Experience at first hand

the craft of typographers

Analog typography preserves the technical and artistic fullness of craftmanship: hand-set books and printing impressed directly on sheets of paper preserve a sensory quality and a visual and tactile pleasure. The typesetting, printing, calligraphy and creative bindery workshops are a practical experience. Hand-presses and movable types are the usable tools.

Visits and educational tours focus on printmaking, on the birth of the modern book and its evolutions and on the techniques of musical and visual art.

Entering Tipoteca means experiencing the world of type and printing equipment, appreciating the beauty of printmaking and approaching the historical knowledge of type design. Discover it during our workshops: letterpress, handwriting and calligraphy, bookbinding.

ph. Basile

ph. Basile

Tipoteca organizes international workshops with the awareness of being in Italy, a country with a central role in calligraphy, lettering and design’s history.
In the last years Legacy of Letters, promoted by calligrapher and scholar Paul Shaw with the support of Alta L. Price, has chosen Tipoteca to host a biennial workshop dedicated to graphic professionals and enthusiasts.

Alan Kitching was the guest designer for Legacy of Letters in 2015. Kitching, a world-reknowned designer and a wizard with letterpress, began his design career partnering with Colin Forbes in the UK. Now he exhibits his work around the world. His latest book, Alan Kitching: A Life in Letterpress will be published in March 2017.

ph. Basile

ph. Basile


With this spirit, Tipoteca proposes workshops and courses about typesetting, printing, handwriting and creative binding. The educational activities are oriented to the comprehension of printing, an invention that had permitted the universal spread of knowledge and the birth of the modern book. The tools used during workshops are iron hand-presses, lead and wood typefaces. Workshops are an exciting and fun experience to learn by doing.

«Preserving a child-like spirit inside us for an entire life means preserving the curiosity to know, the pleasure to understand, and the desire to communicate»

Bruno Munari



Educational activities take place
from Monday to Saturday
morning and afternoon.
At the same time, more classes
can visit and do workshop.
You can book
more than one workshop,
by previous agreement.

Cost and time
8 euros (entrance, guided tour
and workshop)
Duration 2 hours and a half.

Suitable for all school’s order and grade.

How to pay
– In cash, the same day of
the visit at the ticket office
– By Bank transfer,
the day after the visit
Teachers do not pay.

To book
Guided tours and workshops
can be book on the phone
0423 86338 or e-mail

Booking policy
Read the booking regulation and download the booking form booking form

Exhibition itinerary

Discovering printing
The invention of printing has revolutionized the human being’s history and has permitted the spread of knowledge worldwide. The guided tour explains the history of typefaces and hand-presses and the evolution of letterpress from Gutenberg to the industrial revolution.

Knowing books
From the end of the 15th century, books were conceived and printed as leisure objects, as well as the way to spread knowledge. That was the start of a real cultural revolution. The printing and casting equipment and all the other exhibited materials give value to this historical evolution, from the manuscript to the eBook.

Using typefaces
We live surrounded by thousands of written messages and we use typefaces with a name and a family. The tour is an introduction to the knowledge and history of our communication. The museum’s experience is about knowledge and themes related to the modern digital tools.

Understanding art and images
The original equipment and videos introduce visitors to printing techniques of musical and visual arts from the end of the 15th century. Print invention has permitted the spread of knowledge in a very revolutionary way and has helped to develop creativity, art and culture.


Printing workshops take place in the educational room with original equipment. After a short introduction to the different printers’ tools (and under the guidance of our staff) groups of 3–5 participants will use iron hand-presses, as well as lead and wood typefaces. Each group can choose from one of these prints:
– Typography’s Atlas
– From sign to writing
– A story of character
– Venice, Aldus and printing history

In a digital world of sms and email, this workshop gives students the opportunity to discover the art of calligraphy. Writing is part of our identity—so we need to understand it. During the workshop students will learn the correct posture, the right way to grip the writing tool, the grade and the grado calligrafo. They will use nibs with ink and an exercise handbook.

Book binding
This workshop is an exciting and fun hands-on learning experience. Under the guidance of our printers, you can transform simple sheets of paper into refined notebooks and creative booklets. Each student will work independently utilizing their own manual skills and creativity.



Today, as in the past, good design is the result of a specialized education related to the history of lettering, practical experiences and a well-developed knowledge of visual culture. Our workshops provide the opportunity for students to experience the world of typography through typefaces, printing, paper and inks. Workshops are delivered by professors that are international experts in the field of graphic communication.

“Learning is experience. Everything else is just information.”

Albert Einstein

Thanks to the digital technology, there is a “renaissance” of a typography culture that has discovered the taste of expressing itself using vintage movable types and “analogue” printing on handpresses.

ph. Basile

ph. Basile

“The relationship to handcraft is a beautiful one. You are related bodily to a solid block of metal letters, to the weight of the trays, to the adroitness of spacing, to the tempo and temper of the machine. At the end of the day you can see your work, weigh it. It is done. It exists.”

Anais Nin, 1942

ph. Basile

ph. Basile

People and companies

Guided tours 
€ 100 per group
Monday to Saturday, 9-13 / 14-18
Special openings on request

Printing experience 
Entrance fee € 5,00 per person
+ € 150 per group (maximum 12 people)
Monday to Saturday, 9-13 / 14-18
Special openings on request

Typography is a relevant part of how we communicate with each other. Signs, logos, books, and posters are all dependent upon it. With the technological revolution, having a greater understanding of vintage typography and letterpress printing can help us be more proficient practitioners of digital typography and printing — and perhaps help us become better communicators. Everyone can benefit from this art, so Tipoteca offers significant experiences that are open to all who may be interested:
– Tours, guided at the museum to discover the art of typography, the equipment and the techniques, which permitted the printing revolution.
– Printing experience with our printers. Each person will handset using wood typefaces and will print his/her creative work (3 copies each in 1 colour).

Our training courses are also useful and inspiring experiences for companies. Tipoteca boasts an expert team of typographers working every day with printing presses and typefaces, who can deftly guide companies into the world of typography.
This creative experience permits your staff to see first-hand a cultural Italian heritage in a unique context. In addition to that you can join our workshops with important graphic designers, who will give more value to your experience at Tipoteca.

A monthly calendar of workshops with important graphic designers.