1968 Giovanni Mardersteig

Printer, typeface and book designer / Verona, Italy

Born in Weimar in 1892 and deceased in Verona in 1977, Giovanni Mardersteig, born Hans Mardersteig, is regarded as one of the most important historians for typography, book and font. From 1919 to 1921 he published together with Carl Georg Heise and Kurt Pinthius (only in the first year) the art magazine "Genius" in the Kurt Wolff publishing house, after which he founded the hand press "Officina Bodoni" in 1922. The name "Bodoni" was chosen by Mardersteig in Reminiscent of the master engraver Giambattista Bodoni (1740-1813). The hand press was active in the field until 1977. No other hand press achieved its international success and developed such a huge impact within the graphic arts industry.
In addition, the book historian was in search of the perfect font all his life and so he designed successively the Griffo, the Zeno, the Pacioli and finally the Dante. All were created on the basis of historical models and for the Officina Bodoni. In addition, the Dante has been greatly expanded for the machine set and represents a complete re-creation, which is also regarded as the high point and end point of the press and book art movement since the late 19th century. The "Prince of the Printers", as Mardersteig was also titled, was awarded the Gutenberg Prize of the City of Mainz and the International Gutenberg Society for outstanding achievements in typography in 1968, as well as the Bodoni Prize of the City of Parma.