Looking for a copy of 1985 VGC specimen to document Aldo Novarese contributions.

We have been working in the last months on various typefaces designed by Aldo Novarese in the last years of his career, after leaving Nebiolo. Many of these designs were never published as lead type, but rather sold to transfer lettering or photosetting companies. In the process he made some change to names - for example his Primate for Ag Berthold became Divulga for Reber.
In trying to map and recognize his later output, we have problems finding records of his work for VGC - typefaces like Bloc, Continental, Delta, Exempla, Rona, Poster but expecially the elusive 1978 font Global that we assume is a version of Stadio but can't confirm without a scan of the VGC specimen. I know that Luc Devroye posted the 1972 VGC specimen  but I can't find online any good scan of the 1985 catalog (referenced by Fontsinuse but not available anymore at the flickr url provided).
If anybody could help we would be extremely grateful!


  • Florian HardwigFlorian Hardwig Posts: 245
    edited September 2021
    Ciao Cosimo,
    Did you find our page for Studio / Global on Fonts In Use? I can’t offer a scan of a full glyph set by VGC, but attached is a one-line sample from a VGC catalog from 1982.

    As far as I can tell, VGC’s Global (phototype, 1978) is the same design as Reber’s Stadio (dry transfer, 1974). Before your Stadio Now, Novarese’s design was digitized as Glockenspiel (FontBank, 1990–1993). Blue Global (T-26, 2001) is a looser interpretation. The naming (including “Global”, or starting with “Glo”) suggest that these were derived from VGC’s phototype version. Shown below is the glyph set of Glockenspiel. The design is identical to Reber’s Stadio.

  • Thank you Florian, that was extremely useful.
    Novarese career in his late years - as well as actually the whole of Nebiolo typographic heritage - got somehow lost in the fog between the eighties and the nineties. And even if these typefaces may not be all masterpieces, still there are some really beautiful gems (just think of Sintex that sparked the design process of James Edmondson's beautyful Chee) that are interesting to bring back to life, either through documentation or by revival.
    Then, one could argue that a revival is also a betrayal, but that is a subject for a much longer thread... 
  • PS: regarding the page for Stadio / Global on Fonts In Use, we want to thank you for including Stadio Now. Fonts In Use it's always our starting reference - it's just that we couldnt find any visual proof for Stadio and Global being exactly the same (Blue Global is actually very different). And also - while Cuckoo, Blue Global and Glockenspiel are all apocryphal, Global was probably authorized by Novarese - but we were made suspectful by the name change. I guess in photosetting times it was quite common to resell same typefaces with different names...
  • K PeaseK Pease Posts: 180
    I possess the VGC Alphabet Library 14th Edition from 1988. I can confirm it contains samples of Novarese (Book+Italic, Medium+Italic, Bold+Italic, Ultra), Bloc, Continental (regular, Italic, Bold), Delta (Medium, Medium Italic, Bold), Exempla, Rona, and Global. If there are any of these you need to see or any other names you want to look for, just ask.

  • Florian HardwigFlorian Hardwig Posts: 245
    edited September 2021
    Cosimo, you’re welcome! K Pease, thanks for adding the final piece to the puzzle, much appreciated!
    Novarese’s post-Nebiolo work definitely is underdocumented. In addition to his designs for VGC and Reber (and those for ITC and Berthold which are mostly available in digital form), he also drew a number of faces for Haas.
    I would be surprised if Global wasn’t authorized by Novarese. His collaboration with VGC started already in 1966 when his Exempla was awarded the third prize in their International Type Face Design Competition, and subsequently released with VGC. The phototype company also carried a number of Nebiolo designs, by Novarese and others: (Nova) Augustea, Cigno, Egizio, Estro, Eurostile, Fontanesi, Microgramma, Normandia, Oscar, Torino, etc. In addition to the typefaces you already mentioned, Novarese’s exclusive designs for VGC include Andromeda, Poster, Spazio, and Sprint. In other words, Novarese and VGC had a well-established and long-lasting connection.
    As for why Stadio was renamed to Global, there are a number of thinkable explanations. Maybe Reber held the rights to the name. Maybe VGC preferred something that was internationally understandable (the fact that they went with Spazio suggests otherwise). Maybe Stadio was too similar to Amsterdam’s Studio, which was already carried by VGC. But that’s all speculation.
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