Graphic art is a fundamental chapter in the history of Italian design, at the very core of the visual culture of our country.

After the first exhibitions about contemporary graphic art (The New Italian Design, Spaghetti grafica and Graphic Design Worlds) organised by the museum, the decision to focus this year’s event on Italian graphic art, visual communication and their history is an important step to enrich and finish off the overview and promotion of Italian design, a process in which Triennale Design Museum has been engaged in for years.

TDM5: grafica italiana is focussed on the 20th century, starting from the Futurist printing revolution, but it also embraces the tradition of the previous centuries and more recent works, showcasing a treasure-trove of gems by Italian graphic designers, in all their amazing diversity of expressions.

The exhibits are grouped by types and areas, as a sort of map of the most significant graphic works: Letters, Books, Magazines, Culture and Politics, Advertising, Packaging, Visual Identity, Signs, Films and Videos.

Not just posters, but a very wide range of materials, from printing letters to brands, from magazines to leaflets, from brochures to encyclopaedias, from instruction books to major urban signs, from labels to the first attempts at video graphics. Materials that offer a direct, straightforward picture of the graphic designer’s work, while also revealing fairly unusual dimensions that are usually known to a close circle of specialists.

Instead of looking at the graphic designer’s works as at a reflection of Italian culture or society, the purpose of the fifth edition of Triennale Design Museum is to help the public understand what role Italian graphic artists have played in the history of the country and how they have contributed to shape its economic, social and cultural climate.

Such artists as Albe Steiner, Franco Grignani, Bruno Munari, Bob Noorda, Armando Testa, Massimo Vignelli have supported the success of some of Italy’s leading companies, they have worked in key areas of cultural life, and their work has significantly reflected the political, economic and social changes of 20th-century Italy.

Graphic designers have established close relations with the avant-gardes and the neo-avant-gardes, they have been directly involved in the political season of the Sixties and Seventies, have played a key role in showing goods and design to the public, and have taken up the challenge of digital revolution.

After answering the question “What is Italian Design?” in The Seven Obsessions of Italian Design, Series, Off Series, The things we are and Dream Factories, Triennale Design Museum, the first Italian design museum, stands out, once again, as a dynamic museum which never fails to renew itself new and offer its visitors unusual, unprecedented events. An emotional, intriguing museum. A lively, ever-changing organism, which, year after year, with its innovative formula, knows how to question itself, without ever giving a ready-made answer.