History Aldus Manutius was born in 1452 in the small town of Bassiano, some 80 km south of Rome. He was a student in the Faculty of Arts in the University of Rome between the years of 1467 (fifteen years after he was born) to 1473. He spent six years at this university. A few years later (roughly the late 1470's) he enrolled in the University of Ferrara, where he studied Greek. His professor was the humanist and educator Battista Guarino (1435-1505). After this, in 1480, he was employed as a tutor to the children of the Duke of Carpi, near the University of Ferrara.
Nine years later he stopped teaching for publishing. He soon moved to Venice, the centre of the publishing industry, where he became partners with an established printer, Andrea Torresano (1451-1529). Andrea provided the expertise and material resources to the new company. He also became partners with Pier Francesco Barbarigo where he developed a passion for classical music. Aldus adopted the Anchor and Dolphin design as the printer's mark. Later in his life when he became fairly old his youngest son, Palus, succeeded him.
Marriage and personal life In 1505 Manutius married Maria, daughter of Andrea Torresano of Asola. Torresano had already bought the press established by Nicholas Jenson at Venice. Therefore Manutius' marriage combined two important publishing firms. Henceforth the names Aldus and Asolanus were associated on the title pages of the Aldine publications; and after Manutius' death in 1515, Torresano and his two sons carried on the business during the minority of Manutius' children. The device of the dolphin and the anchor, and the motto festinalente, which indicated quickness combined with firmness in the execution of a great scheme, were never wholly abandoned by the Aldines until the expiration of their firm in the third generation.
Summary of what they brought to the “world of graphic design” He was especially interested in producing books of small format for scholars at low cost. To this end he designed and cut the first complete font of the Greek alphabet, adding a series of ligatures or tied letters, similar to the conventional signs used by scribes, which represented two to five letters in the width of one character. To save space in Latin texts he had a type designed after the Italian cursive script; it is said to be the script of Petrarch. This was the first italic type used in books (1501). Books produced by him are called Aldine and bear his mark, which was a dolphin and an anchor.
Imprint and motto The publishing logo imprint of Aldus was the dolphin around an anchor, today used by Doubleday. It is derived from the symbol of the ancient city of Beirut, Lebanon and text from the proverb "Festinalente" (Hasten slowly), which Aldus had taken as a motto as early as 1499, and regularly expounded to his friends.
Our opinion We like his graphic style. It looks so classic and beautiful. His style is like Roman style. When we look at his style it likes we can go back in his time.