Whimsical and intuitive, original, humorous, improvised, elegant: Italian signs are a mirror of Italian society. What distinguishes the most interesting Italian signs and inscriptions is the variety of original letterforms.
Before typefaces and fonts dominated the scene, there was no standardization in Italy of letterforms for commercial signs and there were no printed manuals for signwriters. This freedom and detachment from standard models of letters as well as the craftsmanship and creativity of the signmakers and designers are what make Italian signs so extraordinary.
In this book, the Italian-based British designer, teacher and writer, James Clough, examines Italian signs within a historical perspective and from many standpoints. From the ornate Tuscan style of the 19th century to the eccentric letters of Art Nouveau, from the grandiose architectural lettering of the 1930s to the exquisite surviving examples of the old signwriters, from fascist ghost signs to lettering on manhole covers, Clough points out the highs and lows of this artistic expression as he takes readers on a fascinating lettering tour of Italy.
Text and illustrations by James Clough
Cover design by Luca Barcellona
Book design by Bunker
12 × 8½”
Over 300 photographs
First edition September 2015