Aldus Manutius Printing Press Designs

aldus manutius press festina lente printer's mark

aldus manutius iphone coverA Bit of History: Aldus Manutius and the Aldine Press

The Aldus Manutius’ Press, or better, the Aldine Press, is renowned for the creation of italics,  among the many other things. The press was also the first to issue printed books in the little octavo size. During Aldus Manutius’ life the press issued 127 titles.

The Aldine Press continued to do its work after Aldus’ demise in 1515. The work was brought on by his wife and her father until Aldus’ child, Paolo (1512–1574), assumed control. His grandson Aldo (the Younger) then ran the firm until his passing in 1597.

Because of the fame achieved by the Aldine’s editions, numerous pilfered releases were created in Lyons and elsewhere around Europe. Today,old books that were printed by the Aldine Press in Venice are alluded to simply as Aldine editions.

Aldus Manutius adoration classics, and that was the main aim of his press: creating new editions of Plato, Aristotle, and other Greek and Latin classics. He likewise printed lexicons and language structures to help individuals decipher the books.

Aldus manutius festina lente poster
The design based upon Aldus Manutius’ printer mark: Festina Lente, also available as a poster.

About the Designs

I have created these works based on the famous Aldus Manutius printer’s mark: the dolphin and the anchor. This was a symbol use also by the Romans to illustrate the adage: festina lente, which indicated the need to do a proper work with the right pace, without haste and the risk of making mistakes.

This work presents a slightly more modern take on the theme: sharper edges, a serif font of aldine inspiration, and a well-textured old paper to go with it.

As a former student of Book History, medieval manuscripts lover, and owner of a few 400 years old books, I wanted to create something to celebrate the importance of these early pioneers of printing and publishing.

Aldus Manutius Festina Lente Tote BagTo Summarize:

Aldus Pius Manutius was an Italian humanist who became a printer and publisher when he founded the Aldine Press at Venice.

His publishing legacy includes the distinctions of inventing italic type, establishing the modern use of the semicolon, developing the modern appearance of the comma, and introducing inexpensive books in small formats bound in vellum that were read much like modern paperbacks.

If you are a real book lover, you got to have one of these!

 

 

Giulio Menna
Lover of: all things digital, humanities, and medieval manuscripts. I created Sexy Codicology and the DMMmaps Project and run them both with passion and love in my free time. I am an MA graduate in Book and Digital Media Studies at Leiden University. Still happily living in the Netherlands.