Signs of Italy
Signs of Italy
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: James Clough
Cover design: Luca Barcellona
Book design: Bunker
12 × 8½”
Over 300 photographs
Available from 16 September 2015
In the Press
“There are now dozens of publications compiling images of lettering, signage and type in the wild, but Clough’s stands out for its vast and varied selection and insightful commentary”Creative Review
“Signs of Italy es en cierta forma una manera de preservar para las futuras generaciones este acervo cultural que no es apreciada en toda su magnitud.”Yorokobu
“L’Italia insegna oltre ad essere un archivio bello da vedere, insegna ad avere memoria di spazi, persone, vite”Sanzia Milesi – Wired