Friday, November 6, 2009

Beast wishes

RAI publication cover, 1960

I was delighted to discover the official website devoted to Sergio Ruffolo (1916-1989), one of 
the semi-forgotten pioneers of Modernist Italian design. From the mid-forties to the late eighties, 
Ruffolo worked as a freelance graphic artist for many Italian corporations, political parties and 
state companies including RAI, the state–owned television channel.His assignments ranged 
from logos and advertising campaigns to annual reports, editorial design, title sequences for 
tv programs and various promotional materials. Ruffolo was the designer behind some of the major 
Italian newspaper layouts, most notably the iconic la Repubblica in 1976He also painted 
and created sculptures, ceramics, jewellery, and collectible card decks. In spite of this varied 
and prolific output, until recently there was hardly any reference to Ruffolo's work on the web. 
The website (still under construction) is well designed and already showcases a wealth of materials, 
from Murano glass chess pieces to newspaper grids and road safety campaigns. 
Animals, and owls in particular, were Ruffolo's favorite subjects in all media.

Dragonflies ceramic plate

Fantastic animal, decomposable plexiglas sculpture, 1974

Owl n.2 and Horses n.2 paintings, 1973–4

Owl and Horse iron sculptures, 1975

My favorite section on the website is a great series of greeting cards, all illustrated with lovable animals 
holding mistletoe branches. I assume that Ruffolo designed these every year to be sent to friends and clients.
All images are copyright © 2008 Famiglia Ruffolo.


  1. Oh wow, Laura! These works are grand! Love the stylized forms so very much. Ruffolo was brilliant. Ha yes, these greeting cards are especially choice. I also really like the folding/accordian caterpillar sculpture 'bruco' I spotted at the official site link you provided. What a fabulous post, thank you! :~)

  2. wow! what a fantastic blog! thank you for sharing all of these incredible things!!!

  3. the greating cards animals are beautiful.. a very awkward format still the drawings are not awkward at all.

  4. We are vacationing in Rome and the apartment is full of his work. Paintings, prints, plates. Sculptures. You name it. It's here. I had never heard of him. So fun.



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