IT / EN
THE PRINT SHOP
(craftsmen)
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Trifolio proudly upholds the tradition of historical typography, the manual skills of the artisan workshop, and the revitalization of ancient techniques. Within this “print shop for our times,” past, present, and future are fused, taking the form of modern books with a classical heart. Trifolio is at the forefront of technological research in high-quality color and black-and-white printing, employing highly qualified personnel and investing substantial resources in the development of new processes in the service of art publishing.

Who we are

Trifolio is a highly motivated team of creative professionals who are united by a common love of art and publishing. Trifolio has grown and renewed itself through the dedication of its experienced staff, whose members daily learn from one another and from each project’s challenge. The contribution of each member is decisive to the attainment of the common objective: that of continually improving the quality of the service provided by the company. The ideas of these experts are the starting points for the development of new projects and for the fulfilment of requests.

A passion

Trifolio has one central passion: the book. A book is not only a material object that preserves immaterial knowledge; it is also a harmonious composition of texts and images, a synthesis of materials and technique, and an irresistible attraction for the mind, the eye, and the hand. The passion for books is a physical, sensual phenomenon—run your fingers over the binding, appreciating the workmanship, the feel of the paper, and the scent of the book before turning the pages, reading, and starting all over again with another volume. Trifolio has turned this genuine passion for the book into both a profession and a cultural enterprise, devoting itself to the creation of each book with the same care with which editions were once produced with movable type.

The flat bed proof

The press, or proof press, has traditionally been the main instrument for making offset printing proofs. It re-creates the “true” effect of ink on paper, just as a mechanical printing press does. The ability of an experienced operator to create the most effective combination of water and ink for each project guarantees the reliability of the instrument and the quality of the proof. For these reasons Trifolio has reappraised the use of the offset press as a means of allowing the client to view proofs directly on the chosen support. In addition, in line with the company’s bent for research, Trifolio experiments with new applications for inks, supports, and effects that are possible only by virtue of the versatility of the instrument and the skill of the operator. Even in a digital age, there is still considerable room for development in the applications of traditional techniques.

Verona

Once ruled by the della Scala family, the city of Verona boasts a long tradition of printing and publishing, with roots going back to the Italian Renaissance. Sophisticated workshops first opened their doors in the alleys of Verona, where they were destined to write the history of Italian publishing. In 1460, the epigraphist and calligrapher Felice Feliciano designed the twenty-five letters of the Alphabetum Romanum, which was used as early as 1468 by local architects and stonecutters, from epigraphs at a new slaughterhouse to the inscriptions in Benedetto Rizzoni’s villa at Quinzano. The fame of this alphabet reached as far as Florence, where, in 1467, Leon Battista Alberti used Roman letters in engraving the inscription on the frieze of the scale reproduction of the Holy Sepulchre in the church of San Pancrazio. And these iconic letterforms have remained in use right up to the modern era. In 1943, in Verona, Giovanni Mardersteig (born Weimar, Germany, 1892; died Verona, Italy, 1977) printed a limited edition of the Alphabetum Romanum, which is still considered one of the most elegant typefaces today. After finishing his legal studies in Jena, in 1922, Mardersteig founded the Officina Bodoni printing works at Montagnola di Lugano in Switzerland, declaring that the handpress could “print to perfection works of great artistic value.” His extraordinary skill lay in his ability to combine creativity and craftsmanship with an entrepreneurial spirit and rigorous industrial production. When Mardersteig won a competition held by Arnoldo Mondadori for the printing of the complete works of Gabriele d’Annunzio, in 1927, the Officina Bodoni was transferred to Verona, where it completed the printing of the forty-nine volumes of the state-funded edition in 1936. His underlying passion for typography led him to design new characters for exclusive use by his printing works, such as the Griffo, Zeno, Fontana, Pacioli, Dante, and Pushkin typefaces. Mardersteig devoted himself to the graphic design of each page of a book and provided direct support to publishing houses, giving a highly distinctive look to his publications. Trifolio has taken up the lessons coming from this great tradition, modernizing its languages and applying new techniques and state-of-the-art technologies, yet always preserving the creative spirit and the expertise of the artisan craftsman.

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