Italian Graphic Design, Molto Squisito!

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The TDM5: Grafica Italiana exhibit at the Triennale Design Museum will close in February 2013 (video here). If you can’t make it there, the stunning catalog has just been published by Corraini Edizioni. Edited by Giorgio Camuffo, Mario Piazza, Carlo Vinti, and Silvana Annicchiarico, it “pays tribute to the creativity of Italian graphic design and is an excellent opportunity to illustrate events, figures and phenomena that have accompanied and supported the cultural, social, economic and political development of the Nation, and to make this wealth of design known and accessible to non-specialists as well.”

This is one of the best, if not entirely all-inclusive, of the Italian graphic design retrospectives I have seen. It provides, say its editors “A detailed look at the history of Italian graphic design and its traditions which, by connecting past and present, offers an occasion to increase critical awareness of new and existing products and tools of visual culture that are now commonplace in our daily lives.” And both in word and picture, it collects a wide range of Italian book, poster, package, publication, and advertising design. Included are the designers Albe Steiner, Franco Grignani, Bruno Munari, Bob Noorda, Armando Testa, and Massimo Vignelli, who worked in key areas of cultural life, and their work has significantly reflected the political, economic, and social changes of 20th-century Italy.

Fortunately, it is in Italian and English, so for the non Italian speaker, essays on “Lettera,” “Periodici,” “Cultura e Politica,” “Pubblicita,” and “Segnali” (signposting) are accessible. Writers include Giorgio Camuffo on Fiorucci, Leonardo Sonnoli, Carlo Vinti, and even the English design historian Richard Hollis on “The International Style and Italian Design.” For a snapshot of modern and postmodern trends in Italian graphics, this is a superb volume. Order here. An array of installation photos, including those found here, can found at

Director: Silvana AnnicchiaricoScientific curators: Giorgio Camuffo, Mario Piazza, Carlo VintiExhibition Design: Fabio NovembreGraphic design: LeftloftSound design: Saturnino, Sound IdentityCatalogue by Corraini Edizioni

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