Poster Art: Two Italian Guys Named Marcello


Marcello Dudovich
(born in 1878 in Trieste)
was considered a leading innovator
in advertising art during the
early part of the 20th Century–

As Leonetto Cappiello
(born in Livorno, Italy in 1875)
was revolutionizing the poster form
in the Art Nouveau style in France,

— so Dudovich,
with his more streamlined
Art Deco approach,
fiatdid the same in Italy.

He was inspired by artists like:

Art Nouveau painter Alphonse Mucha,
American illustrator Edward Penfield,
and cartoonist Leopoldo Metlicovitz,

while some of his earlier work
is certainly reminiscent of the style
pioneered by Leonetto Cappiello,

the post-Nouveau poster style
he would come to develop over timedudovich
is distinctive and individualized —

His poster art
is characterized
by strong, bright colors,
sharp lines,
and deep, multileveled shading.

His body of work
includes posters for:
Alfa Romeo,
and the well known
department store Mele.

founded as a tint and dye company
in 19th century Germany, was one
of the first companies to market
a successful line of photographic-films
for the amateur camera enthusiast.
They also sold an extensive line of X-Ray supplies.

Alfa Romeo,
an Italian car manufacturer since 1910,alfa
— has always been thought of as being
at the forefront of automotive style and design —
and it seems appropriate that Dudovich
should have been chosen
as their primary advertising artist.

is an Italian liqueur,
usually taken after meals as a ‘digestif’.
It’s flavor is mildly sweet and distinctly herbal,
mostly fennel and mint.
It is usually consumed ‘straight’,
and sipped from a small glass.
It was very popular with the denizens
of roaring 20’s culture.CampariNizzoli

is an ‘aperitif’ liqueur,
meant to be taken before a meal,
and has a very bitter flavor,
reminiscent of burnt orange peels.
Today, it is usually drank mixed with soda,
or used as part of a cocktail recipe.

But, Dudovich
wasn’t the only Italian named Marcello
who was competing for the lucrative
advertising design contracts
these big brand names could provide in the 1930’s.


motosacocheMarcello Nizzoli
(born 1887)
was also a widely known Italian illustrator,

as well as an architect,
and an industrial designer.

When it came to
commercial and industrial art,
this guy could do it all.

He was a leading light
of the Italian Rationalist art movement.

He did most of his best work nizzoli
in Milan between the World Wars.

He was the primary artist
for advertising the Motosacoche line,
once the leading Swiss manufacturer of Motorcycles.

He is also justifiably regarded
for his line of very interesting
Campari posters,
which are not only distinctive,

— but also imaginative in their concept .

But, actually,
— his best known designs
were industrial projects nizzolli
that became popular
consumer and office products —


an adding machine —
the MC 4s Summa ,

a sewing machine —
the Necchi Mirella ,

and a typewriter —
the Olivetti Lexicon 80.

The products had a modern,
sleek sensibility to them, yes-olivetti

But not only that,
but they were also ergonomic —
— what you might today call ‘user friendly’ —
and this quality made them
very popular with consumers.

I still own a vintage Lexicon myself,
and think highly of the old thing,
despite most of its’ applications
have obviously having been overtaken
by the computer.

And I think it’s amazing to be able
to not only look at a piece of art,
but to actually put it to practical use.

It’s not only a work of art —
——- but also an art of work, right?