Ex Libris. Ex musicis

Ex-Libris are for sure an elegant way to customize one’s own books. Not only. They are also the means to leave an evocative mark of one’s personality.
Ex-Libris or, for musicians, Ex-musicis, are a synthetic way of expressing one’s personality. Not only a trademark, but the mirror of the owner’s taste and culture, an actual seaman-like “tattoo”.
From early examples, to be found on ancient parchments and manuscripts, to their current layout, depiction manners have obviously changed, following various fashions and styles. In its highest forms, they have become small works of art, able to attract the growing interest of collectors.
Antica Tipografia Biagini owns one of Europe’s most important collections of Ex-Libris. Our works are characterized by special sensitivity in image processing and by strong creativity in text selection.
My teacher Gino Biagini taught me that Ex-Libris must be immediate, concise and enlightening communication tools, able to fulfill two main purposes: to reveal belonging to a particular book collection and, thanks to well selected pictures and texts, pass on some of the owner’s peculiar aspects. In short, they are both bibliographic records and expressions and recollection of an aesthetic need.

Zinc printing plate for two colours Ex-Libris

Ex-Libri misura 5x5cm a due colori

Two colours Ex-Libris, 5×5 cm size

The art of Ex-Libris consists in graphically rendering the message one wants to leave on one’s own books.

For their creation, an initial interview with the client is necessary; more simply, a personal card may be filled, also by e-mail, in order to highlight the customer’s tastes, inclinations and cultural background. A motto is then identified to best match and summarize the customer’s personality.
The selected subject is then hand-drawn by one of our resident artists, chosen depending on the customer’s cultural characteristics and graphic expectations; consistent graphics and motto are eventually identified and transferred to zinc plates.

clichè in zinco per stampa Ex Libris

Zinc plate for Bookplate’s printing


Ex-libris are then printed on early twentieth century machines, using ancient typographic techniques, mobile types and high quality papers (when requested, self-adhesive). These are unique features that distinguish the work of Antica Tipografia Biagini: a blend of the best craftsmanship combined with maximum customization. The outcome are small works of art showing one’s love for books.
If this process is considered too long, a wide range of existing images are already available in our archive.

For estimates or for any further explanation please contact + 39 348 1513726 or matteo@anticatipografiabiagini.it.