As our name CAST – Cooperativa Anonima Servizi Tipografici suggests, our ambition is to design and sell fonts, but we are also here to offer typographic services to colleagues, publishers and other businesses, big and small. Services that include both technical advice specific to type design and the creation on demand of custom-made fonts for branding.
Though our business was established fairly recently we must say that it was conceived quite a while ago.
Here’s the story.
In 1995, just after Aldo Novarese’s death, Luciano Perondi enrolled at the Politecnico University of Milan. Among much else, he studied typography with Giovanni Lussu and quite soon he got involved in type design, quite a rare choice for Italians of his generation.
Nonetheless, he was following a path well trodden by other older designers like Piero De Macchi and Lussu.
Before leaving the Politecnico, Luciano worked on his own and in collaboration with design groups like Tassinari-Vetta, Limbo, Leftloft, and designed many of the custom fonts produced in Italy, including
Decima for the Friuli-Venezia Giulia Region, Iris for Mediaset, Sole Serif for the daily Sole 24 Ore, and typefaces for Corriere della Sera, the Art Museum of Nuoro, and the Democratic Party.
After earning his MA in Industrial Design in 2007, during the following year Luciano collaborated with Marta Bernstein, Giò Fuga, Silvia Sfligiotti and others on Italic 2.0, the project promoted by AIAP to create an archive of Italian type design.
Luciano believed that the time was ripe to set up an all-Italian digital type foundry.
However, by sheer coincidence, one after another of his best friends and colleagues packed their bags and went abroad for new opportunities. And among them were a few who now occupy key positions in companies located between London and Cupertino.
A few years went by and sketches of ideas for new type designs piled up.
In 2010 Luciano bumped into Riccardo Olocco, whom he had met in Milan some years earlier at the Politecnico, when Riccardo attended the Advanced Course in Type Design together with Erasmo Ciufo. At that time Riccardo was teaching typography at the Free University of Bolzano and was also moving around Italy and abroad doing research on fifteenth-century Venetian type.
‘We quickly realized that we had much in common and we decided to join forces’ recalls Riccardo. ‘The next step was to look around to find others with similar ideas and the right frame of mind to share the project of a foundry.’
‘That is how Marta and Erasmo joined us.’
2013 rolled along and while we were ready to launch our newborn Cooperativa Anonima Servizi Tipografici, in November of the same year Luciano was appointed director of ISIA Urbino – the most important public university for visual and editorial design in Italy.
So, it was his turn to pack his bags.
But CAST would not be stopped: we moved on and our Coop was set up. In Autumn 2014, the first four fonts ‘cast by CAST’ – Brevier, Dic Sans, Divenire and Gramma – were put up for sale.