What I mean with good types
Why “good” types? In terms of appearance, there’s an ongoing debate about good and bad design: some types are beautiful while others could seem quite ugly. Like everything else in the world.
The real difference – as Erik Spiekermann noted, is in their use. The history of print is full of examples: in the beginning it unleashed words from secrecy, from private libraries to common people bestowing the power of understanding and self-determination. On the other hand, now like in the past, it is and was used to spread words of terror in order to control and drive populations.
Starting from this consideration, the two words – good and types, became strictly connected and are the reason behind this project.
Good types intends to use both a good choice of contents and a good selection of letters.
Contents are fragments of text from established authors, which doesn’t mean taking words, extracting them from context, and giving them a new meaning (perhaps distant from the original intent). On the contrary, it is a way to appreciate the single fragments – like taking a single candy from a large box – and, at the same time, an invitation to go out, look for the book and read it till the very end.
The second feature is the letters: lead and wood types, for their tangible properties, are the right choice. They could be old, damaged or with some kind of imperfection, so it is important to keep a slow-design approach and use them patiently and respectfully.
Also, having only a few sizes means working with dimension and shape, giving the right balance and energy to the words. To put it shortly, movable types have (more) soul!
This is what happens behind the scenes.
Another point is where to print. Actually I use two venues: the main one is Officina Tipografica Novepunti (read more below). This is the heart of everything. The second place is the secondary venue of the Lodi Printing Museum.
But, as letters were not created to be alone, printers also need company. So I’ll also be printing elsewhere with other people: the goal is to make the project itinerant, to meet and work with printers around the world.
This is my hope.
Ok, so who am I?
My name is Claudio Madella, and I’m a graphic designer, born and raised in Milan. Here you can find the other part of my professional life.
I’ve been involved in letterpress design since 2009, following a short visit at the Oficina Tipográfica São Paulo.
Back in Italy I was lucky enough to meet a bunch of good, crazy guys with the same passion and, together, we started Officina Tipografica Novepunti.
The pleasure of working with other people evolved and, in 2012, we started Letterpress Workers International Summit, an annual rendez-vous in Milan which is turning, little by little, into something more.
Well, these are the steps taken so far, Goodtypes intends to be the next!