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Designer Spotlight: An Interview with Maria Regine Cabbab

Near a month ago now, in July of this year, BACKWORDS Press re-released its Fall 2015 Issue—three short poems by three talented working writers—in collaboration with graphic designer, Maria Regine Cabbab.

We had great fun with the redesign: getting to revisit these poems, to compliment them, to better carry their vision and presence into the world; but also to see how the poems might benefit, as individual pieces, as a complete issue, from being given a cohesive and artful visual structure. Design can voice other creative work...give it shape and purposeful delivery. That's why we wanted to work with a graphic designer. That's why we wanted to work with Maria in particular.

If you followed the re-release, you know a little about Maria already...

But today, for the blog's 100th Post, we wanted to give you the opportunity to hear from Maria directly in a brief interview below.

But first, a little from Maria's bio: I'm a Hawaii transplant now living in Portland, OR. Drawing is my first love, but I'm in a long term relationship with design. I would definitely consider myself a thinker, then a doer. Basically I take my time to think things through, but once I'm committed I'm all in. I love (to create) beautiful things with purpose. Read the interview below:


BACKWORDS Press: How long have you been designing?

Maria Regine Cabbab: I've been designing for about 5 years, but I've been drawing for as long as I can remember. From drawing under my mother's coffee table when no one was around to countless unfinished sketchbooks that will more than likely never be complete.

BACKWORDS Press: How do you begin a design or sketch? What attracts you?

MRC: I love the human face and body. That tends to be my focus when doing drawings/paintings. With design I like to keep it on the minimalist side. I think great design doesn't always require a lot of components. But it also depends on what you're designing I suppose!

BACKWORDS Press: Favorite place in Portland? Maybe somewhere you can camp with plugs and WiFi?

MRC: I don't have one favorite place in Portland, but I do love thrift shopping so anytime I'm at a thrift store I'm pretty stoked. It's so fascinating to me what people end up giving away. If I'm not in the city I'm probably at the gorge or the coast taking a break from my normal indoors environment.

BACKWORDS Press: Anything else you like our readers to know about you or your work?

MRC: Hmm, if there is something I would like my readers to know about me and my artwork, well as I mentioned earlier I've started creating art at a young age and I used it as an unintentional form of therapy. I had no other way of expressing myself or no one to really talk to. It was my escape, mostly when upset, and eventually it became a passion. It felt so good to have people love my work and I felt so supported because of that love. My goal is to spread that love. Whether through my art or any other form of action. The world can always do with more love.


Last week, the team had the distinct pleasure of meeting up with Maria directly—over sushi—to get to know her in-person, catch up on work, deliver some swag, and properly thank her for her work on the Fall 2015 Issue. Her friendliness and professionalism, apparent throughout our collaboration together on the redesign, was multiplied tenfold while sharing a table! We cannot recommend her highly enough!

You can check out her Instagram at @mvregine or visit her website here,

We'd also highly recommend you check out her work with Backwords Press, over at the Shop. Check out the Fall 2016 Issue RIGHT HERE...

Stay Backwords!

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