Riccardo Olocco

He lives and works between London and Bolzano and is type designer and member of CAST – Cooperativa Anonima Servizi Tipografici. He carries on a research at the University of Reading, about Venetian Roman types of the fifteenth century, combining the use of bibliographic knowledge with the analysis of letterforms. From 2009 to 2013 he was professor of typography at the University of Bolzano.

3 Products

  •  45,00

    Proceedings of the International symposium / Turin, 16–17 September 2021

    The Nebiolo company of Turin was Italy’s greatest type foundry on both national and international levels for most of the 20th century until its closure in 1978. Originating from a small type foundry established in 1852 and bought by Giovanni Nebiolo in 1878, Nebiolo was officially set up in 1880. By the turn of the century the company experienced a rapid commercial expansion that would lead it to successfully develop the production of printing presses, a sector in which it would dominate the Italian market until the 1970s.

    Nebiolo is especially remembered for its contributions in the field of typeface design. Its Studio Artistico – headed successively by Giulio Da Milano, Alessandro Butti and Aldo Novarese – released influential typefaces that had a strong impact on the history of 20th-century printing and graphic design in Italy and elsewhere. Due to the dispersion of the company archives, a critical evaluation of Nebiolo’s heritage has been lacking until now. With this first international symposium, and the publication of its proceedings, the Nebiolo History Project offers at last an overview of the latest research on hitherto underinvestigated aspects concerning Nebiolo and its role in the history of industry and the graphic arts in Italy.

    Edited by Nebiolo History Project: Alessandro Colizzi, Riccardo Olocco, James Clough, Riccardo De Franceschi, Marta Bernstein, Massimo Gonzato
    Texts by various authors

    19 × 27 cm
    376 pages
    Original language edition (italian/english)
    Isbn 978-88-98030-89-7
    First published July 2023

  •  22,50

    Many typefaces created today are related to types of the past, and interest in older letterforms is stimulated by the great number of visual resources available. We are surrounded by digital fonts based in one way or another on historical models, but it is clear that we cannot consider all of them as revivals. So, how to distinguish a type revival from a typeface that is loosely based on historical forms? More reflection on this subject is necessary, both to help navigate the landscape of contemporary typefaces, and to give greater clarity to discussions on the history of type. This 104 pages pamphlet provides tools for researching and designing revival types. A concise publication that will show a practical perspective and fresh content, fuelling the conversation among and between designers and scholars.

    The content is organised into four parts. The authors begin by defining the theoretical ground, including a definition of revivals, and a discussion on the boundaries of a revival project. The second part introduces the framework of analysis developed for recording the relevant design features of the type used as a model. In the third part, Olocco and Patané apply the framework to the roman type cut by Francesco Griffo for the De Aetna (1496). Based on this analysis, the fourth part showcases the process of reviving this historical type.

    Although the authors are focusing on defining a procedure to design a type revival, those suggestions can be adopted beyond the scope of a revival project. Their approach will ensure a strong connection with the original source and a substantial help towards understanding how to employ historical models in a contemporary context.

    Texts by Riccardo Olocco and Michele Patanè
    Preface by Gerry Leonidas
    Book design by Riccardo Olocco and Michele Patanè

    12.5 × 21 cm
    112 pages
    Isbn 978-88-98030-48-4
    First published May 2022

  • Out of Stock

    This research introduces and discusses a new method of analysing printed typefaces and applies it to 15th-century Venetian romans. It aims to revise and improve the traditional methods of type analysis used in bibliographic research. It is based on photographic enlargements of printed types, image editing and detailed analysis of letterforms. Comparisons of printers’ typeforms are made by superimposing images – a practice that clearly highlights differences and similarities between letters.

    Drawing on printed material preserved in Italian and British libraries, this new method is applied to four important samples of early Venetian type design, including Nicolas Jenson’s Roman, which can safely be considered the prototype of all Roman types to date. The historical scope of the research covers the last three decades of the 15th century and focuses on the presses operating in Venice and the Venetian territories. Also taken into consideration are presses in the rest of Italy and throughout Europe that employed the Venetian types discussed here, both before and after 1500.

    Olocco’s work documents the trade in typographic material (cast and matrix typefaces) and the widespread use of certain types – areas that historians have generally ignored for this early period. It also documents the punchcutters’ ability to imitate existing types so well made that it can be very difficult to distinguish them from their original models – a practice that has not been studied previously.

    This research is supported by an extensive apparatus of images of letterforms shown at different magnification sizes. It is intended to provide new insights into the early development of Roman types and to aid bibliographical research by providing more in-depth information on the typefaces in use.

    Text and book design by Riccardo Olocco

    29.7 × 22 cm
    454 pages