Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Another Fine Press for the Purist

As I rev up to use the Espresso Book Machine, tossing my words in the device like so many coffee beans, I can't resist indulging in nostalgia for the older fine presses. This hand press:is the Officina Bodoni, which launched the renowned Stamperia Valdonega (, the firm that produced many of my uncle's works (some special editions on this very press). Uncle Jim used to travel to Verona and work directly with Martino Mardersteig, taking part in the magical process that turns a sheaf of manuscript pages into a book.

Today's Stamperia Veldonega draws upon both old and new technologies. For example, the firm now has digital fonts of classic typefaces. Which I imagine is somewhat different from this:(Photos by R.R. at the Institute for Textkritik in Heidelberg.)

I don't know about you, but just knowing that such presses are out there makes me happy.


  1. I wrote about one of the last hot-lead newspapers in the country about 15 years ago. It was a weekly in Kendrick, Idaho. It was from the days before then internet, when a phone call from a nephew across the state was news. I think I counted 200 local names on one page.

  2. Interesting, Eric. Where did you write this?

  3. Your blog is beautiful and I can't wait to read the book!