It was in the late nineties when I made my first experiences in design in collaboration with Italian native designers and creatives. I stopped by to work for Italian art director genius Luca Stoppini at Vogue Italy doing some exclusive typefaces for their library. At the time we finished this project I got quite settled in the beautiful historical center of Verona city in north Italy and I decided to stay. Here is why.
At night, walking through the streets of a historic center under the yellow street lights you feel the presence of something. A value imminent in every single detail and it includes also the people themselves. It is the remembrance of Renaissance spirit. It is part of Italy’s heritage and people are proud of it. It affects common persons just as it does artists or designers. Besides, the artist is perceived as an integrated part of society not someone opposed to it.
Even in winter the air of Italian cities is pregnant with sun light. It is soaked up and spread by the humidity in the air. It surrounds contours with a shimmering halo and colors appear much more yellow and warm as they do in post Alpine countries. Even the human iris adapts itself over longer term to this bright light condition. As a result the ability to differentiate subtle color shadings is higher evolved than in an eye habited to northern hemisphere.
Did you ever have the impression that people almost feel embarrassed speaking about beauty? Well, it is recognized as a value but always seems to be accompanied by lots of questions. Will this work also? Will this help us? Is it politically correct? Etc. Let me assure you you will not find any Italian citizen wondering if beauty might be anything else than just beautiful. It is a value in itself just like a precious raw material. And everyone loves it unaskedly.
AN INSPIRING MIXTURE.
I admit some kind of daring theses. Everyone is invited to join discussion about them. You might also ask what all this has to do with the more modern points of view regarding design, as for example functionality in user experiences. But I have the impression that it is in fact not felt as a contradiction, on the contrary. Beauty as a natural component derived from unconscious experiences made in the past by previous generations seems to combine admiringly with contemporaneity and complexity of modern life. Luxury brands mirror in the shop windows together with ancient facades harmonically…
Although based on classical canons, Italian creative output, according to my personal experiences, is characterized by a vast range of colors, an incredible set of form variety, original ideas and fantasy.