By Adrienne Angelo
“Typography runs the gamut from the sublime to the ridiculous.” This is what Louise Fili told us before we ventured out into the streets of Rome to experience it for ourselves. I think some of the best typography is in fact when those two things overlap and create something wonderfully expressive, something that you’ve never seen before. Something that draws you in and almost has a sense of humor about it.
So much energy and creativity went into the typography of Rome, and in many cases the people creating the signs were not even designers. Maybe that’s why they are so expressive, because there is no sense of the need for the sign to be perfect, its main purpose is to truly grab the attention of whoever the intended (or unintended) customer is. Each sign is so spirited and calls out to you as if it were saying, “you must be crazy not to stop and look at me, this is one of the best streets in the world!” (which is basically what is does say on the sign outside of the house Fellini lived in).
Today was our first full day in Rome and it really felt like a day of exploration.
Louise taught us that each city has its own individual flare and seeing the signs of Rome in person just left us hungering to seek out the other hidden treasures Rome has to offer.
In my case that was Caravaggios in a heavily guarded French church, carved marble skulls in the church of Minerva (not to mention the wind-blown looking elephant out front), the cat sanctuary (known to others as the place where Caesar was supposedly stabbed), the charming chocolate shop (which has a dark history of murders, who knew), the old book store (can I take them all home with me?), the Piazza Navona (housing a toy shop that felt like walking into a fairy tale, 3-headed dragons included), oh and the food, coffee, gelato… the list feels like it goes on and on and its just day 1.
Romans seem to do everything with a sort of casual passion that can not be recreated anywhere else. I’m not sure what my project will be during this course but one thing I do know is it must be something that has as much passion behind it as the way Louise looks at her Roman signs. I can’t wait to see what other treasures Rome has to offer over the next couple of weeks but at least now I know that there are plenty of places to park your canine along the way.
Photos by Adrienne Angelo