Behind the scenes: Manufacturing and Production

5 questions for Taddeo Rossi:  We continue our Behind the Scenes series with Taddeo Rossi, the head of manufacturing and production at Rossi. 

foto taddeoCan you tell us a little bit about the craftsmanship that goes into your products?

Many are the steps in the production of our items, where the experienced manual “touch” is what determines an excellent final result. Maybe the secret is to combine technology with the experience gained by our family of printers for over three generations. Many teachings from my grandfather Antonio are still valid today and many times, that’s what makes the difference.

 What does it mean to you to have your products still produced in Italy?

Manufacturing in Italy means manufacturing beauty… Unfortunately, for many companies producing in Italy is no longer cost-effective. Some have outsourced the production in Eastern Europe where costs are clearly lower than ours, others are even having almost everything produced in south-east Asia.  But one sees the difference, you can touch it. For a company like ours, tied to the Italian tradition and with a very strong identity which stands for quality and design, this can never happen.

Can you reveal any insider manufacturing secrets on how you achieve some of the amazing effects in your print production, such as your brilliant colors and metallic inks? 

There are many small and big devices  in our multiple productions that one might call “secrets”. For sure every factory has its own and they are jealously guarded. In our case passed on from father to son. However a good lot of love for one’s work is always necessary.

What I can say (not really a secret because it’s under the eyes of all our customers) is that we use, in all cases (almost obsessively), first quality material and this inevitably evolves into superior products from every point of view. Only the best papers, the best inks, the best glues are used in our company. In our opinion the best components always make the difference and since quality is our strength and our pride, we couldn’t act differently.

 What do you think is the most exciting development that’s happened in the Rossi 1931 history?

My grandfather Antonio started his small printing business in 1931. With great sacrifices he purchased the first typographic printing machines which unfortunately were partially destroyed during World War II. After the war he managed to restore some of them and he went back to his work with more determination than before (in Italy, we Tuscans are considered – in a positive sense – a bit stubborn). These same machines have arrived until today and, again restored, they are now working in our modern factory next to the most recent printing machines.

These old machines remind us every day what a long way we have come and are, as once my grandfather, tireless workers. Keeping alive a part of our history has been for us the exciting development or, so to say, the most exciting challenge.

What technology trends do you see with regards to printing and manufacturing? 

We always keep an eye on the new technologies. A company like ours has to stay updated and must constantly make investments in new technologies. But in our case the new machines work integrated with the old ones, the limits of some are made up for by others. We work like this because often only with an old procedure (which at first glance may seem obsolete, outdated) can one obtain a product of real, different, refined “flavor”.

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The AD 1404 Charta Italica Collection from Rossi

There’s been an exciting rebranding of a line of Rossi products known previously in the US as Arturo. This collection is now AD 1404 Charta Italica, a very exclusive group of stationery products with a unique felt texture—referred to as Corona—produced solely for Rossi by the Cartiera Magnani mill. (More about this historic paper mill in a future post).

With 100% high alpha cellulose and neutral pH, it comes in white and cream, as well as pastel shades. Rossi is the only official distributor of the Cartiera Magnani products from Pescia.


What a delight – and an elegant statement— to write a thank-you note on these notecards!

Your first impression will be how thick and substantial this stationery is.  With any printed piece, the weight of the paper is a critical element and sets the proper tone for your event.  If it’s printed on paper that is light and thin, it could leave a less than desirable impression.

Your second impression might be how perfectly the square flap envelopes are converted and how meticulously packaged they are!

Speaking of packaging, two options are available:

  • Boxes of 100 pcs are ideal for the office or home in essential colors of white or cream, with a nice variety of card and note sizes.

  • And with the traveler in mind, a compact package containing 6 cards/6 envelopes, elegantly wrapped with natural twine, is also available. Just the perfect size to tuck in your suitcase for writing notes on-the-go!

A rainbow of pastel shades

Both of these lines can be purchased either from Orange Art, in the US, or by contacting Rossi directly.

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Great Gifts for Grads

We’re in the midst of graduation season, and that means gifts and parties for college, high school, and nowadays, even middle school and elementary students.

When you think of graduation gifts, what comes to mind?  Watches and jewelry, cash, and of course, the ever popular pen sets are the traditional gifts.

But why not snazz up your gift by adding Italian-made stationery into the mix? Rossi has plenty to choose from with options ranging from monograms to letterpress boxed sets. And besides, having a beautiful box of Italian stationery close at hand is positively inspirational when you’re drafting dozens of thank-you notes.

Personalization is a hot trend and Rossi has several unique variations of monogrammed stationery. Here are three options with great looking monograms:

Classy touch: a thank you on monogramed stationery. This product comes in a reusable tin box.
A classy touch: monogramed stationery,  packaged in a reusable tin box.
Tip: Add Monogrammed stationery to the pen set and you'll have a happy graduate!
Rossi monogrammed stationery + traditional pen set = happy graduate!


Silver foil monograms make the perfect gift for all the male grads on your list.
Classic silver foil monograms add a more masculine look.

Details count, so don’t forget the finishing touch when wrapping those gifts. There’s plenty of decorative papers from Rossi that fit the graduation theme. And if you’re hosting the party, these papers can even be used to creatively decorate the table.  Here’s a peek at some that look congratulatory!

Rossi, Rossi1931, Italian stationery, Rossi stationery, Rossi scrapbooking papers, Rossi letterpress, Italian letterpress, Italian decorative papers, Florentine stationery

Rossi, Rossi1931, Italian fine stationery, Rossi stationery, Rossi letterpress, Italian letterpress, Italian decorative papers, Florentine stationery

Rossi, Rossi1931, Italian stationery, Rossi stationery, Rossi scrapbooking papers, Rossi letterpress, Italian letterpress, Italian decorative papers, Florentine stationery

Look for many more creative gift ideas on the Rossi1931 website or previous posts.  And check in with your Rossi retailer; where you’ll find a great selection of decorative papers and gift ideas.


5 Italian Stationery Ideas for Mother’s Day

Have you figured out your plan for Mother’s Day yet? It’s the day when we honor mothers for all that they do, and while brunch and flowers are always welcome, why not surprise Mom with a special gift this year?  Stationery, soaps, notepads, and pencils – all elegantly crafted in Italy—are just a few of the gift items that are available from Rossi retailers.

1. Moms are multi-taskers who need the proper tools to keep them organized.  That means lots of notepads and notebooks!  She’ll appreciate these handy, lightweight notepads, ideally sized for a purse or briefcase. The letterpress covers make them particularly beautiful and distinctive, and they come in lined and unlined paper.


2. Pen or pencil?  Letterpress pencils of course! These pencils are hand-wrapped with Rossi’s unique letterpress paper and available in 14 different designs.


3. Letterpress is again the theme with lovely and practical Gift Soaps! Take your pick from 14 unique letterpress designs, elegantly wrapped in beautiful designed papers. These soaps have a delicate honey scent in a 8.75 oz. bar size. Other boxed soap sets are available.


4. Boxed stationery sets come in a variety of patterns and designs. There are thank you notes, blank notes, and stationery in decorated cylinder boxes like those below, and also tin boxes (which can be reused and repurposed!)

rossi boxed stationery

5. Everyone needs erasers, and lots of them!  Large, smooth and shaped like river stones, these come meticulously wrapped in letterpress boxes.  All letterpress products are designed to coordinate with each other making it easy to assemble your one-of-kind Mother’s Day collection.

Rossi letterpress erasers

You’ll find more gift products on the Rossi website and in their comprehensive online catalogs. Better yet, visit any of Rossi’s retailers for more Mother’s Day gift ideas. You’ll definitely want to touch and feel these extraordinary stationery products!


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Sneak Peek: Decorative Papers

Rossi’s newest collection of decorative papers has launched!  This standout Italian collection is as tactile as it is visual, with a huge array of subjects, patterns, and color palettes.

It’s often the little details that add up to big impact: small hits of brilliant gold and silver metallic ink, finely detailed and multi-layered illustrations, delicate flourishes and stunning patterns and colors.

From Art Nouveau flowers to vintage numbers, the range is stunning
From Art Nouveau flowers to vintage numbers, something for everyone

To achieve such a wide range of saturated colors and incredible color registration, considerable technical skill is required.  These are the details that would challenge any pressman!

Be it weddings, showers, or bar mitzvahs, these patterns are big, bold, and contemporary.
This is gift wrapping luxury, be it weddings, showers, birthdays, or  bar mitzvahs
A hint of gold metallic among the flourishes
A hint of gold metallic among the flourishes (you won’t find these at Wal-Mart!)

Two sizes are available: 28 x 40 and 20 x 28, as well as new collage sets containing an assortment of sheets.  Perfect for scrapbooking, decoupage, handmade cards, and school projects.

You’ll want these decorative papers right away!  Keep in mind, a large selection of Rossi papers are now stocked stateside in Florida, making shipping and delivery a breeze throughout the US. For a list of retailers carrying Rossi papers, please click here.

For more information, visit

Ten Ways to Makeover a Wedding Invitation

Can a store-bought wedding invitation be changed up for ten different looks?  And can it be accomplished on a budget?  You bet!

Using simple and inexpensive ideas, a standard invitation package was transformedinvitation-group[1] into ten unique, stylish versions. This DIY invitation  comes to us from Shelly and Megan, the creative mother/daughter team who founded online retailer, Paper Mojo.

For this makeover, Shelly used a classic Rossi patterned decorative sheet from the Flowers collection (TSC 027).

Here are Shelly’s simple instructions:

#1: Add an envelope liner

#1 Add an envelope liner. Our invitation came with a square flap envelope.  All it takes is one square of cut paper and double-sided tape to secure the liner.  With the extra paper, we added a wide belly band, holding all the pieces together, neat and tidy.

#2: Add a fuscia backer card


#2 Add a Fuscia backer card.  The purchased invitation is actually a little smaller than 5” x 7” (4.875” x 6.878”), making it easy to add a standard size backer card.



#3: all pieces backed with black cardstock



#3 Add drama with black.  Adding black backer sheets provides a thicker border and focuses the eye on the invite copy.


#4: Black backer laminated with Flowered sheet, cord tie and tag



#4 Create a package by laminating to the Rossi paper. Add a black cord tie and tag. Who doesn’t love to open a package!


#5: Add a fancy pocket



#5 Adding a fancy pocket  organizes the content – response card, directions, etc.. especially if you prefer to keep the front side completely original.



#6  Add the Rossi sheet to the back of the invitation, directions and response card and tie the bundle together with a coordinating ribbon. This is another good way to introduce color and pattern into your invitation.



#7 Create a gatefold by placing the invite on larger paper – 5 x 7- then scoring and folding the sides. Add a bellyband and secure with an elegant monogram tag.





#8 Add a contrasting color envelope and backer card for a country look.  Switch the envelope to a pointed flap and you have a completely different look.




#9 Use a bit of origami style folding to create a decorative paper closure on a folded card. The result looks elegant and classic and holds the invitation together in a unique way. Inside, a simple band secures the invitation enclosures.


10 b

#10  Add elegance with a pocket fold invitation jacket. They’re available in a variety of sizes and shapes so a standard size invitation will nicely fill the center panel. The pocket fold is lined like an envelope and the outside gets a layered seal, allowing it to easily open and close.

Shelly says that most of these ideas work well for a beginner paper crafter and require only basic paper crafting tools like scissors and paper cutter or trimmer.  What’s truly amazing is the affordability …. usually only a few dollars to completely transform the look.

Want to learn more?  Shelly provides detailed instructions, a cost breakdown, and additional photos on the Paper Mojo website.

For more information, visit

Featured Retailer: EyeItalia

First, it was annual vacations in France. Then, for a change of pace, a summer trip to the Tuscany region of Italy.  From that moment Susan Naythons was hooked.     

eyeitalia banner

Susan is the founder of EyeItalia, an online retailer of Italian handcrafted goods.  So impressed with Italy during that summer vacation, she decided to stay for a year in 2005 and help friends renovate a villa and outfit it with everything that was needed— furniture, housewares, linens, stationery—in preparation for paying guests.

But when the year was up, Susan wasn’t quite ready to give up Italy completely.  Instead, she returned to California and with the knowledge gained from her time in Italy, launched her website, EyeItalia.  “That year-long experience really helped prepare me for my next venture,” says Susan. From excursions around the Tuscan countryside and beyond, she discovered many of her product lines, including Rossi fine Italian stationery.

“Rossi is one of my anchor companies,” says Susan. “It’s a wonderful product line to carry in terms of quality and designgreat selection, and their customer service is second to none,” she adds. She stocks a full line of Rossi products and finds her best sellers are still the traditional Florentine patterns.

Equally important are Rossi’s customer policies. “They offer a real advantage for American retailers who import from Europe; you absolutely can’t beat the fact that they do business in dollars, not euros.  They also include the freight costs so there are no surprises on the bill,” Susan states.

Encouraged by her online success, in 2010 Susan opened a brick and mortar version of EyeItalia, in Sausalito, California, just north of San Francisco.  She stocks plenty of Italian fragrances and beauty items, luxury Italian linens, artisan jewelry, and a wide selection of Rossi stationery items. Now all her customers can touch and feel the Italian goodness she features on her website!    eyeitalia store

Susan’s Italian saga is still unfolding. In 2006 she purchased an abandoned farmhouse in the beautiful “comune” of Volterra (Tuscany).  Badly in need of renovation, Susan has been working diligently on the house during her twice yearly treks to Italy.




Behind the Scenes: Sales and Marketing

Five Questions for Mattia Rossi:  An inside look at the Rossi brand from Mattia Rossi, who heads up the company’s sales and marketing efforts.

from the left:  The Rossi’s,  Taddeo, Giorgio and Mattia
I’m sure customers would be interested to see three generations of Rossi historical archives… Do you have an in-house “museum” where you display your most interesting designs?  

The archive is very important, it holds many years of research and conservation. The material can be more or less expensive, from expensive art print books to simple postcards found at a market. Many items are from abroad. These have been accumulated over the years, not necessarily  something found and used for the collection that same year, sometimes it’s taken out years later.
Many of the items have an emotional value, which is probably the best part of it. An old magazine from the 30’s may generate an idea. It is a way to spread a culture, a taste.
During the 80’s Giorgio Rossi purchased an archive with art reproductions.
However, our archive is not open to the public, our staff may have access.
Over the years we have tried to acquire antique machineries and to restore them. In our factory we have dozens of antique machineries, partially still to be restored.

Your company does business in many countries, how do you appeal to the varying tastes of countries you are selling into, while staying true to your Italian heritage?  

Actually, it is true that we work with many countries, from Australia to New Zealand, Europe and North and South America and the number of countries increases every year. It is very important to remain within the Italian taste: vintage, retro, traditional Italian. The product has to be “recognizable” as 100% made in Italy, even before the customer sees the country of origin label. This intrinsic taste and value is perceived by the consumer. However, even if the made in Italy is the driving force, functionality, the right specs, the right price is what makes the product suitable for everyone.
Rossi has always had a special attention for the US market and not only because it’s an immense market but also because Americans have a cultural perception of stationery and the art of writing. There’s a tendency to anticipate trends which helps us to then be on the cutting edge in other countries as well.
As an example: Three years ago I was at the Stationery Show and I saw all this revival of letterpress, seen as a new trend while in Italy it was considered old, obsolete and old fashioned. Whereas an American printer saw it as an opportunity, an Italian printer discarded it as old.

Rossi is a true artisan brand—something  that  American companies are trying to build into their products these days. Tell us how you manage to avoid the “mass production” culture in your company and retain the high level of craftsmanship.

Taste, craftsmanship, quality, but if one wants to export his products into the world, one must be open to innovation and find a balance between taste and industrial culture.

I remember when I was a child, my father Giorgio ran the factory and there were many more workers than today (and probably less “feeling” for quality), my father used to say over and over again to those ladies: “Imagine it’s a box of chocolates and imagine how you want a box of chocolates: beautiful, impeccable, clean and perfectly made.”

In this age of electronic – everything, what is the hardest thing from a sales/marketing standpoint to keep your brand front and center with customers and prospects?

Electronics has helped us tremendously to become known globally, and in fact a lot of investments have been made in web-marketing. Communications are faster and easier and we’ve been able to speed up many tasks.  However the true ambassador of our company, beyond all technology, is our product, our brand and quality which enters in a shop or in a family, that is how a company wins faithful customers.

Tell us about your creative process and your creative team….. who does the wonderful artwork for your amazing patterns and designs? 

We start to work on the new products in June, so that the new products can be launched in January.  At first it’s sketches, designs, a study of what competitors are doing, new trends, brainstorming.  Then the sales are analyzed so that we can determine which products need to be increased and which collections should be decreased. Once the program is established, it is followed by various individuals and the new collection is created, both by internal design and graphic personnel, as well as by outside artists who work for us.


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