The Bolted Book: An Avant-garde Masterpiece
An exact copy of this groundbreaking artist's book, first published in 1927, inspires us all to remain true to our creative spirit.
The Bolted Book Facsimile Project
For updates and information, visit the Official Bolted Book Website: www.boltedbook.com or write to us at email@example.com.
In 1927, the Italian Futurist artist and designer Fortunato Depero created a monograph of his work unlike any book that had been seen before. Called Depero Futurista, or “Depero the Futurist,” it is also known as The Bolted Book, because it is famously bound together by two large industrial aluminum bolts.
Filled with bold typographic experimentation, daring layouts, and featuring work in nearly every artistic and design medium, it is universally recognized as a landmark avant-garde example of the “book as object” and is often considered the first artist's book of the modern era. Today, however, copies of this trailblazing publication can rarely be found.
With your help, we want to make our facsimile — an exact replica of the original — available so that the Bolted Book can remain a continuing source of creative inspiration for the 21st century.
Each copy of the facsimile comes with our acclaimed Reader's Guide. We are also offering a unique display stand custom designed for the Bolted Book. See below for DETAILED DESCRIPTIONS OF ALL OF OUR PROJECT REWARDS.
“Eye-popping.” — Hyperallergic
“One of the world’s most iconic design books.” — WIRED
About the Original Bolted Book and Fortunato Depero
"Depero Futurista (also known as the Bolted Book) is considered one of the avant-garde masterpieces in the history of the book-object. It exemplifies all the Futurist innovations: witty typographical effects; the use of colored inks and decorated paper; the brilliant idea of dynamo binding, making the book seem like a machine."
— from The Artist and the Book in Twentieth-century Italy (Museum of Modern Art, 1992)
Depero Futurista ("Depero the Futurist") is a showcase for the work artist and designer Fortunato Depero (1892–1960, Italy) completed between 1913 and 1927 and also serves as a platform for his iconoclastic ideas. These ideas anticipated, by over 90 years, an approach to design and art making that can now be seen everywhere — from the breaking down of barriers between fine art and popular culture, to an emphasis on working in multimedia, to the necessity of self-promotion by artists and designers.
As a portfolio of Depero’s career, the Bolted Book includes paintings, sculptures, textile and architectural designs, theater, dance, and advertising work, wordplays, manifestos, and reviews he received in many different languages. The book in particular highlights Depero’s work in graphic design and typography, including his well-known advertisements for the Italian apéritif Campari.
Depero by 1913 had embraced the modernist movement Futurism, which was marked by a love of the new century’s machine-driven technology and “dynamic” motion (in the form of cars, trains, and airplanes), coupled with a forceful rejection of past traditions and institutions.
Published in Milan in 1927 by the painter-aviator Fedele Azari, who on an introductory page describes it as “a mechanical book bolted down like an engine,” the book was dubbed “a typographical racing car” by Futurism’s founder, F. T. Marinetti.
Depero took the Bolted Book with him on his first trip, in 1928, to New York, where it served as a business card for securing design work and as a “portable museum” (when the bolts were removed, the pages could be pinned up on a wall, exhibition style). He was the only Futurist ever to live in New York City and while there, he produced graphic designs and covers for publications such as Vogue, Vanity Fair, and The New Yorker.
The Legacy of The Bolted Book and Why it Matters Today
Depero continued a long and varied career in the years following the publication of the Bolted Book. In 1959, a year before he died, he opened in his hometown of Rovereto the Casa d'Arte Futurista Depero, a museum-laboratory dedicated to his Futurist work and ideas (today part of the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Trento and Rovereto).
After Depero’s death in 1960, the vast range of the artist-designer’s production receded from public view and attention. As Futurism approached its 100th anniversary in 2009, however, Depero was gradually rediscovered and his adventurous, playful, and expansive outlook on art and design, expressed in the Bolted Book, came to be seen as an embodiment of the 21st century.
“Depero’s Futurist vision is now ubiquitous. We are living in his reconstructed universe.” Jonathon Keats in Forbes, May 29, 2009
Still, relatively few people today are familiar with Depero and his work.
“Yet, when you look at a multimedia performance art installation in New York’s Chelsea district, glimpse a Tokyo skyscraper lit up with advertising, or even pick up a bottle of Campari soda, which Depero designed, you’re seeing his legacy.” — Keats in Forbes, May 29, 2009
Groundbreaking in its outlook, Depero's Bolted Book serves as an inspiration to us all to remain true to our creative spirit.
The Bolted Book in 2019
Two years ago, we created the first exact replica of the Bolted Book, following a successful Kickstarter. This facsimile was hailed as “the most beautiful publication of 2017” by the international press.
"Gorgeous" and "spot on" —Columbia University's Rare Book & Manuscript Library, about our 2017 Bolted Book Facsimile.
Owners of our facsimile were enthusiastic.
The facsimile sold out quickly. Since then, we’ve received countless requests to reprint it, and we decided to do a second printing for anyone who missed out the first time.
Our story in video, from 1927 original, to 2017 facsimile, to our 2019 campaign to print the facsimile a second time.
For our 2019 campaign we've introduced a book display stand, custom designed to accommodate the Bolted Book's two metal bolts, heeding the warning given in the book —
This book is . . . dangerous (Questo libro è . . . pericoloso)
This video shows how our custom-designed book display stand accommodates the book's two bolts and allows the Bolted Book to be presented safely upright or lying flat.
About The Bolted Book Facsimile and Reader’s Guide
The scans used to produce the facsimile will be of copy number 843 (out of a stated total of 1,000) from the original 1927 edition. This copy was personally presented in 1928 to Gianni Mattioli, who was one of Depero’s most important patrons and supporters and who actively participated in the production of the original book. His daughter, the Milanese art historian Laura Mattioli, is the founder of the Center for Italian Modern Art in New York.
Collaborators on the facsimile (2017) were MART, Museum of modern and contemporary art of Trento and Rovereto, which houses the Depero archives; and the Center for Italian Modern Art (CIMA) in New York, which featured the Bolted Book as a centerpiece of its 2014 inaugural exhibition, devoted to Fortunato Depero.
- Trim: Length: 32 cm (12.5 in.); height: 24.2 cm (9.5 in.). Oblong
- Page count: 240; 146 with text or images
- Binding: Open on four sides, cover and all pages hole-drilled for bolt binding and fastened with aluminum bolt, nut, and cotter pin (2)
- Cover: Textured, colored cardstock
- Paper: 6 different papers of various colors and weights, including 4 tissue (glassine) pages
- One two-panel gatefold
- Inks: 4/4; occasional pages throughout 5/5
- Production and Reader’s Guide design by Laura Lindgren
- Printed by Graphicom, Vicenza, Italy
- Bolts manufactured by VIPACO, Maniago, Italy, under the supervision of artist Paul Etienne Lincoln
A Reader’s Guide to the Bolted Book accompanies each copy of the facsimile. The Guide features essays by five Depero experts, English translations and annotations of key texts, and archival photographs and other materials from the Fortunato Depero archive (MART), as well as an acknowledgments section listing the names of the Kickstarter backers for the 2nd (2019) printing.
READER’S GUIDE SPECIFICATIONS
- Trim: Length: 26.5 cm (10.5 in.); height: 24 cm (9.5 in)
- Page count: 48
- Binding: Sewn paperback
- 4-color throughout
- Essays: in English, by Steven Heller, graphic design specialist and co-chair and co-founder of the SVA MFA Design/Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program; Raffaele Bedarida, 20th-century Italian art historian, curator, and professor at Cooper Union; Nicoletta Boschiero, chief curator at the Casa d'Arte Futurista Depero at the Mart; Gianluca Camillini, typography and book design scholar and professor at the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, and Federico Zanoner, archivist at MART.
You can view all 240 pages of the original Bolted Book in detail as well as English translations from selected pages at www.boltedbook.com.
For $8: Friends of the Bolted Book Thank You
- Your name will be included in our "Friends of the Bolted Book" acknowledgments that will appear on the Bolted Book's official website — www.boltedbook.com.
For $35: Reader's Guide to The Bolted Book
- Annotated softcover 48-page companion volume to the Bolted Book Facsimile, offered on its own exclusively on this Kickstarter. Features original essays by five Depero scholars, many archival photographs, and page-by-page translations into English of key Italian texts from the facsimile. Your name on the Acknowledgments page as a project supporter and on www.boltedbook.com, the official Bolted Book website.
For $60 ($40 Early Backer, through Feb. 19): Book Display Stand
- Custom-designed stand specially engineered to display the Bolted Book. The stand allows the book to be shown face out on a bookshelf or flat on a coffee table —accommodating the book's two bolts in a way that prevents damage both to neighboring books and to table surfaces. 12.5 x 9.5 in., birch plywood. Designed by John Fuchs and manufactured by Vito Cappellari in Padua, Italy, exclusively for this project. (The final book stand may vary in some minor respects from the prototype shown here.)
For $127 (until Feb. 7): Bolted Book “Subscriber” Special
- If you signed up on www.boltedbook.com, before the launch of this Kicksrarter and received a confirmation email from us, this special thank you offer is for you.
For $127: Bolted Book “Affiliate #1” Special or “Affiliate #2”*
- If you received an “Affiliate #1" or “Affiliate #2" invitation or notification, these offers are for you. (*Also, for $157: “Affiliate #3)
For $135 ($127 Early Backer, through Feb. 11; $130 Early Backer #2, through Feb. 28): Book + Reader's Guide.
- One copy of the Bolted Book Facsimile, 2nd printing plus one copy of the Reader's Guide to the Bolted Book, 2nd printing, with your name on the Acknowledgments page and on www.boltedbook.com.
For $175 ($167 Early Backer, through Feb. 11; #170 Early Backer #2 through Feb. 28): Complete 3-Piece Set
- Book + Reader's Guide + Book Display Stand. One copy of the Bolted Book Facsimile, 2nd printing plus one copy of the Reader's Guide to the Bolted Book, 2nd printing, with your name on the Acknowledgments page and on www.boltedbook.com, plus one Book Display Stand.
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TO PLEDGE FOR MULTIPLE REWARDS
Would you like to pledge for more than one reward or a combination of rewards that you don't see described? You can!
Send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org, with "Bolted Book 2019" in the subject line, and we'll tell you how to do it.
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Schedule for Project and Rewards Delivery
The current schedule calls for The Bolted Book Facsimile 2nd Printing and additional rewards to ship in October 2019. The exception is the Book Display Stand only, which will ship in June 2019.
Independent Bookstore Partners
With this Kickstarter campaign, Designers & Books is launching a new way of collaborating with independent bookstores to sell pre-orders online. This new approach establishes a three-way relationship between bookstores, their customers, and Designers & Books’ Kickstarter campaigns. Participating bookstores:
- American Bookbinders Museum Shop: San Francisco CA
- Book Culture: New York NY
- BookPeople: Austin TX
- Corraini Bookstores: Milan, Mantua, Bologna, Turin: Italy
- Green Apple Books: San Francisco CA
- Joseph-Beth Booksellers: Lexington and Crestview Hills KY; Cincinnati and Cleveland OH
- Lazy Dog, Milan, Italy
- McNally Jackson Books: New York NY
- Milkweed Books: Minneapolis MN
- Mutty: Castiglione, Italy
- Northshire Bookstore: Manchester Center VT
- Oblong Books & Music: Millerton & Rhinebeck NY
- Page 158 Books: Wake Forest NC
- Porter Square Books: Cambridge MA
- Printed Matter: New York NY
- Skylight Books: Los Angeles CA
- Strand Book Store: New York NY
- Ursus Books: New York NY
DESIGNERS & BOOKS (project creator and campaign management) is an artisanal publisher and website that advocates for books as important sources of inspiration. Steve Kroeter, Founder and Editor in Chief; Stephanie Salomon, Executive Editor.
MELANIA GAZZOTTI (project management) is a curator, exhibition organizer, and art historian specializing in illustration, graphic design, and the European avant-garde.
LAURA LINDGREN (book production and design) is an award-winning designer specializing in the design of art and photography books and museum exhibition catalogues. Laura is also publisher of her own imprint, Blast Books.
PAUL ETIENNE LINCOLN (metal consultant) is an artist whose work has been exhibited internationally in many solo and group museum exhibitions and is included in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Arts Council, London.
Photographs of Depero Futurista details are courtesy of Designers & Books. Except where otherwise noted, book photographs are by Helen Brandshaft.
All pages from Depero Futurista, Dinamo-Azari, Milan, Italy, 1927, artist’s book bound with bolts, 12.5 x 9.5 in. (32 x 24.2 cm). © 2019 Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY / SIAE Rome. Reproduction, including downloading of Fortunato Depero works, is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express written permission of Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.
Visit www.boltedbook.com to see the complete Bolted Book and for more information on Depero’s life and work.
Questions? contact us: email@example.com
Risks and challenges
Designers & Books is the publisher of the 2017 Bolted Book Facsimile, following a successful Kickstarter. For the second printing, we are working with the same expert printing and production team to ensure the results that produced so many accolades for the first printing. This team has decades of experience in the design book publishing world, covering all aspects of the process from developing book concepts through delivering finished books.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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