Here the nice words of Chris Hanrahan, Managin Editor of Prestige Indonesia.
SALVATORE GIORGIO DINO MAKES €50,000 BOOKS
During the last 16 years, 34-year-old Salvatore Giorgio Dino, founder and CEO of Rome-based D’Oro Collection, has published some of the world’s most lavish bespoke books for popes, presidents and other powerful individuals.
The hefty, handsome and highly expensive volumes he and his 50 employees – including painters, sculptors, engravers and bookbinders – make by hand in a studio on Rome’s Via Appia Antica, using ancestral crafts and techniques, come with gold covers, original artwork and top-quality, 100 percent cotton paper. Dino’s goal is to achieve extreme quality. They are not just books, he says, but precious works of art.
Now, Rome-born Dino, who is a married man and holds a degree in philosophy, is seeking clients in this part of the world. During a visit to Indonesia in October, he sat down with Prestige at The Ritz- Carlton Jakarta, Pacific Place to discuss why and how he founded D’ORO Collection.
The story began when Dino knocked on doors in Vatican City. Somehow, the baby-faced 18-year-old student persuaded officials there to listen to his plans to create a unique publishing house, beginning with a book written by Pope John Paul II.
Perhaps owing to Dino’s charming personality and obvious passion for creating astonishingly beautiful books, they not only listened to him but even gave him an audience with the Polish pontiff.
The result was that Dino and the late Pope spent 10 years creating a book about Karol Jozef Wojtyla’s personal vision of God and his works, complete with reproductions of specially commissioned, original paintings of Mt. Everest, space and nature.
Since that breakthrough, Dino has developed books with the two succeeding popes: Benedict XVI and Francis. The young publisher met Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Square last year. “Dino, you are doing a great job,” the pontiff told him. “These books are precious for their absolute cultural value.”
D’Oro Collection has also published books for U.S. Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, Russian President Vladimir Putin, King Juan Carlos I of Spain, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.
“The books we design and develop are unlike any others in the world,” says Dino. “We take the client’s wishes and strive to make the impossible possible. Our books are bespoke luxury. They will collect the client’s story and his or her values. And like the person, they will be unique. Our bespoke service provides clients with the opportunity to be involved in every step of the creation of a one-of-a-kind volume that is designed and crafted to their personal requirements.”
The client can choose the type of paper, its thickness and depth; the number of pages (usually it’s about 200); and whether the printing of the text is handwritten, hand-printed or mechanically printed, following 28 different steps. For the creation of the cover, there are 18 steps to follow, each taking approximately one hour’s work.
Lithography can be directly painted on the paper, or the client can choose photographic printing or lithographic printing. For binding, each page is handmade, folded and mechanically sewed.
As well his permanent staff, Dino has access to scores of freelance professionals, including writers and copy editors. To create a 200-page book, a writer visits the client to conduct an initial five-hour interview. This is followed later by a second five-hour interview. The entire process of writing, editing, proofing, designing and making a bespoke book takes between three and six months. Price depends on the number of copies ordered.
“If just one copy is ordered, the price is 50,000 euros,” says Dino. “The price per copy falls, of course, if more volumes are ordered. We can produce up to 100 copies of a title, but most clients order 15 to 20 volumes, which they give to family members and close friends.”
Dino’s ultimate mission to preserve culture and knowledge. “In a world dominated by the digital, the future of a piece of paper will slowly succumb, losing with it the information it had contributed to preserve and protect over the years,” he says. “By creating a unique masterpiece that will encapsulate and celebrate a chosen fragment of history and culture, this knowledge will not be lost. Books are not anymore simple objects. They are now essential tools to remember the past, live the present and look at the future.”