PrinteD on paPER toweLs, the tyPO biLder bUch

Romano Hänni, Typo bilder buch [Typo Picture Book]: von Hand gesetzt und auf der Handabziehpress gedruckt (Basel, Switzerland: [Studio for Design], 2012). Edition of 65. Graphic Arts Collection GAX2013- in process

“Letterpress printed on a hand proofing press. Printed in four colors (blue, black, red and yellow) on paper towels. Approximately 190 Printing forms and runs. Sewn binding. Letterpress printed pastedowns and free end pages. In letterpress printed dust jacket.”


For the last thirty years, the Basel artist and typographer Romano Hänni has been creating experimental hand-set, letterpress books. Editor Lukas Hartmann notes, “Anyone accusing Romano Hänni of being a hot type nostalgic has misunderstood most of his work - or has never held and read one of his hand-printed books.”

“These books are little marvels full of visual poetry. The technical effort behind them can only be divined by somebody who has pursued training in hot type printing. …Hänni enjoys passing on his knowledge and skills, ensuring that centuries-old manual techniques are not only kept in museums.”


“Since the invention of script and the printed word,” writes Hänni, “we have lost access to pictorial statements: we have become character devout. Nonetheless, we still read images. Fluent reading is based solely on prejudices. The knowledgeable rdeaer deos not pecie toghteer indaidviul chaearcrts to from wrods but peircvees wrod imeags in tiehr etitrney.”

“However, when reading images, signs and symbols, we seem to struggle, even though they also represent a source of information with a simultaneous effect on various levels. Initially, our visual perception looks for symmetry and a human face….”

The Graphic Arts Collection also acquired this catalogue about his work:

Romano Hänni, 27 Jahre Bleisatz: Romano Hänni: Handpressbüchlein 1984-2010 = 27 years hot type: Romano Hänni: Handprinted Books 1984-2010 (Basel: Romano Hänni Verlag, 2011). GAX2013- in process