Bodoni Manual 1818-2018 200th Birthday

Giambattista Bodoni
Manuale Tipografico
Bicentennial

A masterwork of design and typography

Complete Online Volume 1  •  Complete Online Volume 2

After 200 years Bodoni’s aesthetic sense serves as a guide to all typographers.

His fame became comparable to that of today’s rock star. Visitors flocked to his print works on the banks of the river Parma, wanting a glimpse of him working in his studio.
Benjamin Franklin, a printer himself, wrote a fan letter. In 1805, even emperor Napoleon and empress Josephine visited the city and asked to see him.

The manual  compiles Bodoni’s lifetime of work and his  first successful modern typefaces.  Bodoni’s typefaces emanate warmth and humanity; they are still used to evoke elegance and strength.

Margherita Dall’Aglio Bodoni five years after Bodoni died, published the Manuale typografico of 1818, the specimen book to end all specimen books.

Published in two volumes, it was over 600 pages long and contained 265 pages of roman characters, “imperceptibly declining in size, romans, italics, and script types, and the series of 125 capital letters; 181 pages of Greek and Oriental characters; 1036 decorations and 31 borders; followed in the last 20 pages by symbols, ciphers, numerals, and musical examples

 

“Manuale-Tipografico1.jpg” by Giambattista Bodoni is in the Public Domain

Giambattista Bodoni  February 16, 1740 [1813 iwas an Italian typographer, type-designer, compositor, printer and publisher in Parma.

He first took the type-designs of Pierre Simon Fournier as his exemplars, but afterwards became an admirer of the more modelled types of John Baskerville; and he and Firmin Didot evolved a style of type called ‘New Face’, in which the letters are cut in such a way as to produce a strong contrast between the thick and thin parts of their body. Bodoni designed many type-faces, each one in a large range of type sizes.

There have been several modern revivals of his type-faces, all called Bodoni. They are often used as display faces.

His fame became comparable to that of today’s rock star. Visitors flocked to his print works on the banks of the river Parma, wanting a glimpse of him working in his studio.[9] Benjamin Franklin, a printer himself, wrote a fan letter. In 1805, even the emperor Napoleon and empress Josephine visited the city and asked to see him; alas, that very day Bodoni was confined to bed with a disastrous attack of gout, a disease that was to plague him until the end of his life.

 

Giambattista Bodoni
Manuale Tipografico Bicentennial
Parma, 1818. 13 1/8 inches x 9 inches, 2 volumes:

 

 

Princeton University Collection

The Morgan Library
Stanford University  Library

 

“Giambattista Bodoni” is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

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  1. Pingback: Real World Type | COMD2427 Typographic Design III D212 Fall18

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