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Looking for a font from the italian type foundry Urania (20th century, Milan)

Go to solution Solved by Kevin Thompson,

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Anyone could recognize the font used in the top right hand corner ("Confisacti... / Raggio) of this type catalog ?

I tried to find archives of the Urania Type foundry but unsuccesfully.

Thank you for your help!

Capture d’écran 2021-06-23 à 15.54.44.png

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Kevin Thompson

After much searching, I finally located another image from a Urania / Nebiolo specimen that was large enough and clear enough to read a name—Serie Ebe, Ombreggiata:


I think that roughly translates to Hebe Series (as in Hebe, Greek goddess of youth/prime of life, and daughter of Zeus and Hera), Shadowed. Ebe can also be translated as “whatever,” but I think the Greek goddess reference makes more sense.

But typeface names are a tricky thing. The face on the left in the image above is labeled Impero, but is better known as Reklame, and the face below Ebe is called Alessandro, but is also known as Ferdinand and Asphodel.

I found the image in an online scan of Design Connoisseur (by husband and wife Steven Heller and Louise Fili, published in 2000 by Allworth Press), and their source was evidently a Societa Augusta, Torino, specimen from 1914—Urania and Nebiolo merged in 1908 to form Societa Augusta, and the name reverted to Nebiolo in 1917.

I also found it in Nebiolo samples as late as 1920, but this was the only sample I could find in which a name was legible.

However, I have had no luck finding any other reference to the face, and it doesn’t appear to have ever been digitized.

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Riccardo Sartori

I found a slightly better version of the original image (see at 22:02). One strange detail is that on the left it seems to be called “Serie Ebe”.* while on the right it’s called “Serie Minerva”.


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Kevin Thompson

Hmm, one Roman goddess and one Greek goddess—and still no reference to either as a typeface of that design anywhere.

Hebe is equivalent to the Roman goddess Juventis, but nothing under that name either.

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Thank you Kevin and Riccardo for your help. I will follow that Hebe Series's lead and see what I can find concerning the designer or the date it has been published. Maybe it's a good starting point for a revival ? 

Also, I will try to contact Nebiolo and see if they have some informations concerning this typeface.

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Kevin Thompson

Nebiolo no longer exists, I am afraid (not since 1978).

I recently attended a lecture presented by the [email protected] (Cooper Hewitt) program about Nebiolo. You might try reaching out to one of the presenters (specifically Marta Bernstein, whose lecture Ricccardo referenced above as the source of your image) to see if they can point you in the right direction.

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