800 Views of Airports, 2012, first use of Riforma

Riforma Specimen, 2018

Envelope, Letter, Slides

I Situation

While ­travelling through the north of Italy in the ­summer of 2011, we ­visited a small second-hand bookshop somewhere ­between Modena and ­Milan, where we discovered a stack of books relating to graphic design, a couple of Italian type specimen, and a near-complete set of the Enciclopedia della stampa. Once back home, we discovered a bland-looking envelope between the Aggiornamento n. 9 (­entitled Immagine coordinata, ‘Corporate identity’) and n. 12 ­(Schemario d’impagi­­­na­zione, ‘Layout ­systems’). It ­contained four plastic sleeves ­holding fourteen 35 mm colour ­reversal film slides and a typewritten note. Looking at the images and ­reading the note, it became clear that these slides were ­documenting an elaborate ­corporate ­design project for an Italian company by the name of Italcore. ­

Ⅱ Observations


A large-sized, orange envelope labelled DOCUMENTI ­(‘Documents’) on a white self-adhesive sticker, written with a ­mechanical ­­­­type­writer.


An A4-sized, blue carbon-copy duplicate note written with the same mechanical typewriter. The text translates as follows:
Milan, June 5 1972, Dear Giancarlo, As agreed, I’m sending you the film slides of the presentation boards, we’ll keep the originals. As you know, our problems are still not resolved, but I’m optimistic: the plan to reform the group is in progress, and we see good prospects for the future. However, it’s unlikely they will take a ­decision before the end of summer. For this reason, I kindly ask you to keep the project confidential for now. As soon as I have news, I’ll be sure to ­contact you. It goes without saying that the quality of your work is indisputable and that the whole company is grateful to you. Best ­regards and speak soon, ­Raniero


The fourteen colour slides show reproductions of a series of presentation boards on a neutral background. Each board is hole-punched four times, with the holes being ­reinforced with rings. Considering the quantity, distance and ­dimension of the holes, we can deduct that the original boards were most prob­ably A3 in size. Each board displays a ­variety of technical drawings, illustrations, symbols, layout guidelines and type ­composition systems, with visualisations ranging from simple to very detailed. All readable text and information is written in Italian. All transparencies are mounted in white plastic frames (50 × 50 mm). The brand name Ferrania and the inscription Made in Italy are embossed on their reverse side [cover]. The films are in good condition with few scratches, some dust, but show partial ­colour deterioration and fading. The frames show some signs of ageing. The colour slides document parts of an elaborately produced project presentation, ­individually showing a ­number of presentation boards. The reproduced boards are originally printed in three spot colours (green, red and black) on white paper. The four transparent ­plastic sleeves contain a total of 24 slides, with each sleeve containing six slides. We identify two numbering systems: one for the slides and one for the illus­trations on the boards. The slides are hand-numbered on each plastic frame. The numbers correspond with the three-dimensional green numbers placed next to each board. The ­illustrations on the boards are numbered following an inherent logic. By ­analysing the two different numbering ­systems (which are obviously not directly connected), we can deduct that at least 10 slides are missing, corresponding to the vacant spaces of the plastic sleeves. High res­olution scans were made of each trans­parency to obtain a more ­detailed view. ­Larger, digitally ­restored and enhanced ­reproductions of each slide are displayed on pp. 14–27. (cf. p. 28, slides in their original state and size).

For III Assumptions and IV Conclusion cf. Riforma Specimen

Excerpt from: Riforma Type Specimen
© 2018 NORM, Zurich & Lineto GmbH

Slides 2, 4, 5, 6 (detail), 9, 15

Slide 15 (details)

Slide 13 (details)

Slides 17