Q&A with Emerging Designer nominee Vanessa Masci

The Penguin Random House Australia Emerging Designer of the Year Award at this years ABDA Awards features two incredibly talented shortlisted entrants. ABDA spoke with the finalists – Vanessa Masci and Akiko Chan – on their journey into Book Design, favourite projects and their go-to fonts! First up, we hear from Vanessa Masci.

When did you start working on books? Or what inspired you to want to work in the book industry?
I designed and hand-sewed my first custom book in 2011 whilst I was studying bookbinding and printmaking. Called From My Mother’s Cupboard, it featured a selection of recipes that my mum had collected over the years. It had all of the fun artistic trimmings – a fabric cover, bevelled edges and of course, an exposed spine. My professional publishing career began a handful of years later.

What’s been your favourite project that you’ve worked on so far?
A favourite recent project of mine is All Day Cocktails by Shaun Byrne and Nick Tesar. Working alongside these two passionate men with the amazing eye of Stephanie Stamatis (stylist) and lens of Gavin Green (photographer) was a real joy, as was illustrating for this title.

What font do you keep coming back to?
A font that I keep returning to is Apercu by Colophon. It’s youthful, modern and little bit quirky!

Image ©Colophon Foundry

Any designers or designs that have resonated with you recently?
There is not yet a book I haven’t loved by Evi O. From designs that are bold and colorful to modern and sophisticated, her work continues to inspire me.

Favourite ABDA winning book of previous years?
One that immediately comes to mind is Florentine designed by Allison Colpoys. The elegant typography treatment and color palette beautifully complement the traditional photography and echo the atmosphere of Florence. It’s a coffee table keeper.

Thanks Vanessa!

The 2020 winner of the Emerging Designer award will be announced at the 68th ABDA Awards on 20 August 2020.