At the beginning of 2017 I was working on a lesson about creative lettering.
One of the example was done by Nanni Balestrini in the ’60: some collages made only by titles cutted out from magazines.
So, I started to think about doing a cut-up book where every single page was a short text connected to the next and so on, creating a new, longer one. The theme – because of what was happening at the italian borders, should be Freedom.
Finding the right fragments was quite easy, just a map with some of my cultural mentors: writers, politicians, activists who – in different ways, fight for freedom. Starting from Rosa Luxembourg, the list goes to Africa, with Nelson Mandela, and crosses the Atlantic Ocean, to meet the words of civil right fighters – like Martin Luther King and Angela Davis. Than back to Europe, meeting the philosopher Gilles Deleuze, and back again in US, ending with Assata Shakur.
After that, I started the design process. The choice of typefaces gave me some doubts: serif or sans? And: which one to emphatize some words? Fortunately I found a set of Bodoni, good for the short texts, and a 3 ciceros of a nice and fat Normand. The type setting took a bit, because of the few number of letters so I had to finish one before doing the next. But, in a couple of week, I did the work: 60 copies, printed using a Hedeilberg Windmill and with a japanese binding. At least I did one more print for the first 15 copies, a sort of limited edition of a limited edition.
The next step was to find a good cause to support.
After looking around for a while I found the solution in the middle of Italy. A real good friend of mine – a sort of brother, works there for a Ngo, focused on social exclusion and they were opening a new Community Hub, named Cult. A good reason to give theme 45 copies in order to raise a bit of money for the project and connect the idea of freedom with people.
Printed at Officina Tipografica Novepunti using grotesk black condensed (wood); Bodoni, Normand (lead)
Price: 30 euro + shipping