Letters from the past

50 sets of wooden characters from the Slab archive

Exhibition by Graphic Design students, realised as part of the History of Printing and Publishing course.
The authors: Lorenzo Bracaglia, Giulia Chiriani, Bianca D’Aquino, Chiara De Siena, Giorgia Lazzara, Matteo Mazzola, Giorgia Natale, Adriana Pagano, Eleonora Pilloni.
Curated by lecturer Andrea Vendetti.

Opening: Tuesday 5 March at 5.00pm – Aula G11 – Campus RUFA di Via Giuseppe Libetta, 7.

The letter represents the basic unit of graphic design; and the evolution of its form over time, with the introduction or abandonment of certain features, can be considered a minimum-scale restitution of the history of graphic design. This also applies to wooden typefaces, which were used from the mid-19th century to the 1970s to produce posters quickly and cheaply.

In order to realise this concept, 50 sets of large wooden characters were selected from the archive of Slab, an organisation that deals with the preservation and enhancement of the cultural heritage related to movable type printing. From these sets, which came from disused print shops scattered throughout the country, two letters representative of each alphabet were chosen and printed.

The aim of the exhibition is to try to give a synoptic representation of the evolution of type design in wood type, letting the past of the visual landscape in Italy shine through these ‘atoms’ of graphics.


See photos of the opening


Event type

  • RUFA Culture