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    Artiva: Radical City

Italian designers Artiva live and breathe Helvetica like the Swiss designers of old – and they're brilliant

Posted by James Cartwright,

Artiva’s exhibition identity for Radical City is as inherently modernist as they come; the choice of type, the monochrome colour palette, the overbearing grid all firmly grounded in the Swiss tradition of graphic design. As the visual identity for a show that deals with Italian radical architecture (specifically between 1963 and 1973) it’s a perfect fit, deftly summarising the gridded urban landscapes of geometric concrete that were the hallmark of Italian radicalism.

What’s fascinating about the rest of Artiva’s portfolio is their singular design vision. Every one of their other projects utilises the same principles as Radical City. Whether it’s a brand identity or an experimental publication the calling cards are all there; Helvetica, black and white palette and that same rigid grid. Is this a simple case of design malaise or are these guys from the same mould as their Swiss predecessors, staunchly pursuing design perfection through simplicity and order? I’d argue the latter as the studio’s output shows a consistency of vision and understanding of design too refined to discount them as one trick ponies. And in this ever-fluctuating landscape of creative chameleons it’s incredibly refreshing to discover designers who still live and breathe Helvetica.

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    Artiva: Radical City

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    Artiva: Radical City

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    Artiva: Radical City

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    Artiva: Radical City

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    Artiva: Radical City

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    Artiva: Radical City

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    Artiva: Radical City

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    Artiva: Radical City

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    Artiva: Radical City

Jc

Posted by James Cartwright

James started out as an intern in 2011 and is now one of our two editors. He oversees Printed Pages magazine and content wise has a special interest in graphic design and illustration. He also runs our online shop Company of Parrots and is a regular on our Studio Audience podcast.