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Italian Film Classics

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Italian Film Classics
Robynne Raye

Robynne Raye — Conceptually this is brilliant - one of my favorite pieces from the entire group, and a cool way to use process.

View Edition Seven

This is part of a poster series which celebrates classic Italian Films, using only the vintage type from Tipoteca, a world-class museum of printing and typography in Cornuda, Italy.

Here are some brief plot synopses and how I used typography to communicate what is special about each film:

1. 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.

2. 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.
The film is a story of a passive journalist’s week in Rome, and his search for both happiness and love that will never come. The film’s theme “is predominantly café society, the diverse and glittery world rebuilt upon the ruins and poverty” of the Italian postwar period. It is a film that reveals the “modern” morality influenced by the booming economy and the emerging mass-consumer lifestyle.

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.

3.8½ (Italian title: Otto e mezzo) is a 1963 comedy-drama film directed by Federico Fellini. Guido Anselmi (Marcello Mastroianni), a famous Italian film director, is suffering from “director’s block”.

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, cannot figure out what he wants to do with this 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.


Category Poster Inks Three colors per poster
Paper Other Production Letterpress, and some debossing
Paper Weight 285 grams Printer Self-Printed
Paper Color Soft White Artist/Agency Meta Newhouse


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