In the summer of 2015, the Autonomous Region of Sardinia asked two groups from the Departments of Architecture of the Universities of Sassari and Cagliari – the first one coordinated by Nicolò Ceccarelli, the second by me – to develop a new visual identity of the island for Expo Milano 2015. This identity will become the visual spine of the communication strategy of Sardinia in the coming years. First I designed a set of typefaces with a strong local identity. I called them Bàttoro (after the name of the traditional weaving from which they take inspiration) and PB1 (as pibione, the Sardinian word for the weaving dot). The equation pixel = pibione established the modular and serial way of the graphic research. The created fonts are decorative, good for headlines and logos or, like you can see, ricursive and intertwining patterns. It’s another way to get interesting typographic textures. Here is shown the claim “Sardegna isola senza fine” (Sardinia endless island), that I created as well. For longer texts, which need to be red without any difficulties, we used the Open Sans. In addition to the first two sets, I wanted a set of dingbats made up of figures of traditional Sardinian weaving, plus some new and imaginative, specifically designed. With my team of collaborators (Matteo Buccoli, Francesca Oggiano, Claudio Rossi), we designed a set of figures called Sardinia Dingbats, with which you can process virtual tapestries typing on the keyboard. The serialization of the compositions follows a way I had already studied for the typographical tapestries and these typefaces give to designers and craftsmen a powerful tool for creating ever new combinations.
Another work from the past, an important brand: the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (the National Institute of Health), designed in 2003 for the italian public research, monitoring and medical certification authority. I have reinterpreted the classic caduceus of Aesculapius, symbol of medicine and pharmacopoeia (which you can see below in an old american engraving), replacing the two snakes with the double helix of DNA, the genetic basis of the new symbol of modern medicine. The central stick and the two wires form the capital letters ISS .
An old work, a well-known logo in Cagliari because of its presence on all public buses. It is the symbol of CTM, with whom in 1997 I won the competition organized by the Consorzio Transporti e Mobilità. It was inspired by the statue of the little elephant on the eponymous tower of the ancient Cagliari, and is well linked to the concept of a bus saw as a metropolitan pachyderm. A few years later the name was changed to CTM SpA and the new brand structure, showed below, was designed by Alessandro Cortes with a very respectful job, which did not modify the popular elephant symbol.
This year the theme of the event “I libri aiutano a leggere il mondo” (The books help to read the world) as always perfectly organized by Laura Pisu and the Associazione Malik, was entitled “La vita, per esempio” (Life, for example). Stories of exemplary lives, and often little-known of some of the protagonists of international culture. I designed this poster in which the index of a hand shows the life line of another hand – not of the same person, as you can see.
I recently designed the identity for a new winemaker, Tenute Fois. I already knew the Fois family, which in Alghero produces one of the most celebrated olive oils of Sardinia, under the brand name Accademia Olearia, which I also designed together with Roberto Boassa some years ago. Now Fois embark on the road of wine with a Vermentino, Chlamys, baptized after the name of a shell very common along the Mediterranean shores. I designed the twin circular labels first, and it seemed to be a strong sign of identity. To take the two dots as “the” brand came as a natural consequence. Embossing each ray of the shell enhances the tactile impression and makes it coherent with the bottom of the bottle.
During the last week of September and the first of October, I was in Marrakech (Morocco) with Roberta Morittu, a celebrate sardinian and international designer involved in studying and designing mediterranean handicrafts since many years, and some of my best students at Cagliari University (Alessandro Congiu, Claudio Rossi and Francesca Savona). Nicolò Ceccarelli, Marco Sironi and Carlo Turri of Sassari/Alghero University were with us with a group of their students and realized some fo the objects together with Cagliari collegues. We had to create also the identity for an exhibit at Dar Bellarj, one of the most charming place inside the Medina. Handicrafts of moroccan tradition were re-designed and interpreted by the students from Cagliari, Sassari/Alghero, Florence and Milan Universities and from Esav, an important local school of design. They made their project working together the moroccan artisans. The University of Sassari/Alghero also realized an amazing video which could be seen here. The Autonomous Region of Sardinia sponsorized the whole mission. We concentrated on the figure of the storks (Dar Bellarj is also known as The Stork Hospital), stylizing them in several patterns composed with figures similar to the pieces of the the moroccan mosaics, using the same colors of the place: sand, red, black, white.