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The Manuale Tipografico of Giambattista Bodoni has been called the greatest type specimen book ever printed. Issued posthumously in 1818 at Parma by Bodoni’s devoted widow Margherita, the two-volume work contains a dazzling array of 142 roman alphabets with corresponding italics, numerous script and exotic typefaces, and a striking collection of flowers and ornaments––all beautifully printed on crisp, handmade paper. These typefaces and decorative materials were the culmination of more than forty years of assiduous devotion by Bodoni to the typographic arts, both in his capacity as printer to the Duke of Parma and as proprietor of his own private press and type foundry. Only 250 copies of this specimen book were printed, and surviving examples are now highly prized by collectors.
The true value of the Manuale lies not in the fact that it is a splendidly printed and rare book, or even that it summarizes the life’s work of a celebrated type designer and printer who blithely sailed through some of the most tumultuous times in European history. Rather, its real significance is that from its pages speak the first successful modern types––more evolved, refined, and logical than those of Baskerville, yet not so chillingly formal and clinical as the letterforms of Bodoni’s great French rival Didot. Though Bodoni rarely made his types available to other printers, they came to have a profound influence on type design that is felt to this day.
Commentary by David Pankow, searchable English translation.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Imaged from the collection of the Bridwell LibraryReview:
A remarkable digital facsimile of a rare type specimen book. Octavo has done a commendable job of capturing the details. -- TypeBooks, November 4, 1998 (Book of the Week)
Now, thanks to Octavo, anyone with a computer can enjoy priceless works. -- Time, April 5, 1999
Octavo editions give readers a firsthand experience of a milestone text: each includes page-by-page views, expert commentaries, and appropriate "marginalia." -- University of Chicago Magazine, October 2004
Octavo has taken digital technology to its greatest level of information and education. -- Choice, February 1999
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description Octavo, 1998. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M189178806X
Book Description Octavo, 1998. CD-ROM. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P11189178806X
Book Description Parma: Presso La Vedova (Palo Alto: Octavo) 1818; 1998, 1818. No Binding. Condition: New. 1st Edition. New digital facsimile (in electronic PDF format on CD-ROM disc) of the 1818 first edition of this masterpiece of typography. This Octavo Edition contains detailed digital images (may be magnified at up to 800% of original size) of the entire original work as well as a searchable English translation of the text, a new introduction by David Pankow, and detailed bibliographical information. "This is a remarkable digital facsimile of a rare type specimen book. Octavo has done a commendable job of capturing even the smallest details."--TypeBooks, 4 November 1998. Seller Inventory # 8VBOM01