collaborations

The Printing Office

This is the name we have chosen to define a network among publishers who collaborate in disseminating visual culture texts. Paraphrasing Beatrice Warde’s famous manifesto (“from this place words may fly abroad”) this appellation indicates both a network of relationships and a careful selection of books.

Origins

Founded in 2017 on the initiative of Lazy Dog, The Printing Office is now an association open to anyone who wants to contribute. Publisher such as Ronzani, Antiga, Tipoteca Italiana and La Grande Illusion are members. Other collaborations are yet to come.

The initial focus was typography. The Printing Office promoted black art treasures unearthed from attics and warehouses: press prints, silkscreens and lithographs. Today the doors are also open to the world of fine art illustration, art, design and photography.

Its catalog, aimed at bibliophiles and collectors, includes a large selection of magnificent limited, rare or out-of-print editions and works of great historical value.

Milestone essays on typography and design, typefaces and composition also appear.  Refined illustrated volumes and extraordinary photographic documents round out the selection, all book works printed with passion by amateurs for amateurs.

Catalogue

  •  12,00

    Piero Barbera, the great 19th-century Florentine publisher, delights us with his thoughts and observations on the art of printing in the United States of America, where he visits the factories of the large and renowned ‘university presses’ and the printing works of Theodore Low De Vinne, the famous American publisher and printer. He provides interesting insights and observations on the technological advances overseas, while at the same time giving us an interesting account of the state of the North American printing art. A must-have book for fans of the history of typography.

    Published by Ronzani Editore
    110 pages
    Paperback
    Isbn 978-88-87007-43-5

  •  12,00

    “… we cannot place anything else but the Manualetto d’estetica tipografica by ‘Signor’ Giulio Pozzoli and the Manualetto d’estetica tipografica by ‘Signor’ Giuseppe Chiantore [1813-1902]. The latter work especially deserves praise as much for the beauty of its literary form as for the goodness of the teachings it contains”. (G. Bobbio, 1879, p. 168).

    Giuseppe Chiantore’s Dissertazione estetica sulla tipografia is a text that has never been reprinted since 1874, when it came out as an appendix to the Preface to Giambattista Bodoni’s Manuale tipografico, in the edition edited by Salvadore Landi and printed in Florence.
    Not much is known about Giuseppe Chiantore (1814-1902), but the Dissertazione estetica and the other writings collected in this book qualify him as an important figure in 19th century typography. He was an apprentice at the Turin printing house of Carlo Chirio and Carlo Mina. In 1839, he obtained a printer’s patent for the city of Alba. He entered into partnership with Gioacchino Sansoldi and in 1840 began operating under the name Tipografia Chiantore e Sansoldi. After about ten years he was in Pinerolo as printer to the Town Hall, and then to His Majesty. From 1873 to 1880 he went on to manage the Unione Tipografica di Torino founded by Giuseppe Pomba.

    In addition to the Dissertation, it appears that Giuseppe Chiantore wrote only a few short occasional texts, all of which are reproduced here; the volume closes with a series of plates of Bodoni frontispieces taken from L’arte di Giambattista Bodoni by Raffaello Bertieri, Milan, 1913.

    Published by Ronzani Editore
    136 pages
    Paperback
    Isbn 978-88-87007-82-4

  •  22,00

    Ninety years after the first and only edition, Ronzani reproposes this small classic of typography in facsimile, which also allows us to visually appreciate the didactic vocation of the book.

    In Come nasce un libro (How a book is born) (1931) Raffaello Bertieri recounts in a flat manner, with didactic precision and a wealth of examples, all the phases of book production, from the typesetting of the texts to the actual printing and binding, showing in detail how interdependent the various phases are, and how accuracy and precision are essential to the realisation of the work. After decades of profound changes, concerning not only technology, publishing and graphics, but also the whole cultural and social phenomena behind book production, these pages – an expression of Bertieri’s ‘functionalist’ approach to graphic design – maintain their interest intact, both as a first-rate document on the state of the book art in the 1920s and 1930s, and for the topicality of the lessons and considerations on the qualities a book must have in order to satisfy, first and foremost, the reader’s needs.

    Ninety years after the first and only edition, Ronzani reproposes this small classic of typography in facsimile, which also allows us to visually appreciate the book’s didactic vocation.

    Published by Ronzani Editore
    256 pages
    Paperback
    Isbn 978-88-94911-60-2

  •  20,00

    Fra tipi e copie (Between Types and Copies) is a mine of memories, anecdotes, and considerations, a lively and well-written picture of the world revolving around the world of printing and publishing in the fifty years preceding the Great War. This book is a collection of about forty articles written by Giacomo Bobbio, printer, Garibaldian volunteer in Bezzecca and Monterotondo, inspirer and agitator of trade union initiatives, journalist and self-taught writer with a passion for the printing trades – all of them: from thirteen-year-old apprentice to director of the Senate Printing House, to (unfortunate) owner of a printing house.

    The articles were largely published in L’Arte della Stampa and, brought together in a volume in 1913, were so successful that a second edition was needed the following year. This too Fra tipi e copie, like other titles of 19th century typography, is rare to find on the antiquarian market, even at high prices. The Ronzani publishing proposal aims to make up for these difficulties by offering those interested in the world of books a new accurate edition in a beautiful and easy-to-read format.

    Published by Ronzani Editore
    382 pages
    Paperback
    Isbn 979-12-59600-26-4

  •  15,00

    This volume collects the headwords that Giacinto Carena dedicates to the technical terms concerning typography and the material aspects of the book in his Vocabolario metodico d’arti e mestieri (1853), a work that has long been a reference model for lexicographers, and was also admired by Alessandro Manzoni.

    Paper production, type casting, printing, bookbinding, every tool, every raw material, every aspect of the process is recorded and documented by Carena in good living language, verified on the spot at the artisans of the time in Tuscany, where he had travelled several times for long periods. Since that time, along with the technology itself for producing books, the possibility of establishing conceptual relationships between nomeclatures has changed profoundly, as has the way lexical links are graphically represented. But those interested in the world of typography will find in this work a valuable tool to pleasantly explore, and rediscover in its most concrete aspects, the book trade in the 19th century.

    Published by Ronzani Editore
    Edited by Giuseppe Càntele and Elsa Zaupa
    Introduction by Alessandro Corubolo

    160 pages
    Soft cover
    Isbn 979-12-59600-31-8

  •  16,00

    Not everyone is aware of the fact that Mallarmé, the most aristocratic of the Symbolist poets, was also a refined connoisseur of typography, very attentive to all material aspects concerning printing and books. The most emblematic text of this peculiar interest is the poem Coup de dés, but in the formal elaboration of his entire poetic oeuvre, the visual relationship between the printed word and the blank page, the prominence of type and ink on the blank sheet, as well as the incidence of every concrete detail on the aesthetics of the text, is essential.

    This book collects for the first time in an Italian edition the reflections, or rather the ‘digressions’ of Mallarmé’s ‘Book form’ (to be written with a capital letter, as the materialisation of the ‘great Work’: of a ‘total’ work), published by the poet under the title The Book, a Spiritual Instrument. Prose of great strength and suggestion, accompanied by three essays dedicated to how this specific interest of Mallarmé’s is expressed in his work and what repercussions it had in the subsequent avant-gardes.

    Published by Ronzani Editore
    Edited by Giuseppe Càntele
    Translations by Marco Cavalli

    176 pages
    Paperback
    Isbn 978-88-87007-97-8

  •  40,00

    Published in 1997, this volume, the catalogue of the Roy Lichtenstein exhibition held at the Anthony d’Offay Gallery in London from 23 October to 27 November – only three weeks after his death –, contains six lithographic plaquettes of new paintings and two interviews with the artist, both recorded by David Sylvester, the influential British modern art critic of the second half of the 20th century. The first was recorded in January 1966, the second in April 1997 – a few months before Lichtenstein’s death.

    The first interview was commissioned by the BBC’s Third Programme for a non-specialist audience, who might have been interested in learning about the then exciting new phenomenon called Pop Art, probably largely without ever having seen an example of it in the original, and therefore altogether more general and theoretical. The second interview is a brief collection of information about an interesting new technical development in Lichtenstein’s work; as it was to be published in the catalogue of an exhibition for a specialised audience, the interviewer assumed the reader’s knowledge of the artist’s long previous career.

    Sylvester, unaware of the events, thus arrives at some considerations that, with hindsight, sound like a definitive summary of Lichtenstein’s work, which he has always claimed to have been inspired by Cubism, and likens him – perhaps unexpectedly – more to Braque and Picasso than to Gleizes and Metzinger.

    Published by Anthony d’Offay Gallery, 1997
    16.3 × 29 cm
    40 pages
    6 colour plates
    Hardback
    English
    Isbn 094756473X

  •  40,00

    The photographer Majorie Content (1895-1984) was a mild and unpretentious woman who kept her work mostly to herself. She rarely published and never exhibited her work. Among her close friends were several famous artists, such as Alfred Steigliz, the painter Georgia O’Keeffe, the playwright Maxwell Anderson and the novelist Kay Boyle. Although she never referred to herself as an artist, she worked constantly as a photographer for fifteen years, unbeknownst to most of her artist friends.

    For much of her life she was a muse and source of encouragement to others, including her fourth husband, writer Jean Toomer, and Georgia O’Keeffe. Jill Quasha was fascinated by Content’s work, and in this beautiful volume she presents both photographs and biographical and critical essays by three separate authors. In its pages, we see her small, lyrical shots: views of Washington Square from above that emphasise structure and form; portraits, nudes and still lives that emphasise the poetry of light on surfaces; panoramas of the West and still life studies that achieve abstraction, far in advance of what was to come in American art at the time; and a series of moving portraits and groups of Native Americans from New Mexico and Arizona – all expressions of Marjorie Content’s calm, contemplative soul.

    The discovery of these photographs not only adds significantly to our knowledge of the poetic capabilities of photography, but is clear evidence that an artist can work with ambition and success despite a lack of encouragement and recognition throughout her life.

    Published by W.W. Norton & Co., 1994
    17 × 23.5 cm
    160 pages
    Over 100 b/w photographs
    Hardback
    Isbn 9780393036824

  •  50,00

    This book celebrates two ‘titans’ of 20th century book design: John Mardersteig and Jan Tschichold. Hans Schmoller tells the story of two men who, from humble beginnings, became influential typographers of the last century: Tschichold as head of design at Penguin Books and Mardersteig as founder of Officina Bodoni. Illustrated with 30 examples of their work, this book was printed at the Stamperia Valdonega in Verona by Mardersteig’s son Martino. Schmoller was also a recognised book designer and was Tschichold’s successor in designing Penguin Books. The book was prepared for printing by Abe Lerner.

    Published by Typophiles, 1990
    11 × 18.5 cm
    96 pages
    30 illustrations
    Hardback with slipcase
    English
    Isbn 9780945074014

  •  50,00

    Alphabets of Wood is the first study to survey the hitherto unknown history of wood type in Italy. The archive of the craftsman and wood type maker Luigi Melchiori, collected in the Tipoteca, was the starting point to broaden our gaze and investigate the history of the wood type manufacturers.

    The book is enriched by two inserts letterpress printed from original wood type from the Tipoteca’s archive: a more than natural choice, since the topic of the book. The most incisive form to “highlight” them was their impression on paper.

    Published by Antiga Edizioni
    Texts by James Clough, Chiara Scattolin

    21,5 × 25 cm
    208 pages
    Printed in offset with two letterpress inserts, printed on Atena Nebiolo with original wooden typefaces
    Hardback
    English
    Isbn 978-88-95932-00-2

  •  90,00

    The occasion of Grafiche Antiga’s fiftieth anniversary offers a good pretext to bring to life a work, rich in images and content, that not only retraces the history of the Tipoteca museum, but above all puts materials and documents of absolute value in the spotlight. And the book itself becomes a journey into printing, with the shrewd use of papers and techniques that know how to give the printed book ‘character’ in the digital age, starting above all with the three inserts printed in letterpress with historical typefaces from the Tipoteca archive.

    Designed by London-based graphic designer Simon Esterson, with visual narration by photographer Claudio Rocci and texts by Italian and foreign scholars, Tipoteca. Una storia italiana is a tribute to the beauty of books and typography, with special emphasis on typefaces and machines, an authentic historical heritage saved by Tipoteca and made still accessible to the public thanks to years of commitment and passion.

    Published by Antiga Edizioni
    Edited by Leonardo Facchin and Sandro Berra
    Preface by Lucio Passerini
    Texts by James Clough, Cesare De Michelis, Jost Hochuli, Alan Kitching, Mathieu Lommen, Arnaldo Loner, Bill & Jim Moran, James Mosley, Erik Spiekermann, Enrico Tallone, Alberto Vigevani
    Photographs by Claudio Rocci
    Book design Simon Esterson

    23 × 29 cm
    320 pages
    Over 230 images
    Hardback with slipcase
    Three letterpress inserts
    Italian/English
    Isbn 9788884350992

  •  90,00

    A collection – compiled by Carla Marzoli and published in 1962 by La Bibliofila – of seventy-two calligraphic manuscripts and specimens ranging from the 16th to the 19th century, from the Italian, French, Dutch and Spanish schools, catalogued, described and richly illustrated with 210 illustrations and an introduction by Stanley Morison. Each 178-page volume, originally printed in 2000 copies, is numbered; design by Max Huber.

    Published by La Bibliografica, 1962
    Compiled by Carla Marzoli
    Introduction by Stanley Morison
    Book design Max Huber

    17 × 24.5 cm
    178 pages
    210 illustrations
    Paperback
    English

  •  75,00

    Alpha-Beta is a work dedicated to the history of writing and typography. As the title suggests it deals with the fundamentals, the basics of the discipline of typography, with a historical slant and great attention to form. It is the first book by type designer Aldo Novarese, and dates back to the autumn of 1964, published by Progresso Grafico in Turin.

    Initially conceived for the teaching of alphabet design in graphic schools, the book is one of the few works written in Italian to deal with the theory and practice of type design from the point of view of a practitioner of the discipline and not a theorist; Alfa-Beta presents the history of type with an original and dynamic slant that is still worthy of note and a source of inspiration today.

    On the occasion of the centenary of Novarese’s birth (29 June 1920), the book was reissued thanks to a crowdfunding project conceived by Lorenzo Bolzoni, organised and followed up together with Archivio Tipografico and Matilde Argentero, the author’s niece. This re-edition includes the reproduction of Aldo Novarese’s book accompanied by a reading guide containing an introduction to the project, two essays by Enrico Tallone and Tommaso Trojani and an English translation of all texts by Alta L. Price.

    Published by Archivio Tipografico, Turin, 2020
    Alpha-Beta Facsimile
    Texts and illustrations by Aldo Novarese
    17 × 24 cm
    288 pages
    Hardback
    Italian

    Reading Guide
    Texts by Enrico Tallone, Tommaso Trojani
    Translations by Alta L. Price
    222 pages
    Paperback
    Italian / English

    Two-volume edition in a letterpress printed slipcase
    Isbn 978-88-945605-1-0

  •  30,00

    Teoria del type design (Type Design Theory), the first comprehensive theory of type design, is published in its first Italian edition by Ronzani Editore.

    Written by Gerard Unger – a Dutch designer and lecturer internationally recognised as one of the most authoritative exponents of the discipline – and published in its original edition in 2018, the theory immediately established itself as a classic of typographic literature.

    The book is divided into 25 short chapters, each addressing a specific aspect of type design, from the relationship to language to styles, from the importance of historical patterns to digital evolution, from legibility to expressiveness. The chapters are accompanied by more than 200 images and practical examples; terminology is clarified by a comprehensive glossary.

    The ‘Theory’ will appeal to anyone with a sincere interest in typography; the comprehensiveness of the treatment and the clarity of the exposition make it suitable for a wide audience: from professionals in the field to students of typography and design, to simple enthusiasts of this marvellous art that has been giving shape to our words for more than five centuries.

    Published by Ronzani Editore
    Preface by Gerry Leonidas and a recollection by Riccardo Olocco

    16.5 × 24 cm
    252 pages
    Dutch hardback
    Italian
    Isbn 978-88-94911-43-5

  •  23,00

    Raffaello Bertieri (1875-1941), a diligent and passionate protagonist of the vicissitudes of Italian typography, published one of his most important books in 1933 – the crucial year of the modernist graphic turn: 20 alfabeti brevemente illustrati (20 Alphabets Briefly Illustrated), printed in 275 copies and now almost impossible to find. A text addressed to “bibliophiles, the curious, connoisseurs of the Art of Printing…”, and written in a style as simple and clear as the illustrated typefaces of its pages.

    Bertieri bears witness to a typographic taste firmly anchored in tradition, but also tempted by modernism, as is emblematically shown by the review in this book, which includes typefaces characterised by Art Nouveau traits together with alphabets functional to the new graphics that was being imposed.

    This extremely rare work by Bertieri is now finally re-published, with an introductory essay by Alessandro Corubolo on Bertieri and typefaces (also accompanied by an English translation). The scans of the images and the printing are carried out by Trifolio of Verona; the letterpress cover, in two colours, is printed with a hand press. The book, like the first edition, was printed in 275 numbered copies.

    Published by Ronzani Editore
    Preface by Alessandro Corubolo (translated into English)

    16.3 × 24 cm
    96 pages
    Paperback
    Italian
    Isbn 978-88-94911-37-4

  •  23,00

    The Saggio sulla tipografia (Essay on Typography) was written by Eric Gill in 1931, and is the quintessence of his thought. Gill expresses in it a comprehensive view of the role of typography and printing in the modern world, but also his ideas on the role of man in an industrial society. He addresses the history and evolution of letters, the art of typography, type design, page design, ink and colour preparation, paper production, binding, and even spelling.

    It is Gill’s only major theoretical contribution to typography and remains essential reading for anyone interested in the art of letters, their form and function, of which Gill is an undisputed master.

    Published by Ronzani Editore
    15 × 23.5 cm
    212 pages
    Paperback
    Italian / English
    Isbn 978-88-94911-15-2

  •  23,00

    The designs of Swiss graphic designer Jost Hochuli contribute to defining an absolutely unmistakable typographic aesthetic, which establishes, between the ideal and material elements of which a book is composed, an unprecedented, very modern relationship, but one that is devoid of gratuitous eccentricities, and always fully functional to the reading and all-embracing communication of the different elements of the text. In spite of the great consideration he has enjoyed for some time now all over the world, in Italy Hochuli’s fame is mostly limited to enthusiasts of such a specific field as book design.

    With L’ABC di un tipografo (The ABC of a typographer), written and designed by the author, The Printing Office offers the first Italian edition of an exemplary text to fill the gap and to get to know the refined idea of beauty that characterises the work of the Swiss Master. The volume is structured as a veritable abecedary through which the author traces, in a skilful graphic interplay of text and images, his long life dedicated to book design and typography. In the various entries of the ‘abecedario’, anecdotes and recollections of the greatest figures in the world of books, printing, calligraphy and letter design – from Adrian Frutiger to Alfred Fairbank, from Berthold Wolpe to Jan Tschichold to Max Bill – alternate with reflections on the main artistic currents and major themes of 20th-century graphic design and typography – such as Bauhaus, Calligraphic Kitsch, Legibility, Originality, Modernity, School, etc. – that make this book, according to the author’s own words, a true ‘abecedario’. – which make this book, according to Hochuli’s own definition, his ‘typographic testament’.

    Published by Ronzani Editore
    15 × 23.5 cm
    64 pages
    Paperback
    Italian
    Isbn 978-88-94911-07-7

  •  68,00

    The Printing Office catalogue is enriched by an extraordinary new title, which has now become a cult for typography enthusiasts.

    If fonts such as Optima, Palatino, Melior exist in the graphics industry today, we owe it to their creator, Hermann Zapf. This first book by Zapf, published in Italy by Edizioni Valdonega in 1991 – with a preface by Bruno Munari – aims to introduce a character known worldwide for his fonts and his extraordinary skills in the field of calligraphy and publishing graphics.

    Over 300 illustrations are distributed in the volume, which is divided into two parts. The first consists of 144 pages of plates, printed in various colour scales, which significantly represent Zapf’s work. In the second, numerous biographical texts are used to trace the various stages of his studies on calligraphy and type design, and to describe his most recent research in the field of digitalisation.

    The volume is aimed at enthusiasts of typography, lettering and calligraphy.

    Published by Edizioni Valdonega
    Texts by diy Hermann Zapf
    Preface by Bruno Munari

    20.5 × 30 cm
    280 pages
    Over 300 illustrations
    Canvas board with dust jacket and slipcase
    Italian
    Isbn 88-8503-20-2

  •  65,00

    The Printing Office presents a cult of typography and lettering: Dutch Type. First published in 2004 by Jan Middendorp for 010 Publishers, it sold out within a short time. Today, thanks to a crowdfunding campaign, the volume sees the light again in a reprint by Druk Editions.

    Dutch Type is a compendium of Dutch type design that reviews its illustrious history: from its origins, traceable in the calligraphers of the 15th century, to contemporary digital type design, to which almost half of the book is dedicated, enriched by numerous examples and typeface studies.

    The result of extensive research, the volume collects and documents the creation of Dutch letters and typefaces in 320 pages. It is appreciated for its ability to combine rigorous historical-typographical analysis and extremely refined colour illustrations, provoking the pleasure that only typefaces can convey.

    Dutch Type is a must-have volume for students, professionals and lovers of typography, calligraphy and lettering.

    Texts by Jan Middendorp
    Design by Bart de Haas & Peter Verheul

    23 × 28 cm
    320 pages
    750 illustrations
    Hardback
    English
    Isbn 978-3-9820037-0-2

  •  300,00

    The Printing Office presents a splendid collection of six books published between 1975 and 1977 by the Veronese artisanal print shop of deux amis Renzo Sommaruga and Igino Battistoni. Entitled ‘Documents of Contemporary Graphics’ and produced with exemplary care, in the plans of its editors-printers this series was to represent a substantial contribution to the dissemination of an artistic and aesthetic sensibility in step with the times. For this reason, they invested in the project by printing three thousand numbered and certified copies with the seal of the Castelvecchio Museum. As a guarantee for the purchasers, at the end of the print run the plates were biffed. Sommaruga and Battistoni’s intention was to keep the selling price as low as possible, so that the widest possible number of readers could get to know and appreciate the artistic expression of the time. The Printing Office re-publishes this authentic bibliographic treasure today in the same spirit as its creators.

    Each title released from the presses of Aux Deux Amis introduces and presents six works by six different contemporary artists of the time:
    Miguel Berrocal, Suite Veronese, Linoleographies, Verona, Aux Deux Amis, 1975
    Eugenio Tomiolo, Cavalcature, Six linocuts, Verona, Aux Deux Amis, 1976
    Gianni Dova, Racconto Bretone, Serigrafie, Verona, Aux Deux Amis, 1976
    Eugenio Chicano, Homage to Machado, Linotypes, Verona, Aux Deux Amis, 1976
    Virgilio Guidi, I volti della memoria, Six linocuts, Verona, Aux Deux Amis, 1976
    Giuseppe Ajmone, Sei Nudi, Lithographs, Verona, Aux Deux Amis, 1977

    Inside, the reader will find texts by the author (poems, short stories or significant quotations), original prints made by the artist, and, in each copy, an exclusive gift: a framed print, numbered and certified as well. All books are typeset in Bembo font, printed and bound by the Stamperia Valdonega of Verona, founded and directed by Giovanni Mardersteig. The numbered and certified prints are linocuts by Renzo Sommaruga, serigraphs by Igino Battistoni (Studiograph, Verona) or lithographs, in collaboration with La Spirale (Milan). The paper for the interior is 160 g, in a special watermarked manufacture from the Fratelli Magnani paper mill in Pescia, while a heavy coloured cardboard from the Miliani paper mill in Fabriano was used for the cover.

    Complete set of 6 volumes of 24 pages each in an elegant slipcase
    24 × 33 cm

    Numbered, signed and certified copies
    A complimentary original print for each title