Vacation for lettermaniacs

Wood type at the Tipoteca. Photograph by Carlo Scherer (2010).

The 2012 Legacy of Letters Tour and Workshop is shaping up quickly. Five people—a healthy mix of calligraphers, graphic designers and letterpress printers—are signed up and with one more participant the tour will become a reality. The tour is deliberately kept small—twelve people maximum, six minimum—in order to enhance the experience for everyone involved.

This edition of Legacy of Letters broadens the workshop experience to encompass half of the ten-day tour. This will make for a less frenetic pace overall and allow participants more time to develop their tour keepsake as well as work closely with the teachers (Paul Shaw, Luca Barcellona and Lucio Passerini). It also allows the balance between calligraphy and letterpress printing to be adjusted according to the desires and needs of the participants. Our time at the Tipoteca will be an opportunity for everyone to explore letterforms, both pen-made and typographic, at leisure.

The remainder of the tour—visits to the Museo Bodoniano in Parma, the Casa Depero in Rovereto, the archeological museums of Aquileia, and the Fondazione Cini in Venice—are intended to provide participants with a direct but broad survey of the history of Western letterforms from Ancient Rome to the 20th century. This is a unique opportunity to see—and in some instances, touch—letterforms that most designers only know about secondhand as images in books or online. There is no substitute for the real thing when it comes to looking at Roman Imperial capitals, the typefaces of Giambattista Bodoni, the multifaceted career of Futurist Fortunato Depero, the books printed by Aldus Manutius, the calligraphy of Bartolomeo Sanvito or the wood type of Luigi Melchiori.

And, because the tour takes place in Italy, sight is not the only sense that is catered to. Taste and smell are important, too, and there will be ample time to enjoy the food and wine that Italy is known for. The 2012 Legacy of Letters Tour and Workshop is where the pleasures of a profession meet the pleasures of leisure. It is a must for anyone seriously passionate about letters and it will be money and time well spent. The experience will last a lifetime.

For more details on the 2012 Legacy of Letters Tour and Workshop click on the link above for a PDF brochure.