Tipi di Bologna


Project by Giulia Garbin, Stefano Riba and Anonima Impressori
Produced by Griffo, la grande festa delle lettere

A limited edition book, drawn, printed and bound by hand. Tipi di Bologna tells, through the linocut illustrations by Giulia Garbin, the texts by Stefano Riba and the technical skill of Anonima Impressori, the fascinating stories of the characters who made the history of the Bolognese typography.

A journey to travel not on the tracks of nostalgia, but to the rediscovery of ancient traditions and techniques – but not past – the art of letters and the culture of the contemporary artist’s book.  Bologna is one of the capitals of Italian printing and in its territory there are hidden stories that deserve to be told and rediscovered, by Francesco Griffo, brilliant Renaissance printer and inventor of the cursive character that according to Umberto Eco, “has changed the history of publishing”, to more recent examples such as the Francesco Simoncini workshops that gave rise to many famous alphabets including the official character of Einaudi.

And again Cesare Ratta, self-taught, apprentice, worker, composer, illustrator, engraver as well as refined typographer who believed that the values of printing and graphics should be within everyone’s reach or Ferdinando Negroni of the eponymous foundry – descended from the activity of the Amoretti brothers, engravers and founders of characters in the service of Bodoni and co-authors of his famous character – whose company was absorbed by the company Nebiolo of Turin at the beginning of the twentieth century. Alongside these past stories are the direct testimonies of printers, composers and engravers, still active or retired who have operated, or still operate, in the Bologna area.

The book is actually two books inside each other. The first is a 14-ante concertina with the sequence of illustrations printed, like a long time line. Open completely the book reaches the width of 2.4 meters. Inside, suspended thanks to a magnetic system, is placed the book with the texts (fused linotype and typographically printed) of commentary to each protagonist of the Bologna typography illustrated in the concert.

17 × 23 cm outer book
11 × 16.4 cm inner book

Fedrigoni Materica, Sirio, Century paper

Illustrations and engravings on linoleum:
Giulia Garbin

Cast lead from Linotipia Nettunia with Linotype Mint

Graphic design
Giulia Garbin, Anonymous Impressori

Printed with
Test press FAG, Platina T “Stella”

Print run of 300 copies


Tipi di Bologna