My friend Mazzuoli is a creative designer and an inventor. Specifically, he is an inventor of beautiful objects that make life more pleasurable because they are invented with intelligence and created with passion. To a person like this the title given by Alexandre Dumas, the father of 'Kean", of genius and lack of moderation are appropriate. There is this right amount of lack of moderation that brings a bit of visionary capability while keeping one’s feet on the ground. It’s that touch of genius that never gets to one’s head because it is always linked to a hand that works and an eye that knows how to put together the details. "Non nobis sit gloria", says the Psalm and Mazzuoli knows that the important thing is to go on even without exagerating too much.
"Where are you from?" - "I’m from Italy. Florence!" - "Ah! Tuscany. Beautiful place!" This is always the exclamation that someone makes whenever they ask me where I live. Tuscany is really a wonderful region and not just because its capital is Florence, but for its culture, its people with the cute accent and for its characteristic hills.
It seems that the Mazzuoli and the Bacci (my mother's family name) have their roots in Tuscany for at least a couple of centuries and always in Tavarnelle Val di Pesa, a small town on the hills of Florence. My grandfather on my mother’s side of the family built bicycles and he even had a bicycle racing team while Lisandro Mazzuoli undertook the art of watchmaker under the Pistelli family who was known during the middle of the 1700s for the construction of tower clocks and long case clocks.
One could say "I was born in a typography shop". This was one of my father's principle activities who started the business together with his father-in-law after he closed his bicycle shop following the advent of motorcycles. I am not an architect, and I do not even have a university degree.
In fact, I hated studying and it wasn’t the typographical characters, inks, and printing machines that liberated me from square roots, theorems, and foreign languages, but ribbons, buttons, and trimmings. My father used to say that it was too easy for me to go work in the print shop. In an effort get me to change my mind about not going to school my father sent me to work in an haberdashery warehouse in the city center of Florence owned by one of his friends and he encouraged his friend to make my life as difficult as possible for me. I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I was older, but with my father's sudden and early death I was forced to continue the family printing business despite the fact that he was against it.
I layed out, reproduced, and printed every kind of material, but in particular I printed catalogs for objects of poor taste and some of great design. This is what made me want to print something that I designed. I started with an object that was close to my activity at the time, an agenda. It was a simple diary designed according to my own needs. Organizers were too complicated and too “organized.” I dedicated to the year 2000 a limited edition agenda book that was different than what was ever done before. The pages were dry debossed obtained by sixty-four plates. A small modification allowed the debossing to not effect the previous page or the subsequent one. A print run of about 500,000 copies of a series of notebooks that made the world smile that had lines in the form of waves.
Even though I had some requests, I have never designed anything for other brands. I started with agenda books and then designed two lines of pens. One line of pens was inspired by workshop tools and one was inspired by the famous coffee machine that I appropriately called Mokina. Even today these objects are produced and distributed by one of the family businesses managed by my sons Emiliano and Tommaso, who I am very proud of because they too show creative initiative.
The principle company of my small group is Giuliano Mazzuoli Srl for which I personally designed the logo. It's a point at the center with triangles all around it representing concentration. They are nine because this number represents birth and in this case the birth of my company. A "little face" was the most original design after a persistent attempt to design a watch. I gave up on the project.