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.

Tipo Cibo Vino (Legacy of Letters 2022)—Part 10: Letterpress Workshop Day 5

Khoa Nguyen, Lucio Botteselle, and Daniele Facchin discussing the divider pages.

July 17, 2022 | Day 5 of the Project
This was the last scheduled day of printing. As usual, things were hectic. Although all of the participants had printed their double-page spreads, the frontmatter, divider pages, backmatter, and cover still had to be done. Khoa Nguyen helped Patricia Childers with designing and printing the divider pages. Henri-Paul Bronsard did heroic work setting the colophon text and making corrections to it. And …
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Tipo Cibo Vino (Legacy of Letters 2022)—Part 9: Letterpress Workshop Day 4

George Whitman (at left) and Richard Waller (at right) watch Janine Wong tightening her lock-up.

July 16, 2022 | Day 4 of the Project
On Day 4 a third color (green for spinach pasta) was added to the repertoire. The two previous colors were still being printed on other proof presses. Now that everyone had become used to setting type and operating a proof press, things went more quickly and smoothly. The studio hummed with activity.
Daniele Facchin and Henri-Paul Bronsard setting type …
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Tipo Cibo Vino (Legacy of Letters 2022)—Part 8: Letterpress Workshop Day 3

Janine Wong, Patricia Childers and Peter Kruty pondering Janine’s pressure print design of pasta shapes.

July 15, 2022 | Day 3 of the Project
The afternoon before, Lorenz Boegli, owner of Atelier für Siebdruck in Müntschemier, Switzerland, and Swiss publisher Lars Müller, had briefly stopped by the Tipoteca but there was no time to talk at length with them as Silvio Antiga was leading them on a tour of the museum and we were deeply engrossed in the pasta book …
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Tipo Cibo Vino (Legacy of Letters 2022)—Part 7: Letterpress Workshop Day 2

Galley proof of the C list of pasta names set by James Stroud and Janine Wong.
Tied-up galleys of pasta lists of names awaiting proofing. The C list is at the left.
On day 2 of the letterpress workshop participants were finally free of the drudgery and precision involved in setting text type. They were able to indulge their creativity with larger metal type and wood type as well as fleurons, ornaments, rules, borders, dingbats, and whatever else they could find in …
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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 …
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Tipo Cibo Vino (Legacy of Letters 2022)—Part 5: Emilia-Romagna—Modena

This is the fifth installment of a day-by-day visual account of Tipo Cibo Vino 2022. (All photographs, unless otherwise indicated, are by me and are copyright Legacy of Letters.)

July 12, 2022 | Modena
Biblioteca Estense
Officina Typo
This was our last day in Emilia-Romagna. In the morning we took a train from Parma to Modena where we spent the morning looking at manuscripts and books in the Biblioteca Estense. The highlights were two diametrically opposed items: the Silloge of Giovanni Marcanova
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Tipo Cibo Vino (Legacy of Letters 2022)—Part 4: Parma, Langhirano, San Lazzaro di Savena, and Bologna

This is the fourth installment of a day-by-day visual account of Tipo Cibo Vino 2022. (All photographs, unless otherwise indicated, are by me and are copyright Legacy of Letters.)
July 11, 2022 | Parma
Museo Bodoniano and Biblioteca Palatina
In the morning we walked the short distance from the Hotel Torino to the Biblioteca Palatina in the Pilotta. There Dott.ssa Caterina Silva, the curator at the Museo Bodoniano, had arranged a mix of manuscripts, books, and realia (library-speak for physical objects) for …
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Tipo Cibo Vino (Legacy of Letters 2022)—Part 3: Emilio-Romagna—Collecchio, Soragna, and Parma

This is the third installment of a day-by-day visual account of Tipo Cibo Vino 2022. (All photographs, unless otherwise indicated, are by me and are copyright Legacy of Letters.)

July 10, 2022 | Collecchio
Museo della Pasta
We drove two and a half hours from Cornuda to Emilia-Romagna to visit museums devoted to pasta and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. The day was very hot and we fully appreciated the air-conditioned van. Our first stop was the Museo della Pasta on the outskirts of the small …
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Tipo Cibo Vino (Legacy of Letters 2022)—Part 2: The Veneto—Cornuda, Altivole, Maser, and Pieve del Grappa

This is the second installment of a day-by-day visual account of Tipo Cibo Vino 2022. (All photographs, unless otherwise indicated, are by me and are copyright Legacy of Letters.)

July 9, 2022 | Cornuda
Tipoteca Italiana Fondazione
This iteration of Legacy of Letters was unusual in that we scheduled the first day of the letterpress workshop at the Tipoteca in the middle of the touring section. We left the Centro Branca and Venice early in the morning, taking a train to Treviso …
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Tipo Cibo Vino (Legacy of Letters 2022)—Part 1: the Veneto—Padua, Treviso, and Venice

The second iteration of Tipo Cibo Vino, the 2022 Legacy of Letters tour and workshop, was originally scheduled to take place in 2020. Those plans were derailed by the pandemic. But the excitement of the first Tipo Cibo Vino was so strong that nearly everyone who signed up for 2020 was able to be a part of 2022. Although Italy was undergoing a severe drought and the temperature was much hotter than in 2019, the tour and workshop were still …
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Legacy of Letters 2023—Letterpress Extravaganza

Legacy of Letters 2023—Letterpress in Italy
Archivio Tipografico, Tallone Editore, Il Buon Tempo, Officina Typo, Fallani Venezia, and Tipoteca Italiana Fondazione
29 June to 12 July 2023
$4000 [$3750 early bird discount and Legacy of Letters alumni; $3500 students]
space limited to 10 participants—1 space open as of April 15

Legacy of Letters was founded in 1996 with the goal of introducing people to the incredibly rich array of resources that Italy has to offer for those excited about carved, written, and printed letters. Although …
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Legacy of Letters: In Memory of Ray Tomasso (1949–2020)

Ray Tomasso appreciating his print. Legacy of Letters workshop with Alan Kitching (6 July 2015)
It is with sadness that I write this post about Ray Tomasso, letterpress printer and paper sculptor, who died on June 25 of this year. Ray and his wife Diane were both part of Legacy of Letters 2015 and Legacy of Letters 2017, Ray as a participant and Diane as an observer, documentarian, and occasional assistant.
My memories of Ray from those two workshops at the …
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Scholarships for Tipo Cibo Vino 2020

We are pleased to announce the winners of two scholarships for someone under 30 to attend the Legacy of Letters: Tipo Cibo Vino 2020 gastronomic tour and letterpress workshop this summer in Italy. Egor Golovyrin (age 24) from Omsk, Russia is the consensus winner of the Mark Simonson Scholarship and Erica Carras (age 28) from the United States is the winner of the Occupant Fonts half-scholarship.
Egor Golovyrin
“My love of type, letters and printing began at the age of …
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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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