Art of Campari at Estorick Collection
Campari has a seductive brand story. When in 1886 Davide Campari took over his father’s Milanese distillery, he began engaging with artists and designers to help craft a unique drinks brand. Since, Campari has become a symbol of Italy and especially Milan, and the rich body of art work Davide and his successors left behind tell the compelling story of Italy’s place in the history of modern art and design.
London’s Estorick Collection, on until September, explores the art of Campari. Davide was a pioneer in the way he knew how to work with the avant-garde. He truly understood the power of design and advertising, of collaborating with interesting, and at times radical, artists to build his brand. Davide’s approach was unique in that he offered almost complete freedom to his artists – often allowing their vision to direct the advertising strategy. His was a relationship of patronage, and thanks to this, some of the most incredible body of Italian poster art and in particular Futurism were created.
Davide enlisted celebrated European poster artists and graphic designers. The likes of Marcello Nizzoli, Leonetto Cappiello, Ugo Mochi, Marcello Dudovich and Adolf Hohenstein each worked within the artistic movements of the time, so the story of the art of Campari is a reflection of the evolution of modern art in the early part of the twentieth-century from Art Nouveau to Cubism and onto Futurism.
By the late 1920s, advertising needed to be digested on the move, from buses, trains and motor cars – so the graphics had to be bold, be clean and the message at once understood. Futurism was the ideal artistic movement to express this fast-moving modern world. It embraced speed; the art was all about reflecting the now, and broke with tradition. Davide’s strongest collaboration arguably remains with one of the leading members, Fortunato Depero, who worked with humour, with bright colours and text, employing dynamic block letters, sometimes arranged diagonally. He idealised Manhattan and his work celebrated the modern metropolis.
Interestingly, the Campari brand name remains constant throughout these campaigns. For Davide and those who followed, advertising was always about the Campari moment, the pleasure of life, a message that has been pivotal to our recent work with the brand.
Campari approached Spinach to help redefine the brand for a new emerging market in the UK. This led to extensive branding workshops and the creation of a bespoke brand book La Vita Campari. Lately, our team have been leading the Campari UK advertising campaign, to be rolled out across the country very soon. But more on this later. For now we recommend visiting the Estorick Collection for a taste of the art of Campari.