Speaking in Faces: A Typography, Letterpress, and Binding Workshop Certificate Series

Speaking-in-FacesEight Sundays (one per month), beginning Sunday, May 1 (Noon-5 PM)
Instructors: Lucas Czarnecki, Kevin McFadden, Yolanda Merrill, Garrett Queen
Cost: $800 nonmember, $700 member
*UVa Education Benefit Eligible, non-credit course #050116

Speaking in Faces is a type specimen book that will be published in December 2016 by VABC, as a record of the typographical treasures that make up the largest collection of moveable type in Virginia. Be an integral part of VABC’s historic endeavor as we undertake our first workshop to explore typography, letterpress, and book binding of a fine-print edition–all in one class. You’ll join a team of printers, artists, and bookbinders that are putting this resource together, going on deep dives into the history of type that makes up VABC’s collection, becoming proficient with letterpress printing, and hand-binding copies of this limited-edition book–including your name in the colophon and one fine-print copy of Speaking in Faces you can take home with you!

We’ve set the first two classes to begin, but we’re waiting for a small but devoted group to emerge…and we’ll plan July-December dates that work for you. Skills covered would be equivalent to Core Letterpress (complete course) and Core Bookbinding III & IV (casebinding).

To register, contact Kevin McFadden at

Sunday, May 1 – Introduction to Letterpress
Explore the VABC collection and begin a type specimen that you have set by hand.

Sunday, June 5 – Introduction to Typography – Serif Typefaces and printing
Go deeper into the history and terminology of typefaces; continue letterpress instruction.

Sunday, July 10 – Fine Printing Techniques / The Page with Text / Sans Serif Typefaces
Explore fine presswork while learning more about how to make text appear legibly and readably (two different things!).

Sunday, August 7 – Fine Printing Techniques / Design Elements / Sans Serif and Polymer at work
Explore fine presswork while learning how to use modern typefaces.

Sunday, September 4 – Fine Printing Techniques / Display Typefaces
Setting a more complex page. Explore fine presswork while learning how to use typefaces that command attention.

Saturday, October 1 – Sunday, October 2 – Bookbinding Core III & IV
Times TBD. We’ll practice book binding on blank books with guest instructor Yolanda Merrill.

Sunday, November TBD – Making Fine Print Books
Gather the printing into signatures, and sew a book block; make preparations of book cloth, pastedowns, endsheets. Introduction to the conventions of fine presswork of making limited-edition books. Your name will appear in our colophon of fame.

Sunday, December TBD – Bookbinding Core IV
Complete casebinding for your book. You’ve helped make a limited-edition, handbound book!

Event Details

Eight Sundays (one per month), beginning Sunday, May 1 (Noon-5 PM)
Virginia Arts of the Book Center
Open to the public