An independent streak runs through Italy’s 20 regions, reflected in their mish-mash of local flags. Lombardy’s Studio Temp calls for a little visual unity
Between the fall of the Roman Empire and unification in 1861, Italy was divided into several states, each with its own identity. This has created a great cultural heterogeneity – today, all 20 regions still have their own emblem. These are diverse and difficult to reproduce, except in one case: in 1975, Lombardy asked Bob Noorda, Roberto Sambonet, Pino Tovaglia and Bruno Munari to design a new emblem. They adapted the ‘rosa camuna’, a mark found in cave engravings made at Valcamonica in the Iron Age.
Taking this as a starting point, we decided to rethink the emblems to create a uniform system. The range we had to tackle was very wide: some regions, such as Calabria and Puglia, are represented by heraldic concoctions; some, such as Emilia-Romagna, have anonymous geometric logos; while others, such as Veneto, have pictorial emblems. We adopted four strategies:
• Creating a new design using a simplified, graphic element related to the region’s history
• Simplifying the existing emblem
• Taking a detail from the existing emblem
• No redesign at all (Lombardy).
We looked at the flags of Japanese prefectures and of Swiss cantons for inspiration, studying their simplicity of form, consistency of colour and heraldic references. We limited our palette to seven colours and made the stroke weights consistent. The resulting emblems can be used in single colours and at small sizes.
Words and icons
Filippo Nicolini, miniera2010.com