Italian letters

In my youth my family used to occasionally vacation in Italy.

This was the late seventies and Europe was just opening up for the British tourist.

However not for us a package tour with flight and hotel included.

No, my maverick father introduced us to the pleasures of cross continent car travel in the shape of a three day run from the Midlands of England to the sun-kissed beaches south of Napoli

Therein lies a tale itself, but as an art student at the time one of the most enduring images that remain with me is the Agip logo that announced the frequent petrol stops on the journey (the car was a V8 Rover after all)

Above is my homage to that emblem, but the creation of it has not been simple

“The original wording was with tall, narrow characters, not very original and hard to read especially at a distance, a weak sign put in the shade by the Six-legged dog.
The company’s new lettering was redesigned by Unimark using the classical Standard Bold, but customized by the insertion of a white central rule. “The white rule makes the character dynamic, winding from one letter to the next, creating a considerable continuity, especially in the longer words. The symbol it was wished to evoke was that of the road, with the two lanes separated by the white dividing line. What more precise connection could be created with a company whose plants are located along roads and which provides services for those using the roads?”.
The new image was immediately adopted by all the Group companies.”

This font is not publicaly available,  so in order to mimic the style I had to go about crafting the letters I needed (i also didn’t read how Unimark had gone about the design, something which might have saved me a lot of work!)

This is what bought me to the Inkscape/Fontforge revelation made in my earlier post

I only finished half of the font inspired by this particular project – the lower case letters being sufficient for my purposes, but the experience has rekindled my interest in the design of letters

If you have never had the privilege of  an Italian road-trip and are not familiar with the Agip logo, take a closer look at a Ducati race replica – if its red there is a strong chance that somewhere it will sport the six legged dog symbol

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