For more than 30 years, Fabriano mills’ swatch books were produced by the remarkable designer / printer Nicola D’Arcangelo, whose family printing business was based in nearby Pescara. Working in a design style that was uniquely his own – somewhere between Art Deco and Modernism– D’Arcangelo would create a visual theme (a flower, an artist’s palette) for a Fabriano paper brand. Using paper engineering and multi-coloured letterpress printing he would make tactile, three-dimensional swatch books achieved by precise die-cutting and intricate hand assembly in his printing shop. The examples shown here are preserved in the Foundation archive.
The art of the swatch
Nicola D’Arcangelo’s extraordinary swatch books for Fabriano