Saggi Tascabili Laterza

Mimmo Castellano, 1973

Following the wave of the increase in circulation of the "Universale Laterza" (1964) paperback series, several successful series were inaugurated between the end of the 1960s and the beginning of the 1970s, including "Grandi Opere" (1968) dedicated to architecture and urban planning and "Saggi Tascabili Laterza" (1973), often based on interviews with prominent personalities of the time, about the great political and cultural issues of current affairs. For 1000 Italian "lire", "Progetto e Utopia", by Manfredo Tafuri, is the first publication of the "STL", a text that explores the new challenges posed to architecture and urban planning by capitalist development. The series is still in publication, but it doesn't retain the original format and design.

Like many of the series from the early 1950s at Laterza, the cover design was designed by Mimmo Castellano. STL is actually among the latest ones created by the famous designer, who resigned the following year, having permanently moved to Milan and not being satisfied with the directions imposed by Vito Laterza in terms of graphics and quality of the paper.

The cover is printed with two inks, a dark purple and a bright orange, on lightly embossed paper. Three horizontal bands enclose the author's name and title in Caslon Black, surrounded by the title of the series and any other authors in Helvetica Regular. The main variation is an abstract "illustration" composed of orange curves, sometimes arranged in a semicircle, others in an S. Over the years, the designs have naturally repeated themselves. This layout was maintained at least until the mid-90s. The same approach was also adopted for a renewal of the Books of the Laterza time, albeit in green and without curves.

Renzo De Felice, Intervista sul fascismo

Renzo De Felice, "Intervista sul fascismo"

STL 17, October 1975 (4a edizione)

Pietro Nenni, Intervista sul socialismo italiano

Pietro Nenni, "Intervista sul socialismo italiano"

STL 33, February 1977 (1a edizione)

Ugo La Malfa, "Intervista sul non-governo"

STL 37, April 1977 (1st edition)

Piero Ottone, Intervista sul giornalismo italiano

Piero Ottone, "Intervista sul giornalismo italiano"

STL 48, February 1978 (1a edizione)

Asor Rosa, Colletti, Salvadori, Spriano, Il socialismo diviso

Asor Rosa, Colletti, Salvadori, Spriano, "Il socialismo diviso"

STL 58, November 1978 (1a edizione)

Giovanni Michelucci, Intervista sulla nuova città

Giovanni Michelucci, "Intervista sulla nuova città"

STL 78, February 1981 (1a edizione)

Carlo Da Molo, Intervista su città e servizi

Carlo Da Molo, "Intervista su città e servizi"

STL 160, April 1992 (1a edizione)

Antonio Maccanico, Intervista sulla fine della prima Repubblica

Antonio Maccanico, "Intervista sulla fine della prima Repubblica"

STL 182, October 1994 (1a edizione)


Founded in Bari in 1901, the “Casa Editrice Gius. Laterza & Figli "first publishes Apulian literary works, then defining himself as a" publisher of serious stuff "(politics, history, philosophy) following the direction marked by the meeting of Giovanni Laterza with Benedetto Croce. "Biblioteca di Cultura Moderna" is the first Laterza series. However, the transformation into a modern company took place after the war, under the direction of Vito Laterza, a company that grew and expanded also in Rome, until the cultural crisis and ideologies that hit Italy in the late 70s. From this period, the publishing house shifted attention to university and school texts, with new series and technical manuals. Still active, Laterza is still in the hands of the heirs Giuseppe and Alessandro.

Mimmo Castellano

Esteemed designer in various sectors of graphics and appreciated photographer, famous for having curated the image of the Laterza publishing house in Bari, the widespread signage of the Aeolian Islands and designed the RAI Radio Television Italiana pavilion for 10 years, for 5 that of Italsider at the Fiera del Levante in Bari. Among the clients who trusted him for numerous projects, the CONI Italian National Olympic Committee, Alitalia, INA, the EEC European Economic Community with pavilions built in Teheran, the Vallecchi publishing house in Florence, Feltrinelli in Milan, Montedison and others.

He taught in Bari at the Academy of Fine Arts, in Urbino at the ISIA and at the IED in Milan. He is the author of the ceiling of the Teatro Regio in Turin. Several national awards, Bodoni Parma, Art Director Club Milano, Centro Cultura Fotografia, Bancarella, gold medal of the presidency of the Republic, two internationals in Brno in 1976 and 1982 silver medal.

He is also the author of several books on photography, graphics, ethnology. Born in the province, in Gioia del Colle, near Bari in 1932, he died in Milan in 2010.