Milano: Bruno Alfieri, 1962-1964. A fabulous (and apparently almost unknown) magazine of graphic design from the publisher of Metro. Profusely illustrated (part color) with inserts, various papers, gatefolds. Decorated covers. 40.5 x 24 cm. Parallel Italian, French & English. OCLC locates this title only at the Bibliothèque Nationale and the Gulbenkian Foundation. Vanishingly rare complete. All issues have one or more bumped corners due to the inadequate cardboard mailers used for international shipping.
No. 1, November 1962. Cover by Noorda. [xxx] + 98 pp. Includes: “Wording,” the use of words as design elements; an Alvar Aalto graphic work; “Experimental graphics (1),” by Bruno Munari; “Graphics and the film,” by Pino Zac; “Experimental graphics (2),” by Egidio Bonfante; “Gabberbochus, a revelation in publishing,” by Jasia Reichardt; and other features.
No. 2, June 1963. [xx] + 114 +  pp. Includes “Delaunay and graphic design,” by Carlo Belloli; “Experimental graphics,” by Leo Lionni; “Miscellanea Britannica,” by Franciscka and Stefan Themerson; “Romantic posters and operational posters,” by Armando Testa; with additional contributions by George Nelson, Ettore Sottsass, Chermayeff & Geismar, and others.
No. 3, October 1963. Cover by Pino Tovaglia. Wraparound banner. [xiv] + 129 pp. Includes Carlo Belloli on typography for avant-garde poetry (40 illustrated pp.); “Graphic design and Japanese crests,” by Yusaku Kamekura; “Posters for museums and galleries,” by Pieter Brattinga; “Miscellanea Britannica 2,” by Franciscka and Stefan Themerson; “Experimental graphics,” by Ennio Lucini; “Studies for the Coop self-service store in Reggio Emilia,” by Albe Steiner; with additional contributions by Franco Grignani, Arnold Varga, Eugenio Carmi, and others. The Belloli article alone is worth the price. A gatefold ad has a defect at the bottom edge from the two printed sides sticking together; it is a line, not general water damage—perhaps something in the original manufacture, and not severely disfiguring.
No. 4, Gennaio 1964. Cover by Max Bill. Approx. [xxviii] pp. of ads + 67 pp. The ads include a multi-page gatefold/booklet announcing Pacco, another Alfieri publication. The issue contains Bob Noorda’s “Studies for signs and indicator board in the Milan underground”; “Titles for a film [‘Walk on the wild side’]. And other ideas,” by Saul Bass”; “The graphic arts in Pelikan publicity”; “English popular graphic art,” by Renzo Salvadori; plus contributions by Bruno Munari, Marcel Breuer, and others. Laid in: a small poster for Alitalia and another, larger one, apparently for London Transport.
No. 5, August 1964. Cover, a multiple by Eugenio Carmi printed on metal. [x] pp. of ads + 79 pp. Laid into the rear cover: a 7-inch LP record and sleeve from Radiotelevisione Italiana, and a very large color poster for Uomo Estate (men's clothing), about 196 x 136 cm / 77 x 52 in., folded in sixteen. The issue contains Gillo Dorfles' "Carmi's lithographed tins;" "An American Patrol," by Ralph Caplan (on advertising and grafitti as art); "Pioneer of new forms: experiments in Europe in typography, photography and graphic arts in the Twenties," by Eckhard Neumann; "Experimental graphics," from the Royal College of Art, London"; and other features. Each cover is individual, according to Carmi's own description. They started as tests of large sheets of printed metal intended to be cut apart for use in tins of foodstuffs. This one is beef and pork; another, damaged but repaired copy in my stock is tuna, in dark green and red. The pieces for the covers were cut to 21 x 23 cm to fit the magazine's cover, thus interrupting the pattern on the much larger original piece and justifying Carmi's claim that each piece is unique. Slight wear at edges. Light scratches on the metal from normal use.
No. 6, [1965?]—Italia: trademarks, signs, symbols. 63 pp. +  pp. ads at rear. Booklet laid into the rear cover: "Concorso per il simbolo grafico della campagna. RAI, Radiotelefortuna Italiana, 1964. Richly illustrated. 46 pp. 21 x 21.4 cm. Lightly rubbed.
No. 7. It must be 1964, though the whole issue is a celebration of the 150th anniversary of the designer and printer Giambattista Bodoni (1740-1813). [8 ] pp. ads + 81 +  pp. 2 items laid into the rear cover: a very large poster for Giancarlo Liprando, designer. Approx. 206 x 136 cm / 81 x 54 in., folded in thirty-two. PLUS another poster for RAI. Approx. 100 x 70 cm / 40 x 28 in., folded in sixteen. Both of these probably have been unfolded only once, for this description. The whole issue is devoted to type and lettering. Some cover wear. "Letter forms in themselves are perhaps the ultimate in symbolic abstraction." Item #76651