Legacy of Letters

Legacy of Letters was conceived in 1996 by Garrett Boge as an opportunity for calligraphers, lettercutters, typographers and anyone else passionate about letterforms to study the history of the Roman alphabet in its place of origin. The tour was inspired by the famous student tours of Rome and Florence led every other Spring by Prof. Michael Twyman and his colleagues in the Department of Typography and Graphic Communication at the University of Reading. Boge and I led tours of Rome from 1997 to 1999 and of Florence and Tuscany in 2000. In 2010 I revived Legacy of Letters with the help of Alta Price. The tour currently focuses on cities in the Veneto and Emilia-Romagna regions, but in the future it will expand to include other locations in Italy.

Announcing Mark Simonson Scholarship for Legacy of Letters 2020

Learning to set metal type. Day 1 of Tipo Cibo Vino 2019.
Legacy of Letters is pleased to announce that Mark Simonson Studio, a leading font producer based in St. Paul, Minnesota has agreed to sponsor a scholarship (worth $3500) for one person to attend the Tipo Cibo Vino 2020 tour and letterpress workshop in Italy next summer. The scholarship will cover the full cost of the tour/workshop but not travel to or from Italy or meals and …
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Announcing Tipo Cibo Vino 2020 (Legacy of Letters)

Punches by Giambattista Bodoni. Image courtesy of the Museo Bodoniano, Parma. Photograph by Paul Shaw 2008.
The inaugural edition of Tipo Cibo Vino (Legacy of Letters 2019) this past summer was a resounding success. So much so, that even before it was over, many of the participants were clamoring for Patricia and myself to do another Tipo Cibo Vino in 2020 with Peter Kruty Editions. Although it has taken longer than expected to work out a different (but equally compelling) …
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Images of Tipo Cibo Vino (Legacy of Letters 2019) part 13—The Bound Book

The letterpress project for each edition of Legacy of Letters has gotten bolder and more elaborate. In 2010 we spent one day at the Tipoteca. Under the direction of Lucio Passerini we printed a collaborative broadside of our initials in two colors. In 2012 we doubled our printing time. Lucio guided oversaw the making of a collaborative broadside that could be cut and folded into an accordion book. It was printed in three colors. In 2013 Lucio was again our …
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Images of Tipo Cibo Vino (Legacy of Letters 2019) part 12—Binding

The one thing we failed to accomplish during Tipo Cibo Vino in Cornuda was binding our printed sheets. In early September Sandro Berra of the Tipoteca shipped them to Peter Kruty Editions in Brooklyn. I then sounded out the Legacy of Letters 2019 participants to find a date when the greatest number of them could come to Brooklyn for a binding bee. We eventually settled on Saturday, October 26.
The day was sunny and cool—perfect autumnal weather. In the early …
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Tipo Cibo Vino (Legacy of Letters 2019)—Part 11: Celebration

July 12, 2019 | End of Legacy of Letters 2019 Tipo Cibo Vino
Legacy of Letters has always ended with a celebratory dinner. It was particularly deserving this year following the frenetic push to get the menu book pages printed and scored—and to return all type and type material to its original place and get the Tipoteca cleaned up by 7 pm. Once we had accomplished that we posed for several final group photographs before heading to Le Corderie to celebrate.
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Tipo Cibo Vino (Legacy of Letters 2019)—Part 10: Letterpress Workshop Day 5

Prints drying on presses and cabinets in the machinery exhibition room.
July 12, 2019 | Day 4 of the project
Friday was the last day of the letterpress project. It was chaotic and frantic, as it had been with Alan Kitching in 2015 and with Erik Spiekermann in 2017. As in the past, those who finished printing their page early pitched in to help those who were lagging behind. This spirit of cooperation is always one of the most pleasing aspects …
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Tipo Cibo Vino (Legacy of Letters 2019)—Part 10: Letterpress Workshop Day 5 continued

From left to right: Lucio, Sandro, and Daniele working on the title page print. In the background, Peter is amused by Lucio’s boundless energy.
July 12, 2019 | Day 4 of the project
Daniele Facchin, Lucio Bottaselle, Leonardo Facchin, and Sandro Berra
Without the assistance of Daniele, Lucio, Leonardo, and Sandro, the printing would never have been completed on time. Daniele and Lucio, the two Tipoteca “technicians”, helped everyone out with typesetting as well as running the presses as they have done …
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Tipo Cibo Vino (Legacy of Letters 2019)—Part 9: Food Interlude

From left to right: Claire, Jason, Lucia, Shaina, and Sara sharing a joke at lunch.
July 11, 2019 | Lunch
The Italian practice of taking a leisurely lunch in the middle of the day and then making up for lost time by working until 7 pm is one that we at Legacy of Letters have embraced during our letterpress workshops. The lunches, whether a simple panini at the cafè across the canalin Crocetto di Montello, as we did in the early …
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Tipo Cibo Vino (Legacy of Letters 2019)—Part 8: Letterpress Workshop Day 4

July 11, 2019 | Day 3 of the project
On Thursday, the page designs began to more clearly take shape as additional colors were printed. They continued to evolve as participants discovered the limitations of letterpress in general as well as of the typefaces available at the Tipoteca. There was also the constraint (pressure) of creating a design in a short amount of time. But these obstacles were treated as challenges to be overcome.
Here are some scenes from the day, chosen …
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Tipo Cibo Vino (Legacy of Letters 2019)—Part 7: Letterpress Workshop Day 3

Legacy of Letters participants hard at work setting type at the Tipoteca.
Work on the menu project began to speed up on Wednesday as the participants finished up their text type requirement and moved on to the interpretive part of the assignment. The approaches they took were gratifyingly varied. James, Jason, Laura, Lucia and Lucille simply played with typographic forms and color; Shaina and Claire opted for typographic “pictures”; Janine and Emmy incorporated pressure prints into their designs; and Jane …
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Tipo Cibo Vino (Legacy of Letters 2019)—Part 6: Letterpress Workshop Day 2

The letterpress project was a bound book (though we failed to get the binding done while at the Tipoteca) composed of designs for each course of an Italian meal: aperitivi (Shaina Pruden), antipasti (Jason Stadnik), vini (Janine Wong), primi piatti (Emmy Yamaguchi), secondi piatti (Lucia McCreery), contorni e insalate (Lucille Tenazas), formaggio (James Stroud), dolci (Jane Pirone), caffè (Claire Lukacs), and digestivi (Laura Thoms). The endpapers were designed by Sayre Gaydos who also came up with the book structure. The …
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Images of Tipo Cibo Vino (Legacy of Letters 2019)—Part 5: Letterpress Workshop Day 1

The letterpress workshop was led this year by Peter Kruty and Sayre Gaydos of Peter Kruty Editions, a studio in the Sunset Park part of Brooklyn that specializes in innovative work with contemporary artists and writers. Given their background, this workshop attempted to include illustrations instead of being type-centric. Thus, the first day included an introduction to paper and pressure prints by Peter alongside the standard tutorial in composing metal type by hand.
July 7, 2019 | Composing Type and Making …
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Images of Tipo Cibo Vino (Legacy of Letters 2019)—Part 4: Le Corderie

Possibly the highlight of Tipo Cibo Vino was a day of cooking and beverage lessons from chef Cristina Colle and her husband Mauro Drago, the owners of Le Corderie, the restaurant established by the Tipoteca. Mauro instructed us in how to properly make coffee (cappucino, espresso, and iced coffee) and Italian cocktails (the Americano, Negroni, and Ugo); and led a grappa tasting. Cristina taught us how to make baccalà mantecata, risi e bisi, and tiramisù. And we got to eat …
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Images of Tipo Cibo Vino (Legacy of Letters 2019)—Part 3: Cimiterio Brion

Our visit to Altivole to see architect Carlo Scarpa’s masterpiece, the Cimiterio Brion, was not part of the original Tipo Cibo Vino itinerary as there was no time to fit it into the Veneto day. But the Legacy of letters participants were unanimous in their desire to see the cemetery, so Patricia and I figured out a way to squeeze it into the schedule. Our visit ended just as a massive thunderstorm swept through the area.
July 7, 2019 | Altivole
Cimiterio …
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Images of Tipo Cibo Vino (Legacy of Letters 2019)—Part 2: The Veneto

During the first three days of Tipo Cibo Vino we looked at manuscripts, incunabula, Futurist books, and posters. Although we ate terrific food and drank Aperol spritzes, Negronis, and lots of prosecco at lunch and dinner—and beer in Trento—we had not yet begun the official “Cibo Vino” part of the tour. That all changed with our gastronomic tour of the Veneto, orchestrated by Sandro Berra.
July 6, 2019 | Farra di Soligo
Cantina Marchiori
Peter Kruty listening to Sara Marchiori explaining the …
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Images from Tipo Cibo Vino (Legacy of Letters 2019)—Part 1: Treviso, Venice, Rovereto, and Trento

The first iteration of Tipo Cibo Vino, the 2019 Legacy of Letters tour and workshop, was a smashing success. The ten participants and one companion had a marvelous time touring cultural and gastronomic sites in the Veneto, taking cooking and beverage lessons from Cristina Colle and Mauro Drago of Le Corderie restaurant, and then working collaboratively on a letterpress book at the Tipoteca under the guidance of Peter Kruty and Sayre Gaydos of Peter Kruty Editions. The experience was so …
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