Tipoteca, a world-class museum of printing
and typography situated in Cornuda, Italy has
a vast archive of historic woodtype. Michela Antiga, marketing director at Tipoteca, approached me, looking for ideas on how to start a residency program and also how to bring more artists/designers/printers to Tipoteca for creative projects. I was invited to be the first non-Italian designer to have full access to their archives. I worked at Tipoteca for three weeks and completed six posters (four are shown below) which celebrate Italian classic films expressed through their typography only. Each poster requred three print runs, and in some cases, alternative processes such as debossing. Each poster was signed and numbered as part of a limited edition of 100.
This poster series was honored with the "Outstanding Achievement Award" for posters
in HOW Magazine's International Design Awards
and will be featured in the March 2014 issue.
To view the blog associated with this project click here.
To purchase one of the posters on ETSY,
La Dolce Vita (Italian for "the sweet life" or
"the good life") is a 1960 comedy-drama film written and directed by the critically acclaimed director Federico Fellini.
Poster Concept: The film depicts the new
post-war decline in morality, so I felt that the title should sink or fall off the page. The typography chosen for the title is also quite old, and worm-eaten (tarlato in Italian). I really liked that the worm holes made the type look festive and playful, but once you knew what caused them they made an apt metaphor for the moral decline that the film speaks to.
Ladri di Biciclette (Italian for "Bicycle Thieves") also known as The Bicycle Thief, is director Vittorio De Sica's 1948 story of a poor father searching post-World War II Rome for his stolen bicycle, without which he will lose the job which was to be the salvation of his young family.
Poster Concept: For this poster I chose a geometric typeface so that I could hint at the wheels of a bicycle inside Vittorio's name. I printed the "o"s separately, scanned the print and had a polymer plate made so that the "o"s could be debossed in a separate printing pass. Hopefully this communicates that the "bike" is now missing.
Il Buono, Il Brutto, Il Cattivo (Italian for "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly") is a 1966 Italian epic Spaghetti western film directed by Sergio Leone, starring Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, and Eli Wallach in the title roles respectively.
Poster Concept: I chose hand-carved type that felt roughly western, yet still uniquely Italian (it is a spaghetti western, after all). The close-up photo shows how each letterform is different. The "o"s at the end of each major word in the title have been "shot off" by the periods (punti in Italian). The periods are also roughly "o" shaped so they act as replacements for the original letters.
8½ (Italian title: Otto e mezzo) is a 1963 comedy-drama film directed by Federico Fellini.
Poster Concept: Two large quotation marks
float in the upper portion of this poster. They surround nothing, because the main character in this film, Guido, a famous film director, cannot commit to how to finish his film. He is even quoted as saying: "I have nothing to say, but I still want to say it anyway." Type was selected and arranged to hint at the carnival-like atmosphere created by the characters and costumes in this classic film.