Legacy of Letters 2023: Letterpress Extravaganza—2. Torino
July 1, 2023 | Day 2
We spent the morning at the Archivio Tipografico, the first of four letterpress studios on our itinerary in addition to the Tipoteca. Gabriele Fumero, Emanuele Mensa, Luca, and Sebastian welcomed us warmly. Since it was a Saturday, other members of the collective were not present. We began with a tour of the studio led by Gabriele. Nearly the entire place had been rearranged since the last visit by Legacy of Letters in 2017. The entryway was almost the same and the anamorphic illustration of type height painted on the ceiling was still there. But presses, guillotines, type cabinets, tables, and other equipment had been moved all around.
Everyone reveled in the drawers of unfamiliar metal and wood typefaces, the equipment, the type specimen books, the prints and books.
After the tour of the studio, Gabriele and Luca oversaw printing of the first keepsake for Legacy of Letters 2023. They had chosen a wood version of Landi Linear for their alphabet. They divided up the capitals and numerals to accommodate the tri-fold layout of the oblong sheet (the size of three A5 sheets arranged side-by-side) that I had chosen in consultation with the studios. Luca showed the Legacy of Letters 2023 participants how to operate the cylinder press and then each one took turns printing the edition of 30 prints.
Studio of Massimo Polello
Massimo Polello, a Torinese calligrapher with an international reputaton, invited the members of Legacy of Letters 2023 to visit his studio in the afternoon. The visit was a bonus since it was not part of the itinerary. We sat around a large table discussing calligraphy with both myself and Massimo stopping the discussion to demonstrate various scripts and tools. Massimo also showed us several projects he had been involved in, including an amazing Dutch art book where he worked with Brody Neuenschwander.