By Giambattista Bodoni [1740-1813]
You know the types, now see the legendary work of Bodoni in its original setting. This is a remarkable digital facsimile of a rare type specimen book—only 250 copies were ever printed. Manuale Tipografico is the final masterful work of Giambattista Bodoni, who unfortunately never saw it completed. Rather, it was published posthumously by his widow, Margherita in 1818. The two-volume work consists of a preface by Bodoni, 142 of his roman faces, italics, several exotics and many ornaments.

The Manuale Tipografico CD-ROM is available as Adobe Acrobat PDFs for Mac, Windows, Unix and OS/2. Adobe Acrobat Reader software version 3.0, necessary to view the files, is conveniently included on the CD. Manuale Tipografico is a two CD set that thoughtfully contains four versions of Bodoni’s specimen book: Print, Browse, Read and Examine. Each version is set at a different resolution suited to its particular emphasis.

Octavo has done a commendable job of capturing even the smallest details of every part of the book. From the marbled covers to Bodoni’s truly exquisite type specimens, everything is available to savor. Each view depicts a two-page spread of the open book. The value of this CD is enhanced by the translation of the text into English and the ability to search the text for keywords as you can any PDF. The translation includes references which when clicked lead to the corresponding page of the book.

Bodoni’s career in the typographic arts spanned forty years; he designed and printed an estimated 1,500 books. Arguably the finest of his day, his print work was inspired by Fournier and Baskerville & was rivaled only by Didot. For anyone interested in learning more about Bodoni and becoming familiar with his work, this CD is a good place to start. Even those not usually moved by Bodoni’s types will likely be impressed by Octavo’s high quality digital presentation of his work.

—Delve Withrington

CD Cover, Manuale Tipografico © 1998 Octavo Corp.
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Octavo Corp.

Adobe PDF Info

John D. Berry’s Article about Octavo Corp. at the U&lc Website

Graphion Online Type Museum
Delve Withrington is the founder of Delve Media Arts and the Publisher of TypeBooks.

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Manuale Tipografico (Digital Facsimile)
Author: Giambattista Bodoni
Publisher: Octavo Corporation [May 1998]
ISBN: 1-891788-06-X
Binding: 2 CD-ROM set (Acrobat PDF Format), 1202pp, 9" x 13 1/8"

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