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L'Italia insegna / James Clough


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Whimsical and joyous, 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 no printed manuals for signwriters. This freedom and detachment from standard models of letters, complemented by the craftsmanship and creativity of signmakers and designers, are what make Italian signs so extraordinary.

In this book, British designer and calligrapher James Clough looks at Italian signs from historical and aesthetic perspectives. 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. Over 300 photographs make this book a wonderful reference.

Designed by Bunker / Cover design by Luca Barcellona

Published by Lazy Dog Press, 2015

In Italian

Hardcover, 248 pages, full color, 12 × 8.5 inches

ISBN: 978-88-98030-01-9