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Lectures & Salons

A Certain Cotta: Book-Cover Design from Buenos Aires

with Francisco Roca

Learn about the young graphic artist who designed book covers that would become a sensation in ’60s-era Argentina, Latin America, and Spain.

  • Date
  • Time
  • What Live at the Archive
  • Where Onsite at Letterform Archive and Recorded*

In 1962, young graphic artist Juan Ángel Cotta died in a car crash. His ongoing work project at the time, 103 covers for Los Libros del Mirasol — one of South America's most unique and appealingly-illustrated book collections — went into oblivion until designers Francisco Roca and Leandro Castelao envisaged assembling his piecemeal job into a single volume. During this talk, you will have the chance to delve into the research that turned a heartfelt casual endeavor into a full editorial journey, culminating in the first-ever book to compile Cotta’s visual legacy.

In the words of design critic Steven Heller:

Cotta’s work, especially a collection of hardback books he illustrated in 1960 under the series title The Sunflower Books is one of the missing links between South American publishing and the European modernist traditions.

Please join us Live at the Archive for refreshments between 6:00 and 6:30pm. Francisco’s presentation will begin promptly at 6:30pm, followed by Q&A.

* This event will not be streamed live. After it concludes, all registrants will receive a link to the video recording.

Francisco Roca

Francisco Roca is a graphic designer and design educator from Argentina. Since 2014 he has been a faculty member at the Graphic Design BFA in the University of Buenos Aires. In 2018, he co-founded Flecha Books, a publishing venture with the aim of recovering Argentina’s overlooked graphic design legacy. His first published book, with a prologue by Steven Heller, features the work of Argentinean mid-century designer and illustrator Juan Ángel Cotta. Francisco is also a Cooper Union’s Type@Cooper graduate, he has conducted on-site research in Japanese Graphic Design under a fellowship by The Japan Foundation, and is a docent at Letterform Archive.

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