Manuale Tipografico IV - Enrico Tallone et al.



Dedicated to the engraving, founding and printing techniques in favour of the aesthetic of the book. 

Centuries of typographical civilization described through original ancient watermarks from the 16th century onwards, and specimens handset in original foundry types cast from the 17th century onwards.


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«The collection of Manuali Tipografici printed by the Tallone Press is the most important historical-typographic endeavor since the second half of the twentieth century, the first in the world for quality, breadth, elegance and documentation» Michelle Delattes

Limited edition of 265 copies typeset by hand, numbered and letterpress printed on cotton papers made in Italy (details below).

The Manuale highlights the skills and techniques of type engravers, founders and printers. Through their work, which imply many delicate passages, the ideals of beauty that originally inspired type designers  are handed on intact to the reader. 

Two hundred years after the publication of Giambattista Bodoni’s Manuale Tipografico, this Manuale is conceived to provide a multisensorial experience, through the many printed samples and original inserts.

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A volume in the 4to format (37x23 cm), of 208 pages entirely typeset by hand in the exclusive 12 point Tallone® type, designed by Alberto Tallone and punch-cut by Charles Malin in Paris. 

Captions and footnotes are typeset by hand in Garamond type, cast by Deberny & Peignot. 

More than 360.000 letters were used for the hand-typesetting of this book, making it an exceptional endeavor in the contemporary printing scene:



- original ancient watermarks, made in Italy, France and England, identified by date, place and the name of the maker;

- original make-ready and overlaying page, which shows how the printer should intervene to achieve a more even impression over the printed page:

- 6 original samples of Montval and Canson & Montgolfier papers from the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, made in Vidalon-Lès-Annonay (Ardèche).

- 6 original samples of Magnani paper made in the 19th and 20th century at “Le Carte” papermill in Pietrabuona, Pescia.

- 6 original samples of papers and watermarks handmade in the U.S.A. respectively in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s.

- 6 original samples of Fabriano paper respectively from the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s.

- 26 different black inks from Germany, Italy, England and the United States, made in the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and 2000s.

Index of technical explanations handset in original foundry types cast from the 17th century onwards:

- the differences between foundry types derived from hand-cut punches and 20th-century types engraved with a pantographic milling machine;

- foundry marks;

- the aesthetic peculiarities of Gothic, Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque and Didone typefaces.

- the different states of wear; how to preserve types over the centuries and how to compensate for flaws in the printing phase.

- the complex Gregorian-chant hand-typesetting

- the ability of type-founders to determine the ideal distances between the letters;
- how engravers and typesetters deal with the unaesthetic gaps that can occur in the juxtaposition of some letters both in latin and exotic alphabets (Greek, Ethiopian, Coptic, Arabic and Hebrew);

- how to regulate pressure and inking in relation to the different kinds of paper and types.

- how apertures and sizes vary in the interpretations of different designers, from point 6 to point 72. 

Index of texts:

- Maria Gioia Tavoni, Le difficoltà incontrate dai prototipografi nel costruire la pagina a stampa

- Enrico Tallone, Identità dei caratteri (The distinctive features of a type sort)

- Pedro M. Cátedra, Ibarra & Bodoni, el artesano y el artista.

- Enrico Tallone, Durata e diversi stati d’uso dei caratteri (Duration and wear of types);

- Enrico Razzini, Origine e composizione del corpus tipografico da cui ebbe inizio l’impresa editoriale di Alberto Tallone.

- Enrico Tallone, Avvicinamenti & allineamenti (Letter-spacing and alignment).

- Massimo Gatta, Cher M. Tallone, stampatore italianissimo. L’amicizia tra Charles Malin e Alberto Tallone. 

- Enrico Tallone, Delle crenature (Kerning)

- Jean-Luc Nancy, Un élève prote.

- Enrico Tallone, Considerazioni sulla stampa tipografica (About pressure and inking)

- Armando Torno, Elogio dell’elzeviro.

- Davide Rondoni, Cosa stanno scrivendo gli anni(A poem dedicated to this Manuale) 

- Enrico Tallone, Il corpo dei caratteri (Type sizes)

- Nicolangelo Scianna, Intrecci di invenzioni e loro sviluppi: dalla filigrana in chiaro a quella in chiaro-scuro. 

- Luigi Manias, Carta a mano: dal mito alla prassi. Le carte Montval. Le carte Magnani e le carte Fabriano.

[The lives of the men who have preserved and relaunched the art of hand-papermaking in the Ardèches region (Montval paper), in Pescia (Magnani paper) and in Fabriano].

- Peter Thomas, The revival of handpapermaking in the USA in the late XX Century.

- Carlo Ossola, Perfections du noir (segue l’omonimo poema di Giuseppe Ungaretti).



The book comes in the following editions:

- 126 copies on off-white pure-cotton Magnani paper. They include three ancient watermarks respectively from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.

- 98 numbered copies on off-white pure-cotton paper mould-made in Sicily. They include original watermarks made in the 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th century (images and price on request)

- 20 numbered copies on pure-cotton Magnani laid paper. They include original watermarks made in the 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th century (images and price on request)

- 8 numbered copies on tinted ancient Fabriano paper. They include original watermarks made in the 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th century (images and price on request)

- 13 numbered copies printed on pure-cotton Umbria paper, handmade in Fabriano. They include original watermarks made in the 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th century.


The volume is housed in a hand-made slipcase and box, custom made to an exact size, whose exteriors are covered with Ingres paper. The book title is letterpress-printed on the slipcase’s spine.

Data sheet

Size (cm)
very fine cotton papers made in Italy
Number of pages
Total print run
Weight (kg)