Pietro Giuseppe Redaelli (1886-1971), the founder of the company, was a bank manager and in 1927 decided to set up his own business; in his memoirs tells how it happened:
“I received several offers, but I preferred the one from my friend Severo Piatti who suggested to take over the printing business of Feltro & C. that had just been closed down.
I realised then that I had a good experience in printing, because during my two-year stay at the Boarding School Volta in Lecco, I had met Monsignor Schiatti, the founder and then director of the catholic weekly magazine ‘Il Resegone’, a very popular newspaper in Brianza.
He would often ask me to help him with proof-reading and setting-up. I also happened to write some articles on social issues: it was my juvenile hobby, considering all my premature experience.
Prompted by the desire I had had for so many years to have my children working with me, I opted for this solution, also with the help of the kind Mr. Franco Roncari, from Gemonio. It was agreed that my generous friend, whom I had just happened to know, would stay at my side until I would be able to repay him his share in Feltro & C.
In this way ‘La Tipografica Varese s.a.’ was born, with head offices in Varese, in the old plant of viale Milano 20. Feltro’s employees, who were all out of work, were hired by ‘La Tipografica Varese’. I addressed them and my children as follows:
– We all need to eat honest bread: therefore let’s set to work with the help of God! –
Understandably enough, Varese was not very friendly with me, because too many competitors were surrounding me with not really good omens. But I had to help my young family; I felt like a lion and I relied on my will-power.
Varese would only give me work for short periods and for insignificant productions, so I had to manage otherwise. In order to get enough jobs, I had to go to Milan twice a week.
My first significant client was Casa Editrice Corbaccio, owned by Mr. Enrico dall’Oglio, who has always been my unforgettable friend and with whom I have had for ever a very friendly relation in our mutual interest.
In Milan I found many other friends in several publishing houses. They gave me a lot of work which was carried out in harmony and with the spirit of sacrifice. This was necessary in order to survive and establish our position as much as possible.
During one of my trips to Milan I met my old friend Mr. Achille Grandi, M.P., from Como.
– My dear Achille, how come you are in Milan? I’m so happy to see you. How is your wife Maria? –, I asked him.
– You know what has happened in Rome, aftert he advent of the Fascists. I was advised to escape and with my Maria we are living here in Milan, waiting to settle somewhere else.–
– I got married in Varese, where a few months ago I started a printing business on my own. I remember you were quite renowned in the printing industry. What about collaborating with me? I assure you that we will be successful, to our mutual benefit.–
After just a few days he came to Varese with his wife Maria and we easily found an agreement for him to work as a broker for my company.
He worked with us for about seven years, giving his valuable contribution. He was highly appreciated as an indefatigable worker and for his fair behaviour. But one day, tactfully but with mutual regret, he came to bid farewell to my family. He had decided to leave for Rome, ready to face the dangers of the position he wanted to resume in the Christian Democratic trade unions.
After a few years I also reached retirement age; I was satisfied that I could give Varese a nice company which does not look bad at all among the many other wonderful enterprises that are the product of the constant work of our people.
I entrusted my job to my son Ernesto who, after having worked at my side for more than 20 years, had for a long time been my general attorney.
His work has been really precious, since, in 1959, he moved ‘La Tipografica Varese’ to the new site in Via Tonale 49, where the business could ensure a living to many more families.
Today [in November 1967], after numerous sacrifices and through gradual stages, it has become an organization which is envied for its sophisticated and modern facilities in line with any type of job demand”.
Says mr. Giuseppe Redaelli, the current President: “As a representative of the third generation, I can bear witness to the fact that technological updating has always been, and is still our pride: I remember that when I joined the business at the beginning of the seventies, my father, with a long-sighted approach, invited me to take care of the introduction of new computer automation processes. This was actually the new pathway to be followed and from there, after learning the basics of printing, I was expected to start my apprenticeship.
I followed the tradition first established by my grandfather and continued by my father, who was among the first in the trade to use ‘letter-pressing’ and then offset printing and was also a pioneer in the technique of perfect bound. Relying on his strong support, I gradually introduced every new sophisticated system, prototype after prototype, starting with phototypesetting first and then pre-press in order to enhance our service even more in terms of quality and speed.
In the past ten years many innovative investments were made which in 1995 started from the first two-colour web offset press installed in the world which can print up to 80 pages of school books in just one turn, up to the most modern four-colour web offset printers able to do 120+120 pages, installed in 2009-2010. Today, without losing the pioneering spirit, we are working on new production systems for pre-pressing.
Service and product diversification are also among our main concerns: though we believe in books and printed information, we do not neglect new systems to propagate information via computer and telematics.
This is also confirmed by the importance of our various brand names in publishing, electronic publishing, data bases, self-service information systems, and information in the field of public transportation.”