Inspiring type: Libro di M. Giovambattista Palatino
~ 17 August 2009 ~
In doing research on Italian type, I stumbled across a wonderfully inspiring resource published 460 years ago, possibly on or about the typography work by Giambattista (or Giovambattista or Giovanni Battista) Palatino, the master Italian calligrapher.
This jewel of a book was published in 1550 by Antonio Blado asolano in Rome. It is now available on the web and contains of complete alphabets, from chancery scripts, to blackletter and roman. There are also greek, hebrew, Cyrillic, Syrian, Arabic and other alphabets.
Below are a few snippets from the book. You can browse the online version containing scanned images of all 128 pages. Even better, the PDF is a free download, and as such you’d be foolish not to keep a local copy for study and inspiration.
It is this kind of work that provides real, sustainable inspiration over the course of one’s career, and not just fleeting, short-lived influence. I might not have immediate need for this resource, but when it eventually inspries me in the middle of a project two, three, or even ten years from now, I’ll thank myself for taking the time to archive it. Hopefully you will too.
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