FROM B/W TO COLOR
Italian product designers with star status were mostly practicing architects, some returning from the U.S. and some were professors in architecture and design. The cream of the crop got recognized and invited to join the rosters of big-name designers for the export firms such as Cassina, Artemide and ICF de Padova. A few of them had worked for progressive corporations such as Olivetti and Brionvega. The following are the iconic designs that came out of Italy in the 70s and 80s :
From Left to Right, designers : Ettore Sottsass, De Pas D'Urbino Lomazzi, Sergio Asti, Richard Sapper, Giulio Lazzotti.
PHOTOGRAPHY & MAGAZINES
If one keeps a library of all the top European export product catalogs of the 1970s and 1980s, one would have a valuable collection of the finest photographed and printed publications in the world. Some of these catalogs were hard-cover coffee table books containing exquisite photo spreads printed on premium-grade paper with spot varnishing to highlight the products.
ABITARE, DOMUS, OTTAGONO, CASA VOGUE
are mainstream Italian magazines using architecture, urban planning, interior design, product design, social reform and fashion as pretext for promoting Italy's myriad of export companies of high-styled designer products : furniture, lighting, tableware, household accessories, bathroom fixtures, cars, kitchen utensils, ceramics, windows and doors and other building products.
Europe's highest paid photographers were commissioned by the automotive industry to take alluring pictures of their Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Jaguars and Aston Martins. The photographers' skills, equipment, techniques and studios were also used in furniture and product photography. Large pieces such as bedroom sets required either studio setup with temporary backdrops or location shooting. Europe had no lack of lush backgrounds.
And if it had to be set up in a studio, then the entire ceiling would be a light tent. This would give the image of the furniture a uniform and smooth appearance with every texture and color properly highlighted and accentuated. The aim, of course, was : just one look and you are hooked.