Bodoni through the ages

From a New Order album cover to cigar packaging by Paul Rand, a new exhibition from paper company Fedrigoni showcases some outstanding uses of Italian typeface Bodoni. Designs are also featured in an accompanying catalogue by SEA…

Made in Italy – Bodoni in Print opens at Protein Gallery in Shoreditch on June 10. Organised by paper company Fedrigoni, the show presents a look at posters, packaging, book covers and album art created using Italian typographer, printer and typesetter Giambattista Bodoni’s most famous typeface. It also features previously unseen material from the Bodoni Museum in Parma and the Monotype archives, including matrices, lead type and sketches.

Born in the Alps, Bodoni was one of the most celebrated typographers and compositors of the 18th century. He began his career as a typesetter at the Vatican’s Propaganda Fide printing press in Rome before setting up a Royal Press for the Duke of Parma. He was later appointed court typographer for Charles III of Spain and opened his own printing press, Tipi Bodoni. Bodoni designed hundreds of fonts in his lifetime – after his death in 1818, his widow published the mighty two-volume Manuale Tipografico documenting his work – and his high-contrast serif has inspired a long line of contemporary revivals.

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Left: Giò Fuga, Technical Drawing by Bodoni (1986) and right: U&LC, Upper and Lower case Magazine (1994), featured in Made in Italy – Bodoni in Print
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Erberto Carboni, Silvana Editoriale d’Arte (1959)
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Erberto Carboni, Silvana Editoriale d’Arte (1961)

Fedrigoni says the exhibition aims to highlight Bodoni’s influence on contemporary graphic design and celebrate great Italian craft.

An accompanying catalogue designed by SEA presents all of the work featured in the show, from posters by Heinz Waibl to packaging by Paul Rand, adverts by Silvio Coppola and a Jackie McLean record sleeve for Blue Note (one of a series of brilliant typographic designs for the label, as we covered in this feature from 2014). It’s a beautiful collection of work and a visual treat for fans of Bodoni.

Limited copies of the publication will be available at a private view at Protein on June 9 which is free to attend – you can register for tickets here. The exhibition runs from June 10-12 at Protein, Studio 2, 31 New Inn Yard, London, EC2A 3EY.

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Cover of Made in Italy – Bodoni in Print, designed by SEA
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Left: Progettando 1950-1990 (1991) and Congresso AGI Berlino (2003), designed by Heinz Waibl. From Made in Italy – Bodoni in Print, designed by SEA
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Cassetta Punzoni, from the Museo Bodoniano, which houses memorabilia from Bodoni’s workshop and examples of his work. The museum was opened in Parma in 1963, on the 150th anniversary of his death. From Made in Italy – Bodoni in Print, designed by SEA
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From Made in Italy – Bodoni in Print, designed by SEA
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Left hand page (from left): Monotype advertisement ‘Bodoni Bold Condensed 329’ and Monotype newsletter No. 27, Bodoni Ultra 120 setting (1936). Right: Early Bodoni annotated proof from Monotype (1922). From Made in Italy – Bodoni in Print, designed by SEA
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Left: Niklaus Troxler – Gianluigi Trovesi, Gianni Coscia (2006). Right, from top: Jackie McLean, It’s Time! (1965) and Bud Powell: The Amazing Bud Powell. Vol. 3- Bud! (1986). From Made in Italy – Bodoni in Print, designed by SEA
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El Producto cigar tin and boxes designed by Paul Rand. From Made in Italy – Bodoni in Print, designed by SEA
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New Order – Substance cover by Peter Saville (1987). From Made in Italy – Bodoni in Print, designed by SEA

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