Tipo Cibo Vino (Legacy of Letters 2022)—Part 6: Letterpress Workshop Day 1

Page 1 of the list of pasta names, color-coded to indicate different categories (e.g. pasta lunghi). Claire Lukacs has highlighted the chunk of names she was responsible for setting.

The letterpress workshop, led by Peter Kruty and Sayre Gaydos of the Brooklyn-based studio Peter Kruty Editions, began in earnest the morning of July 13.

The group project—conceived by me—was a book devoted to pasta. The idea, two years in the making due to the pandemic, was to list as many names of types of pasta as possible. With the help of Sandro Berra, I came up with over 180 names, nearly double the number on display at the Museo della Pasta. Each participant—on their own or as part of a team—was required to set a list of ten to fifteen of the names in text-size metal type to be printed in black. Once this was accomplished they were free to design a spread using three or more of the pasta names in whatever combination of typefaces and colors they desired. (In addition to black (pasta al nero di seppia) we used red (pasta al pomodoro), yellow (pasta all’uovo), and green (pasta di spinaci)—each color linked to a common type of colored pasta.) The divider pages that separated the alphabetically arranged names of pasta types were designed by Patricia Childers while I was responsible for the front and back covers, the title page, and the credits/colophon pages. The format and book structure was created by Sayre Gaydos. Our goal, as in 2019, was to create a book in which each participant had a large area of space within which to design but which folded down to a compact size for easy portability.

July 13, 2022 | Day 1 of the Project

The first thing Legacy of Letters participants had to do was set their chunk of pasta names. They had a choice of three related typefaces to use: Etrusco Tondo Nero, Etrusco Stretto Tondo Neretto, or Etrusco Stretto Tondo Nero in 14 point Didot. They spent the morning setting type with a composing stick, spacing it, and preparing it for proofing after lunch.

Patricia Childers and Sonia Biancalani Levethan watch Angelina Lippert proof her list of pasta names.

Janine Wong and George Whitman choosing type for their pasta names.

Daniele Facchin helping Sonia Biancalani Leventhan choose type for her list of pasta names.

Peter Kruty helping Claire Lukacs and Richard Waller with their typesetting.

Janine Wong and James Stroud working on their list of pasta names.

Erica Carras and Khoa Nguyen ponder their list of pasta names.


Lunch was at Le Corderie, the acclaimed restaurant established by the Tipoteca across the street to provide high quality meals for its visitors. Each day during the workshop we took a break from working on the pasta book to have a leisurely prix fixe meal there.

Burrata with marinated vegetables at Le Corderie.

Large gnocchi at Le Corderie.

Back to work

After lunch everyone began proofing their lists of pasta names with the assistance of Peter Kruty and Sayre Gaydos. Angelina Lippert, despite having no prior experience setting type, was the first to have her names ready. Meanwhile, Rosemary Rae, an experienced graphic designer and letterpress printer, quickly forged ahead with her composition for the double-page spread.

Angelina Lippert showing off the first proof of her list of pasta names. She was awarded a red star for being the first one to do so.

Peter Kruty helping Richard Waller lock up his galley of type in the bed of the press.

George Whitman using tweezers to adjust the spacing of his type.

Preliminary composition for Rosemary Rae’s double-page spread.

The end of the day

At the end of the day most of the workshop participants rode bicycles back to the Villa Bolzonello. I preferred to walk back, accompanied by Richard Waller, George Whitman, Claire Lukacs, and Khoa Nguyen. We took the quiet back roads that led past small homes, fields, vineyards, chickens, and goats.

Khoa Nguyen, George Whitman, and Claire Lukacs strolling past vineyards of prosecco grapes.

Henri-Paul Bronsard stopping to photograph the vineyards.

A chicken in the front yard of a home along the way.