Griffo, the great gala of letters
Curated by the association Francesco Griffo da Bologna, and created by Dina&Solomon, the multidisciplinary project in collaboration with many Italian and international partners and institutions, aims to tell and revive Griffo’s story and the awareness of the invaluable tool that accompanies our daily life.
The letters composing this text, just like most part of the letters we come across and read every day, are the result of the genius of a master craftsman whose identity has remained shrouded in mystery for centuries: Francesco Griffo da Bologna.
An innovator who gave us the universal model for western type and who, may now finally be recognised as one of the great protagonists of the Renaissance. We owe to Griffo the invention of italics, which revolutionised the history of publishing. Inspired by calligraphy, italics enabled the production of the first low-cost editions, in a small format, thus facilitating the spreading of ideas and culture.
The project’s activities started in December 2014 and they will come to a climax in 2018, marking the 500th death anniversary of this extraordinary man. A rich program, spread on the territory, of exhibits, audiovisual productions, installations, workshops, conferences and much more will engage a diverse audience from tourists and school-children, to professionals and enthusiasts. It will also be an occasion to reward local excellence by facilitating interdisciplinary opportunities and international exchange.
The story of Francesco Griffo da Bologna will be told by historians, semioticians, journalists, writers, screenplayers, punchcutters, publishers, designers, architects and all those who behold his creation every day.
Semiotician, philosopher, essayist, novelist. 1932-2016.
Professor of Sociology of Culture and Communication, University of Bologna.
Assistant professor, Department of Classical Philology and Italian Studies, University of Bologna.
Calligrapher, type historian
and lecturer at Politecnico di Milano.
Professor of Bibliography, University of Milan.
Type designer and historian, Bolzano.
Graphic designer, Rome.
Maria Giuseppina Muzzarelli
Professor of Medieval History,
University of Bologna.
Director at ISIA Urbino, Type designer, Fano.
Ordinary professor at Università della Svizzera italiana, Lugano.
Libreria antiquaria Rare Books, Florence.
ALAI - Libri Antichi
e Librerie Antiquarie, Turin.
Libreria antiquaria Pregliasco, Turin.
Graphic designer, Bologna.