5th July 2018
My final visit was to Tipoteca Italiana in the town of Cornuda, Treviso province. A legendary museum amongst the typography, print and design communities, the collection and archive was established by the Grafiche Antiga print company. Realising that the equipment and expertise of letterpress in Italy was in danger of being entirely lost, the company spent several years travelling the country acquiring materials, all of which is now installed in a former hemp mill (plus the workers’ lodgings and church).
The museum houses an impressive collection of presses and type (1 and 2), but the real jewels are the archive of crafts related to the world of type: typeface design (3), punch engraving (4 and 5), matrix preparation and casting (6 and 7). The Nebiolo foundry and its chief type designer Aldo Novarese are especially well represented.
6 – Nebiolo’s Nebitype caster is at the front
7 – Monotype caster keyboard wall
Combine that rich archive with the collection of type specimen books (8) and graphic art publications (9), and you can see why Tipoteca is so revered internationally.
9 – Archivio Tipografico, Torino, 1905 (L) and Nebiolo type foundry catalogue (R)
There’s also a well-equipped educational print space which functions as one of two production spaces for commissions. Note the smartly dressed printers.
A full rundown of all the different sections of the museum is here on the Tipoteca site. Far better to read it from the source than for me to summarise what is an incredible experience.
One final thanks to a-n for the bursary that facilitated this invaluable learning experience.