profile

Alessandro Sposato

Officina Tipografica Novepunti

All of a sudden, dogmatic rules for graphic design started to make sense

How long have you been printing?

I started printing in 2010 when together with other 9 people we co–founded Officina Tipografica Novepunti.

Describe your first encounter with letterpress

As a millennial(?!) graphic designer my first contact with graphic design was merely digital – In 2007 right after graduating and the first working experience I was feeling like something was missing and my university friends invited me to join a class about Typography and Letterpress at CFP Bauer – one of the last valuable professional schools left in Milan.

Where did you learn?

This experience at CFP Bauer was eye-opening: all of a sudden things that were appearing to be only dogmatic rules for graphic design started to make sense and have a reason, often connected with technical limitations.

Who was your most influential teacher?

The two teachers of that class were Lucio Passerini and James Clough. Lucio is as well a mentor for Officina Tipografica Novepunti and a Letterpress Worker himself since the very first edition. James is a well known British calligrapher living in Milan. They were my (our!) very first teachers, but all of the Letterpress Workers contribute by teaching each other tips and tricks and best practices...

What super power would you like to have?

Moving printing machines through walls, making them fit anywhere we might need them.

Do you prefer to work alone or with others?

No doubt, working together might cost a little more time but more brains (and hands!) work way better than one's on his own.

What do you most value in your friends?

Openness, ideas, willing to be together and the big passion we share for what we have been doing and still do.

When do your best ideas occur to you?

My employer wouldn't be happy to read this.

If you were to die and come back as a typeface, which would it be?

Definitely a Sans-Serif, but considering myself a connector and a bridge among different people and cultures... something really versatile... Gill Sans!

What tool do you use more often than any other?

Typometer, I forgot so quickly what I measure that I spend most of my time looking for it.

What books are currently on your nightstand?

Il clima ideale by Franco Vanni (The ideal climate) – it's a political–sociological-thriller with a journalistic cut.

If you could study with any printer throughout history, who would it be?

Aldo Manuzio, I think he really changed the game on a global level.

If you have your own shop, what equipment do you own?

Officina Tipografica Novepunti owns an Heidelberg Windmill, an historical platen press and several different proof presses both fix and portable, in different sizes. Typefaces, a lot of them and all of the necessary tools.

If you could change one thing about your shop, what would it be?

I would install heating for winter!!!

When and where are you the happiest?

Hard to say, I moved to Berlin 4 years ago. Now I am really struggling to understand where happiness resides. I always thought it should be location-independent... but this might need reconsideration!

What is your greatest fear/worry?

Running out of ink.

What do you think is useful about what you make?

We keep tradition alive, give it a new fresh twist and educate new designers about the past. There's need for that.

What’s your day job?

Design consultant for a major software company.

Do you use any other techniques or media besides letterpress?

In our workshop not really, outside... Computers all the time.