universidad de Palermo. She was an instructor of typography at the Universidad de Buenos Aires where she taught advanced students in graphic design, and had had her own boutique book design studio. Now she works for the University of Virginia Press in Charlottesville. Last fall, she was invited to participate with ten other artists to create artists’ specimens of the VABC’s type.

“Books always have been a passion in my life ever since childhood,” she says. “And always, I mean always, I have sensed this distinction between books to read and books to view, the book as object, the rectangle that regardless of what it had inside was precious in and of itself for shape, material, and smell.”

Like most of VABC’s artists, life experience improves the results when it’s time to go back to print. “Life took me for a ride through biochemistry, psychology, and fashion design. (I dedicated 10 years to the latter.) Somehow I ended up returning to college at age 30 and discovered the unbelievable pleasure of book design. Looking back, I had been on my path to finding book design all along; I just needed the right turn.”

“The universe of book design, mixed with drawing, painting, meditation, and love for literature and poetry, led to new explorations in calligraphy, illuminated capital lettering, handmade books, and of course, letterpress. All together these elements form the universe where I belong, which keeps growing as every new experience influences the whole.”

Come celebrate Ceci and all the talented artists behind Speaking in Faces and its monumental publication! You can join us on Sunday, March 26 at the Virginia Festival of the Book to see the 112-page letterpress book and hear the tale of the historic project–involving designer Lucas Czarnecki, printer and book artist Bonnie Bernstein, and type historian David Shields. The visual presentation will feature historic specimen book images and pages from Speaking in Faces.

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