Page Composing and Lettering Games: Experimentation in Italy in the 1930s

  • Sarah Bonciarelli (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven)


The objective of this article is to analyze how or in what ways the most advanced visual experiments centred on “the book” as an object in the period between 1900 and 1930 in Italy, in particular in relation to the development of middlebrow literature. The article’s hypothesis is that the revolution brought about by Futurism soon touched on literature intended for a middlebrow reading public, attracted and interested by the paratextual presentation of the book and its physical aspects. This article focuses in particular on changes in page layout and on lettering games in paratextuality, to give a precise idea of how strong the thrust of Futurism was and how book design affected the visual culture of the beginning of the twentieth century in Italy.

Keywords: italian futurism, modernism, the middlebrow, book design, the new typography

How to Cite:

Bonciarelli, S., (2012) “Page Composing and Lettering Games: Experimentation in Italy in the 1930s”, Authorship 2(1). doi:

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Published on
18 Dec 2012
Peer Reviewed