NHP at ATypI Antwerp (1)

The Nebiolo History Project was officially announced at the ATypI Conference in Antwerp, September 11–15, 2018. Here is Marta Bernstein’s introduction to “The lost hundred years of Italian type. From the death of Bodoni till the rise of Nebiolo”.

Nebiolo, Bodoni, history, Italian type, decorative type, 1800, printing types, research, unpublished, wood type, type foundries. In the span of roughly a century, the typographic practice in Italy evolved from being a craft perfected by the skills of Giambattista Bodoni to being fully mechanized. While there is plenty of literature about the printer from Parma and the Nebiolo company in Turin, not much is known of the century in between the two. How come Nebiolo become one of the most important Italian companies in the early 20th century, aggressively incorporating almost all the possible competitors across the nation? Who were they? While Italy was slowly becoming a unified and independent nation, along the way came visionary publishers, patriotic printers, unlucky punchcutters, forgotten type foundries, and authors of typographic manuals. We will learn why Bodoni was forgotten for so long and how Italian typographers created their references. And of course, we will look at a lot of interesting type from the 19th century, with its experimentation, its crazy decoration, and the freedom that created much of what we now consider standard.