Visit the museum and discover
the magic world of typography
From Monday to Saturday
9–13 / 14–18
Closed on Sundays and Holidays
Special openings by appointment.
General admission: € 5,00
Reduced: € 4,00
(Students and Over 65)
Free: Children under 8 and disabled persons
(Available only with a reservation in advance)
• Guided tour (Italian or English)
Duration: 1 hour
€ 7,00 each person
Minimum 15 people
• Guided tour (Italian or English) with print experience
Duration: 2 hours and 30 minutes
€ 25,00 each person
Minimum 4 people
Tel +39 0423.86338
The museum tour allows visitors to discover typography tools and history through original material, which describes the typographer’s work (typesetting and printing), but also the crucial role of crafts related to the world of type: punch engraving, matrix preparation, typeface melting, typeface design and drawing. The visit reveals a real treasure: the typeface, matrix and punch collection.
The machines on display are the result of the relationship between intelligence and mechanics: iron hand-presses, platen presses and casting machines show the peculiar nature of the typographer’s craft, between hand creativity and refined technique.
Give way to wonder, start a path to discovery: from the typefaces’ production and the original machines’ exhibition, to the arts Gallery dedicated to designers, printers and literati who had influenced the visual culture of entire generations.
The exhibition brings to light the history of the works of some type design protagonists from 1800 to `900: Amoretti (early 1800s), Luigi Melchiori (1864–1946); Alberto Tallone (1898–1969); Giovanni Mardersteig (1892–1977); historical foundries like Nebiolo (Turin) or the “Fonderia Tipografica Cooperativa” (Milan, Peschiera Borromeo). One Italian typeface drawing master stands out: Aldo Novarese (1920–1995), who drew brilliant letterforms for Nebiolo. Some specimens illustrate the typeface designs that have characterized the style of text and signs that we know very well: Semplicità, Dante, Garamond Simoncini, Microgramma, Eurostile, Neon…
In the foundry sector on the ground floor, the chest with 1,083 drawers holds over 1,400 copper and alloy matrix series. They come from two historical Italian foundries: the “Fonderia Tipografica Cooperativa” in Peschiera Borromeo (Milan) and the “Giovanni Azzaro Foundry” which had taken over the “Pierallini & Turchi Foundry” in Florence.
One of the most difficult arts in the world is the hand engraving of punches to create perfect typefaces. The first step in the typeface production process, was the creation of punches: a difficult task entrusted only to expert hands and reliable eyes. Punches coming from the Amoretti Brothers Foundry (late XVIII century) are precious and unique. They are the result of the absolute talent of professional engravers and they prove the collaboration of the foundry with Giambattista Bodoni.
The archive wall at Tipoteca preserves the real treasure of the collection: the typefaces collected during a long–lasting search for material coming from all over Italy. The lead archive holds over 1,600 typefaces—inventoried and organized in more than 600 metal drawers. The wood typeface archive holds 1,828 wood type sets in 1,260 drawers.