Forma - Designed by da Aldo Novarese, Nebiolo Foundry, 1968 ca
Available in lead: light, condensed, medium and bold, size from 6 to 48 pt
In our collection
Here you can read some of the Frequently Asked Questions about us and what we do.
For anything else please get in contact.
Why the name Archivio Tipografico?
Our name of course reminds to the typography world and to the “archive” concept, since the printshop started as collection of letterpress equipment.
But the name also refers and it is an homage to Nebiolo Type Foundry and its worldwide importance: "Archivio Tipografico" has been the company magazine to promote new types and new products.
In our books collection we have several issues of the magazine – among with other typography books, foundry catalogues, manuals and old type specimens – that are available for consultation.
What is letterpress?
Letterpress is a simple traditional printing process that allows the transferring of the ink from the graphic elements of a matrix directly to paper with a pressure system. This process has remained the same for almost five centuries and thanks to it the spread of culture and information has been possible worldwide from Renaissance to modern days.
It consists mainly in wood and lead modular elements like single letters and ornaments (aka “movable types” system) and plates both hand-engraved (linocut or xylography) or photo/mechanical plates produced from digital vector design (also called cliché in french or more informally “nylon”). From an industrial point of view, at the end of the last century, letterpress and movable type have been replaced with faster and more cost-effective indirect printing systems, like offset and digital printing, but today we are in a big Letterpress Revival cycle.
In the past 10 years designers worldwide have become “makers” of hand-printed physical goods and artifacts, recovering and taking back to life presses and movable types and mixing them with the use of custom digital plates, preserving and giving a new life to an important craftsmanship culture and knowledge.
Can letterpress have an embossed printing pressure tactile feeling?
Yes. As the name suggests, letterpress is a printing process that allows to obtain a particular effect of pressure of graphics inside the paper, better if on natural and pretty thick one. For decades it was considered a terrible defect by printers, but then, when offset printing began to spread, in order to show the differences, some letterpress printers started to make a punch on the paper, with a deep impression. This to show that they are printing with traditional letterpress technique, as this is something that can’t be made with offset printing. This effect is now appreciated and researched as peculiar characteristic of this printing process.
In a world that is moving to a "paperless" dimension, letterpress is a precious, high-quality, handmade printing process valuable for communications goods that are going to last, taking a form of an tridimensional object and no longer just a simple flat communication support.
Can you offer graphic design services?
We are graphic designers specialized in letterpress printing, so of course we offer graphic design service. We believe that in each design field, the design practice should be connected and specialized to the final production output. For this reason we want to offer a well integrated service in order to push the letterpress process at the highest level through different styles and contamination of them; trying to get back together craft production and creative thinking (for this reason, we consider ourselves as “creative makers”).
Are there any technical specifications and design recommendations?
Each color is a single printing run, so we work with spot colors and we don't reproduce colors processing. Letterpress is therefore not ideal for reproducing photos (that doesn’t mean we can’t as it’s not possible if you are looking for some artistic effect, but it depends on the results you would like to achieve).
Ink it's mostly transparent, so this means that you can have great overlapping color effects, but for this reason is also hard to print light color on dark paper (i.e.: white ink on black paper is barely impossible, unless you would like to have a particular grayish/transparent effect).
Design with movable types: it requires lot of design preparation in advance and the process is slower of course and there are some restriction on sizes and variations depending what is available in our collection.
Design to print with plates: text and any kind of vectors are the best to reproduce, but very small types, very thin lines or lots of variation of weight in the same run, may give some problem in the process of plate making and in printing with deep pressure.
We love to make color edging and we can match a specific color for that. But please consider that better results are on thick papers and with light/bright colors and – as a general rule – try to avoid bleed elements if your design also have color edging.
To match a specific printing color we use Pantone Uncoated swatch book, please refer only to this when passing us an information about one or more colors to reproduce. In any case we are happy to welcome customer during a press starting run to discuss, match and balance a particular color also in function of the paper used.
Do you print my design?
We mainly print what we design. But we do print graphics and project designed by other professional designers, illustrators and artists, following them in each design steps, advising for production, feasibility and special finishing.
Which papers do you use?
We mostly use uncoated natural papers, with medium-high cotton fibers percentage and a soft-touch feeling. This is important to have a clear, deep and precise impression of the printing especially on thin graphics.
We stock papers from Fedrigoni, Crane, Gmund, Munken and Cordenons paper-mills.
We also have a collection of some precious out of stock papers like Magnani di Pescia and Fabriano.
How much does letterpress printing cost?
The answer is both simple and complicated at the same time: it depends.
We don’t work on models and every project is custom-made. For this reasons the price of a project may vary a lot depending on paper stock, number of colors, how many copies and complexity of production.
Of course being an hand crafted process, the cost is higher than a regular digital or offset printing.
Anyway you are welcome to submit your quotation request via email, giving us as many details as possible and we will be glad to get back to you with a preliminary quotation and eventually arrange a meeting to discuss all the details.
When are you open? Can I stop by?
Unfortunately we don’t run a regular working schedule. Printshop visits, tours and projects consultation are very welcome, but by appointment only. Please contact us via email in order to arrange a meeting.
Are there any jobs or internships position available?
Our structure is very small and currently we don’t have any open working position and we can’t accept internship requests.
May I download and use pictures and image of your website?
We own the intellectual rights of all images and photos on this website, but we will be glad to share them if someone is interested in.
For any commercial and promotional purpose, we kindly ask you to contact us via email before use them and arrange the terms.
Where can I buy your printed goods?
We sell some of our products in selected store and bookshops, but a selection of books, posters, cards and other printed goods designed and produced by us are available to purchase online on our store.