What emotions vacillated through 2022, across countries and communities? The year gone by was a period of recuperation, a time for rebuilding and reinforcing our bulwarks, in anticipation of turbulences that the coming years are anticipated to be fraught with. In doing so, we have managed to upend and unlearn some of our suppositions and go back to the basics. Mirroring our collective reversion to simplicity and an urge to understand the basics behind every event, every calamity, Salone del Mobile.Milano unveils the communication campaign for its upcoming iteration, which, pivoting to the cue ‘Do you speak design?’, presents the alphabets, the elements, of design. The 26 posters developed for the campaign are visualised and illustrated by Milan-based communication design studio Leftloft and illustrator and collagist Gio Pastori respectively.
“Like an alphabet, Salone is a system of connections and opportunities and an emotion – it transmits energy, positivity, enthusiasm and enterprise – all feelings that Gio Pastori’s Pop and contemporary collages, an undoubtedly new take for the Salone, manage to transmit immediately and powerfully,” shares Maria Porro, President of Salone del Mobile.
The communication campaign images for Salone 2023, coloured in bright hues, geometric shapes, and an ultra-pop aesthetic, narrate the theme, identity, and evolution of the event and its protagonists. They manage to inspire reflection and introspection, ideation and innovation, in the context of existing scenarios and anticipated events. David Pasquali, co-founder and creative director of Leftloft, shares, “We felt the need to put the design taxonomies in order. A gentle and ironic order that, through an almost didactic encyclopaedic approach, would shed new light on the fundamental phonemes of design, leveraging their sound, their meaning, their form and sequence to define, clarify, express and narrate.”
In order to build the 26 posters—one for each letter of the English alphabet—for the 61st edition of the Salone 2023 fair, the collaborators went back to the basics, to a time when graphic design gained popularity over simpler modes of publicity. This led to the creation of the design alphabets that have helped weave the narrative of Salone and Milanese design over the years. “Illustrating an ABC of objects is a method that invites people living in Milan and all around the world to re-learn how to read them, to dig down into their souls unhindered by trends or brands. The apparently simple request from the Salone del Mobile via Leftloft was to put the spotlight on the objects as the essence of the Salone. My take on it was to come up with a vivid colour combination, disconcerting at times, to delay the immediate focus on the subjects. Essential lines and discreet volumes appear in a dreamlike, shifting atmosphere, dictated by erroneous perspectives and unlikely axonometries,” asserts Gio Pastori, who made use of his characteristic papercut technique to design the final posters. The collages, cut, sewn, and glued by him, were later converted into their digital versions.
The posters, created in a Bruno Munari-style directory, are composed using absolute forms, are simple, original, and easily readable, yet manage to evoke curiosity with each new alphabet. Accompanied by a furnishing piece, an armchair for A, bookcase for B, chair for C, and so on, the letters and graphics answer the all-pervasive question Do you speak design? “Design as a common language in all the cultures of the world, and thus universal, is the concept underpinning the new Salone del Mobile campaign, designed on one hand to draw attention back to the archetypes of design and, on the other, to allude to the importance of dialogue and possible cultural cohesion founded on the universal language of design, which is spoken by the thousands of people who descend on Milan during that particular week,” says Maria Porro.
The campaign posters for the upcoming edition will be unveiled on February 15, 2023, during the fair's official press conference. On being asked what one can expect to encounter at the upcoming edition of the fair, Maria Porro shares, “The 2023 edition will mark a number of changes, essential for keeping the onus on the focal point: design. Projects, products and the strong commitment of the exhibitors will be highly valorised. At its heart, there is also a desire to ensure even more effective visitor involvement, first and foremost through a new visitor experience. There will be no lack of cultural and technological events at this increasingly crosscutting and interdisciplinary Salone.”
Salone del Mobile.Milano 2023 is scheduled to take place from April 18 to 23, 2023, at the Rho Fiera Milano in Italy.
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