From Depero to Vignelli: All the ways Italian designers reshaped the American visual culture for good
From Fortunato Depero’s move to New York City in 1928 to Unimark International’s corporate identity work of the 1960s and ’70s, Italian graphic design has had a lasting influence on the American visual and cultural landscape and "Italian Types: Graphic Designers from Italy in America", an exhibition curated by Patricia Belen, Greg D'Onofrio, Melania Gazzotti at the Italian Cultural Institute of New York, displays the Mediterranean spirit that captured the heart of U.S.A in all its glory.
Italian graphic designers were living and publishing important work in the U.S in the last century. Their enthusiasm, experimental attitudes, and new modern approaches attracted prominent clients in progressive cities including New York and Chicago and gave them the opportunity to create iconic projects such as the New York City Subway System Map, designed by Massimo Vignelli (1972).
Featuring advertisements, posters, magazines, albums, book covers and corporate identity by Fortunato Depero, Paolo Garretto, Costantino Nivola, Leo Lionni, George Giusti, Albe Steiner, Erberto Carboni, Ronaldo “Aldo” Giurgola, Roberto Mango, Giovanni Pintori, Bruno Munari, Franco Grignani, Heinz Waibl, Giulio Cittato, Bob Noorda and Massimo Vignelli the exhibition offers an overview of the achievements of Italians in the field of graphic design in America, and address their distinctive graphic language.
Whether they succeeded right away or suffered hardships, their personal and professional experiences shed light not only on graphic design but also identity, politics, migration, historiography and the journey of the human spirit as this highly curated selection includes designers who worked for American clients while living in Italy and others who created new lives by moving to America.
On the occasion of the exhibition, Corraini Editore published a catalog with essays by Steven Heller, Patricia Belen, Greg D'Onofrio, Alessandro Colizzi, and Alexander Tochilovsky, with designer biographies by Melania Gazzotti.
"Italian Types: Graphic Designers from Italy in America" at the Italian Cultural Institute of New York is in collaboration with The Herb Lubalin Study Center of Design and Typography at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art and with the support of AIAP Associazione Italiana design della comunicazione visiva. The exhibition runs through Thursday, May 02, 2019.
More info here.
Movie Makers Magazine cover Dec 1929 by Fortunato Depero
Interiors Magazine Cover May 1952 by George Giusti
NYC Subway Plan by Massimo Vignelli, 1972
Exhibition Poster with a design by Bruno Munari
Leo Lionni's cover of Fortune Magazine, Feb 1960