NHP at ATypI Antwerp (2)

Here is Alessandro Colizzi’s talk about “Aldo Novarese and Alessandro Butti, a story to be (re)written.”

Novarese’s name is almost synonymous with Nebiolo. Aldo Novarese (1920–1995) headed the foundry’s Studio artistico from 1953 to 1972: as its last leading figure, he was invariably “celebrated” and remained the only source for the history of the company after its demise in 1978. He began his career as assistant to Alessandro Butti (1893–1959), who headed the Studio artistico from 1936 to 1952. Under Butti’s art direction, Nebiolo released many original typefaces that were highly influential in 20th-century typography, including Semplicità, Neon, Veltro, Augustea, Microgramma, and Recta. However, few designers and historians today are aware of Butti’s work, whereas most of his type designs are usually attributed to Novarese. New evidence based on unpublished documents and oral history interviews now lead scholars to question the authorship of some typefaces generally attributed to Novarese, but which appear to be earlier creations by Butti. The time has come for a reconsideration of Novarese’s “vulgate” and for a reappraisal of Butti’s role as a leading 20th-century type designer who contributed so much to Nebiolo’s reputation.