Thursday, 2:00pm
10 June 2021

Brazilian type bonanza

Lazy Dog Press aims to crowdfund an English-language anthology of Tupigrafia, founded in São Paulo by Claudio Rocha and Tony de Marco

 

Few type mags have had a lifespan of more than two decades, but the Portuguese-language Tupigrafia is one example, writes Massimo Gonzato.

To date there have been thirteen issues – first published by the Bookmakers and later by Oficina Tipográfica São Paulo (OTSP) – over the period September 2000 to February 2020.

Right and top. Spines and covers of the first thirteen issues of Tupigrafia magazine, 2000-20.

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Claudio Rocha and Tony de Marco, the magazine’s founders, are deeply involved in the Brazilian community of designers, visual artists, communicators, researchers, teachers, calligraphers, street writers and letterpress printers. In all its issues Tupigrafia has reflected the state of the typographic and lettering arts, in Brazil and abroad, and issue no. 12 has been nominated for the publishing category of the Fedrigoni Top Award 2021.

Tupigrafia no. 12 combined letterpress (set in Linotype) with HP Indigo digital printing.

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‘I met Claudio and Tony in Salvador, in 2014, during a meeting about typography,’ says designer / calligrapher Luca Barcellona, of Italian publisher Lazy Dog Press, ‘and as their passion for all kinds of letterforms was so evident, I immediately became a fan of their magazine.’

Tupigrafia no. 7, 2007. Cover photos incorporating Pichação graffiti by Claudio Rocha.

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Lazy Dog (which has published books by James Clough, Beppe Giacobbe, Olimpia Zagnoli and many more including the Cast it publications) became convinced that the time was right to publish an English-language anthology of Tupigrafia’s contents for an international audience. Last month they initiated a Kickstarter campaign – with a deadline of midnight on Friday 25 June 2021 – to fund the project.

Work by Fernanda Martins in Tupigrafia no. 9, 2010. Her research ‘Letras que flutuam’ (Floating letters) focuses on the work of local sign painters known as ‘abridores de letras’ in the regions of Santarém, Marajó, Belém and Salgado in the Brazilian state of Pará.

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‘In 21 years of publication,’ says Claudio Rocha, ‘Tupigrafia has featured more than 150 articles on typographic history and technology, type design, calligraphy, letterpress and some surprising “typographic” applications, too.’

‘This anthology favours articles reflecting our commitment to visual and type culture,’ says Tony de Marco. ‘By using the English language and redesigning articles with unpublished additional contents, Claudio and I want to shed light on the powerful yet unexplored Brazilian scene and to show its original artworks, people and stories to the global design community.’

The three covers of Tupigrafia no. 10. Editors Rocha and De Marco have chosen to design and print multiple covers for each issue since issue no. 6.

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As rewards for the backers’ pledges, the campaign includes a lavish limited edition of the book, fine art prints numbered and signed by Barcellona and Rocha, and publications on lettering, typography and type design such as TipoItalia, Alphabets of wood, Letterpress Worker’s Fear, Cast it and Signs of Italy (see review in Eye 91).

Rewards for backers of the Tupigrafia anthology include a set of previously unpublished fine art prints by Luca Barcellona and Claudio Rocha.

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The campaign for crowdfunding the 2000-2020 anthology of Tupigrafia will end on 25 June 2021 at midnight. If the €29,700 goal is reached, the book will be edited by Claudio Rocha and Tony de Marco and published by Lazy Dog Press in collaboration with Fedrigoni Papers, Tipoteca Italiana Fondazione, Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum, CAST digital type foundry and Grafiche Antiga. You can find more information on the campaign, the book content, the editorial staff and the project partners at the links below.

Proposed cover for the first English-language anthology of Tupigrafia magazine. Calligraphy by Luca Barcellona, artwork by Luis Junior, ‘abridor de letras’.

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Massimo Gonzato, freelance journalist, copywriter and editor, Verona

Eye is the world’s most beautiful and collectable graphic design journal, published for professional designers, students and anyone interested in critical, informed writing about graphic design and visual culture. It is available from all good design bookshops and online at the Eye shop, where you can buy subscriptions and single issues.

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