Handwriting is art
Text Giacomo Andrea Minazzi
«My great-grandfather started in via San Raffaele: he opened a paper and graphic workshop in 1881». In the same year, Collodi published Pinocchio and the Poldi Pezzoli museum opened to the public. At that time, the world of paper was like the Internet today: communication passed from there.
Pettinaroli is where Toscanini, Papa Paolo VI or Maria Callas – to name a few – went to make their writing paper.
Pettinaroli is the Milanese spirit of handwriting, a writing paper with initials in English italic, sepia ink on an ocher background. The pleasure of communicating is here: framing the content in something equally precious, which makes it a sign not to be thrown away as soon as it is consumed – not an e-mail with an ‘urgent’ object.
Everything is done by hand «based on the printing press, no digital: composers prepare the matrices with movable characters, taking them one by one from the typographic boxes and aligning them to compose the texts, the names or the initials». Important things are printed here.
Pettinaroli is the passion to glue an ex libris on their books, mark them as coming from their library. It is the gesture of delivering a thoughtful business card that says something about the person, even to the touch.
It is a world that nowadays is also made up of vintage globes and antique, cartographic, vedutistic, mountain prints – it starts in the 1500s. A world that has an ancient flavor, a smell of beaten leather and fresh ink. Until just over ten years ago, the typographic machines were under the shop: «it was beautiful, there was not a door that divided the spaces. When the customer came, he could see how all came to life».
Now at the head of the historical workshop there is Francesco Pettinaroli, the fourth generation, that of the transition to the digital world, which tells this story also on Instagram, because the channels have changed and the artisan tradition should be continued there too. He prepares the fifth generation, his three daughters: Anna, Elena and Costanza.