Bodoni. Manual of Typography – Manuale tipografico (1818)
Celebrated printer and type designer Giambattista Bodoni set the standard for printing the alphabet with his Manuale tipografico (1818). The two-volume set—published posthumously in a limited edition of 250—features 142 sets of roman and italic typefaces, a wide selection of borders, ornaments, symbols, and flowers, as well as Greek, Hebrew, Russian, Arabic, Phoenician, Armenian, Coptic, and Tibetan alphabets.
Official printer for the Duke of Parma, Bodoni (1740-1813) declared that well-designed type derived its beauty from four principles: uniformity of design, sharpness and neatness, good taste, and charm. His typefaces display an unprecedented degree of technical refinement, and epitomize purity and grace. The culmination of more than four decades of work, the Manuale tipografico represents one of history’s greatest typographical achievements. The Bodoni typeface is still widely used even today, both in digital media and in print, and TASCHEN’s meticulous reprint of Bodoni’s masterwork gives readers a rare opportunity to explore the origins of the Bodoni typeface and learn about its creator.
Stephan Füssel is director of the Institute for Book Sciences at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, and holder of the Gutenberg Chair at the same university. He has published prolifically on the early days of printing, the sale and publication of books between the 18th and 20th centuries, and the future of communications.