Betterpress Lab is a traditional and vintage letterpress studio in Rome.
Founded by Francesca Colonia and Giulia Nicolai, Betterpress Lab is a place open to the public interested in pursuing artistic research. With vintage tools and equipment, Betterpress Lab promotes the reinterpretation of the traditional techniques of typography, in an environment that shares knowledge and expertise.
Betterpress was an old butcher shop, placed between the neighborhood of Trastevere – a working-class area that saved its unusual appearance since the Roman Emperor—and Ostiense—an area formerly industrial that is slowly seeing the conversion and redevelopment of its unused spaces. Since 2014, after rescuing and housing vintage print presses, wood, and metal type, Betterpress Lab revived the traditional technique of handsetting and composing letterforms to create limited Fine art editions.
At Betterpress Lab we organize diverse programs to meet specific demands. We aim to share and nourish the passion for letterpress and the contemporary visual arts. Classes and workshops are customized for participants of any level and from diverse careers and organized to fit any schedule and need.
Artists and explorers are both welcome to develop their ideas or invite us to collaborate. We take our time to look into each other's worlds, discovering and strategizing together the practical way to make it real. Betterpress Lab organizes and hosts pop-up demonstrations, exhibitions, and events.
We love to transform ideas in images, that's why we like to call our studio an Ideographic Laboratory.
Arriving from diverse academic background, artistic studies, and personal attitudes we interchange and mix things up in a constant exchange. Together, we can carry on our artistic research focused on language, image, words, and lines.
Francesca graduated in Fine Arts at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome. Her first passion was etching, engraving—and all kinds of alternative printing processes including photography. She is a real explorer; no material is left untouched until she finds a solution to express a more profound meaning to any image.
Giulia graduated in Classical Philology at the Sapienza Università, in Rome. A militant book devourer and Anti-Platonist activist, she is still interested in History, the development of language, and the invention of writing.
When we are printing together, with no one around, the entire world disappear. We go deep into a full immersion and forget about everything, following and creating new lines and images free from any preconceptions and restrains; it is our way to quietly, talk to everyone.