My Type of Type Museum

Dateline Italia: Last Friday, along with faculty and participants in the SVA Masters Workshop, I visited the Tipoteca Italiana Fondazione in Cornuda (Treviso), Italy. Located in the beautifully renovated industrial buildings of the old “Canapificio Veneto,” Tipoteca was founded to increase understanding and scholarship of typography from the industrial revolution to the present. When we were there, the engaging and knowledgeable director Sandro Berra showed us the working Linotype (below) and Monotype (above) machines, as well as more than a dozen vintage letter presses, and countless matrices and patrices. Plus, he had the students compose and print Futuristic wood and classic metal types in the well-supplied, working print shop (below as well).

If you love type and/or Italy, and you are visiting the Veneto region, make a point to visit Tipoteca. The Fondazione hosts classes and scholars from various schools the world over. But if you cannot visit, you can purchase an English or Italian version of A Story With Character: Ten Years of Tipoteca Italiana, a profusely illustrated history of the fondazione and its great type collectzione. (Photos by Michelle Mercurio)

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About Steven Heller

Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes frequently for Wired and Design Observer. He is also the author of over 170 books on design and visual culture. He received the 1999 AIGA Medal and is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.

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