Franco Grignani: Graphic and Typographic Freedom
with Greg D’Onofrio
Mon., Mar. 07 – Mon., Mar. 07, 2016
6:30PM – 8:30PM
location: Rose Auditorium
Graphic designer, architect, artist and photographer Franco Grignani (1908–1999) was a pioneering figure of mid 20th century Italian design. This talk will focus on his expressive and experimental use of type and graphics in advertising design from the late 1940s thru the 1970s. His work for companies such as Dompé Farmaceutici, Pure Virgin Wool, Pirelli, Pubblicità in Italia and the significant Milan printer Alfieri & Lacroix, is a bold and conscious effort to reject Swiss Constructivism, what he referred to as a “typographical straightjacket” in favor of a more artistic, experimental approach to typography, visual forms and the rules of perception. His distinctive graphic language explores speed, technology and modernity using fragmented and distorted type, optical effects, tension, altered geometry and abstract photography – a visual treat featuring a collection of rarely seen work.
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Greg D’Onofrio is a designer, educator, and co-founder of Kind Company and Display, Graphic Design Collection. Greg has curated, lectured, and authored essays on twentieth-century American, Italian and Swiss modern graphic design history. Emphasizing the work of lesser-known designers or the lesser-known work of well-known designers, he has authored essays for subjects including: Morton and Millie Goldsholl, Pirelli Publicity 1955–67, The American Revolution Bicentennial Symbol, Elaine Lustig Cohen, The U.S. Department of Labor’s Graphic Standards Manual and Lester Beall’s Connecticut General Identity Program. Greg teaches the History of Graphic Design at the School of Visual Arts and Cooper Union in New York City. With Steven Heller, he is the author of The Moderns: Midcentury American Graphic Design (Abrams, 2017).