As far back as 1979, Lothar Wolf called for a study of the special terms employed by Italian printers and typographers when printing was still in its infancy. One of the aims of the present work was to assemble for the first time a substantial corpus of published texts of a pragmatic nature containing technical expressions used by printers in that period. A comparison with the sources drawn on by Italian dictionaries (most of them are literary) has occasioned numerous (sometimes significant) pre-datings. It has also revealed additional phonetic, morphological and syntactic variants. Methodologically, the approach is modeled on Max Pfister's "Lessico etimologico italiano." One of the conclusions yielded by the study is that in comparison with the language of the French printers that of their Italian counterparts is both less rich and less differentiated.