Project and Scientific Board

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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.

Scientific Comittee

  • Già Presidente

    Umberto Eco

    Semiotician, philosopher, essayist, novelist. 1932-2016.


    Roberto Grandi

    Professor of Sociology of Culture and Communication, University of Bologna.

  • Paolo Tinti

    Assistant professor, Department of Classical Philology and Italian Studies, University of Bologna.

  • James Clough

    Calligrapher, type historian
    and lecturer at Politecnico di Milano.

  • Giorgio Montecchi

    Professor of Bibliography, University of Milan.

  • Riccardo Olocco

    Type designer and historian, Bolzano.

  • Giovanni Lussu

    Graphic designer, Rome.

  • Maria Giuseppina Muzzarelli

    Professor of Medieval History,
    University of Bologna.

  • Luciano Perondi

    Director at ISIA Urbino, Type designer, Fano.

  • Giuseppe Richeri

    Ordinary professor at Università della Svizzera italiana, Lugano.

  • Enrico Tallone


  • Paolo Pampaloni

    Libreria antiquaria Rare Books, Florence.

  • Enrico Tallone


  • Fabrizio Govi

    ALAI - Libri Antichi
    e Librerie Antiquarie, Turin.

  • Umberto Pregliasco

    Libreria antiquaria Pregliasco, Turin.

  • Carlo Branzaglia

    Graphic designer, Bologna.