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Internal Production > 16.3 Self-Initiated Projects


by Archivio Tipografico

Aldo Novarese, born in Pontestura, Italy, on June 29, 1920, achieved worldwide renown for his extraordinary typefaces, mostly designed for and sold by the Italian foundry Nebiolo. In the centenary of his birth — June 29, 2020 — Archivio Tipografico together with Matilde Argentero, niece of Novarese, and Lorenzo Bolzoni, set out to celebrate his inestimable contribution to the discipline of type design by reprinting Alfa-Beta, his landmark 1964 book on the history of writing systems and the evolution of type.
The reissue started from the finding of the original films used for mounting the offset printing plates of the second edition of Alfa-Beta. This material was expressly created for reprints, and it really got the project going, allowing the book to be restored and reconstructed, page after page and creating a reprint whose quality could match the original.
The reissue hovers somewhere between a classic reprint and a facsimile edition: it resembles the former insofar as it was made from original production materials as opposed to a print copy; but it’s inspired by the latter in terms of our guiding logic—to preserve, as much as possible, the design and production choices of the original while using contemporary methods and technologies.
Alfa-Beta was complemented with the first full English translation, by Alta L. Price, and some additional contextualizing information, on the book as well as Novarese, with two essays from Enrico Tallone and Tommaso Trojani. All these additional materials were published in a separate Reader’s Guide.
The project was completely funded thanks to a successful crowdfunding campaign that gained supporters from all over the world. The success of the fundraising confirms the global interest around Aldo Novarese, bringing to a global audience the opportunity to rediscover and deepen his work.

  • Creative Directors Archivio Tipografico
  • Art Directors
  • Designers Studio 23.56, Matilde Argentero, Lorenzo Bolzoni
  • Illustrators
  • Photographers
  • Editors
  • Copywriters
  • Translator Alta L. Price
  • Authors Enrico Tallone, Tommaso Trojani
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