Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Dark (graphic) Heart of Italy

While we're (or I'm) on Toons, I've been meaning to note a few examples of the goofy graphics Pat and I saw in Italy. Of course, I have many shots of gorgeous typography—the sort of letterforms epitomized by the gifted and gracious Louise Fili and the deleriously-funny graphic genius Matteo Bologna. In contrast, my observations are more, well, "rustica." They're not beautiful, but they make me smile (or laugh— but I hope not in a sniffy-snooty condescending way).

Some fave quirky souvenirs of our trip are the plastic raincoats that sold like hotcakes (insert Italian idiomatic phrase) when the opera was rained out. I think of opera as rarefied; Italians think of it as a way of life. So possibly, the cartoonish raincoats are a seamless combo of high and low.

As for an ersatz academic explantion for the napkin? Beats me.

*The Dark Heart of Italy is the book by Tobias Jones (no, not Tobias Frere-Jones the type designer, but the English writer who emigrated from the UK to Parma, Italy) that Suz gave me for C'mas a while back.

Napkin photo by Pat O'Neill


Suzanne Dell'Orto said...

I've only gotten through Chapter 4 of that's almost TOO Italian!

I like how the fork is the sexy lady. Usually in the US, women are relegated to the spoon!

Suzanne Dell'Orto said...

Oh, and "andare a ruba". Literally "to go at a steal".
I had to look it up, though. My idiomatic is not that good!