Friday, 12:00pm
5 June 2015

A glimpse of Italian graphics

‘Made In Italy’, a brief chance to see the work of midcentury Italian graphic design masters – Friday 12 & Saturday 13 June 2015

Next week there’s a brief chance for Londoners to see work by some postwar masters of Italian graphic design, including Bob Noorda, Heinz Waibl, Giancarlo Iliprandi and Franco Grignani
. Eye magazine will also be hosting a special event on Friday 12 June.

The occasion is ‘Made In Italy’, a two-day exhibition at the Protein Space in Shoreditch, sponsored by the Italian paper manufacturer Fedrigoni in association with SEA Design, who selected the material from the archive of the AIAP in Milan, and Monotype.

Heinz Waibl, ‘Contenotte Restany Ecosistema’ poster, 1983.
Top: Franco Grignani, exhibition poster, 1972.

Heinz Waibl

There will also be a book designed by SEA (with an introduction from Eye’s John L. Walters), and a series of ‘Made In Italy’ leaflets that focus on individual designers – all printed on Fedrigoni papers as part of an extensive marketing campaign for the company.

The designers whose work is featured in both book and show are: Franco Bassi (1920-2006), Giancarlo Iliprandi (b.1925), Mario Dagrada
, Bob Noorda (1927–2010) Franco Maria Ricci (b.1937), Mimmo Castellano (b.1932), Silvio Coppola (1920-85), Heinz Waibl (b.1931), Giulio Confaloneri (1926-2008), Ilio Negri (1926-74) and Franco Grignani
 (1908-99) and Massimo Vignelli (1931-2014).


Eye magazine will be hosting a special event on the evening of Friday 12 June with Italian graphic designer Giulia Garbin (author of Tipi di Torino), her Studio PSK colleague Patrick Stevenson-Keating and Brian Webb of Webb & Webb. There will be presentations, beer, wine, and a chance to see the ‘Made In Italy’ exhibition on a social occasion. Tickets are free via Eventbrite but you must book.

Ilio Negri, cover of magazine L’acciaio Inossidabile, 1965–1968.

Giulio Confaloneri/Ilio Negri

Giancarlo Iliprandi, record sleeve design for Cabaret All’Italiana Milly1, 1965.

Giancarlo Iliprandi Record sleeve 1965 (18x18cm)

As Walters writes in his introduction to the Made In Italy book: ‘It is no surprise that Italian designers of the 1950s, 60s and 70s reveal many of the interests and obsessions – from systems and cybernetics to sensuality and sex – that they shared with their contemporaries in other industrialised nations. Yet in the hands of designers like Giancarlo Iliprandi, Franco Maria Ricci and Mario Dagrada, these elements emerged with a flair that seems entirely Italian. [Their] bold, exuberant designs for posters, LP sleeves, book covers, adverts, magazines, packaging and identity programmes … give just a taste of the wealth of invention from this period.’

Cover design by Massimo Vignelli for Architettura Moderna in Milano, 1964.

Massimo Vignelli/Bob Noorda/Franco Bassi

Franco Grignani, poster for Alfieri & Lacroix, 1960.

Franco Grignani

Eye is the world’s most beautiful and collectable graphic design journal, published quarterly for professional designers, students and anyone interested in critical, informed writing about graphic design and visual culture. It is available from all good design bookshops and online at the Eye shop, where you can buy subscriptions and single issues.