This Saturday, Umbra students were led to Città di Castello, a small Umbrian city famous in Italy as being the cradle of the country’s modern printing industry. The students had a tour of Italy’s oldest still-working printing company, run by Signor Gianni Ottaviani. Sig. Ottaviani is the seventh generation of owners of the family business, and explained that he has been setting type since he was a child. The students learned about the typographic, lithographic, and engraving processes and were given demonstrations by the enthusiastic Sig. Ottaviani in each one. The students also discussed the “ins and outs” of modern offset printing and saw how graphic layout and pagination programs are turned into printable files.
“It was cool to see, in one big room, the development of printing from 1450 to present,” said Nicole Magpayo, a student from Northeastern University. This activity, offered for the first time in the fall 2005 semester, draws interest from students of all academic disciplines. The group was led by staff member Zach Nowak and professor Cindy Clough.