Aspen Institute Italia
1984-2010
Storia di un dialogo

A book dedicated to the history of the non-profit organisation Aspen Institute Italia.
aspen institute italia storia dialogo
Aspen Institute Italia
1984-2010
Storia di un dialogo

Book, 24×17 cm
387 pages

2012 © Italo Lupi + Nicola-Matteo Munari
aspen institute italia storia dialogo
The title on the spine is turned
upside down, in the manner
of Italo Lupi, art director of the
book’s design.

Ph. © Nicola-Matteo Munari
aspen institute storia dialogo
Ph. © Nicola-Matteo Munari
aspen institute storia dialogo
Ph. © Nicola-Matteo Munari
The Aspen Institute Italia

‘Storia di un dialogo’ (History of a Dialogue) was the first project designed together with Italo Lupi—one of the most important Italian graphic designers—as part of a close collaboration that continued for some years.

The book narrates the history of the Aspen Institute Italia, a non-profit organization focusing on the political-entrepreneurial promotion of transatlantic cultural relations, which boasts in its executive board some of the most renowned Italian politicians, entrepreneurs, jurists, economists, journalists, and academics.

During the very first day of work on the book’s project, more than one hundred covers have been designed, all different from each other. Finally, one of the most restrained and institutional was chosen, characterised by a simple but carefully calibrated typographic layout.
aspen institute storia dialogo
Draft layout for a first concept
of the cover, conceived to communicate the idea of dialogue through the graphic fusion of
the two dates.

2012 © Nicola-Matteo Munari
aspen institute italia storia dialogo
Ph. © Nicola-Matteo Munari
 During the very first day of work on
the book, more than one hundred
covers have been designed, all different
from each other.
 During the very first day of work on the book, more than one hundred covers have been designed, all different from each other.
The Book Cover

The title—made of a single word for each line of text, all stacked one on top of the other—is the protagonist of the cover, whose extension is marked at the top by a blue typographic ruler and at the bottom by the Aspen leaf, designed in its original shape by famous Austrian graphic designer Herbert Bayer (1900–1985).

Colours and typefaces are those already used for the magazine Aspenia, published by the Aspen Institute Italia. Colours refer to red and blue of the Stars and Stripes flag, while the typefaces suggest the idea of an Atlanticist dialogue, coming from both Italian (Bodoni) and American (News Gothic) tradition.

The proportional relationships between the three elements—ruler, title, and leaf—have been orchestrated with dedication, so that each one participates in the composition of a measured and perfectly balanced layout.
aspen institute italia storia dialogo
Some alternative graphic solutions
for the book cover’s design,
among the more than a hundred
that were designed.

2012 © Nicola-Matteo Munari
aspen institute italia logo
Ph. © Nicola-Matteo Munari
aspen institute italia storia dialogo
A variation of the cover, characterized by a rigorous elegance and the
strong typographic scale contrast.

2012 © Nicola-Matteo Munari
The Dialogue of Letters

The graphic design, careful and simple, ensures that the cover essentially remains a blank page, thus emphasising the aesthetic and cultural beauty of the typographic letters as a means of communication—the literal foundation of dialogue.

—Nicola-Matteo Munari

Client
Aspen Institute Italia

Referent
Gyneth Sick

Art Direction
Italo Lupi

Design
Nicola-Matteo Munari

Project Date
2012