Very early use of Forma for a series of ads for Alfieri & Lacroix, a Milan-based print house specialized in fine art printing, designed by Franco Grignani who was on the design committee of the typeface.
To open the dialog again after working in a small team for over two years, Nebiolo invited a larger group of people from the graphic industry, advertising, and publishing to a round-table discussion at the Hotel Principe & Savoia in Milan on December 11, 1968. The same points that had kept the working group busy for months came to life again in this larger round, and the team had to face substantial criticism. The main discontent concerned readability: that the typeface was too monotonous, “excessively uniform,” “a compact grey that does not invite reading, especially in smaller sizes,” “it almost seems like the result of a computer,” of “exasperated tranquility.” “Typography is not only about formal perfection, it is a communication tool.” Thankfully, this time, Nebiolo had the graphic team to help leap to their defense. Grignani: “The typeface is the block. I have to give it its movement.” Or from the audience, Coppola, a local architect and designer: “A typeface is like a piano, it is up to the graphic designer to know how to use it. In this case, we are given a keyboard, the cleanest and most anonymous possible, thus the designer has to use it wisely to draw all the desired effects.”
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See also previous ads designed by Franco Grignani for Alfieri & Lacroix at the websites of MoMa (1965), Archivio Grafica Italiana (1964–68), and Lined & Unlined (1960), most of them using Helvetica.
A more detailed article on the history of Forma: www.academia.edu/7610026/Fo…
The whole official story of Forma written in the Nebiolo house organ is now available @ https://issuu.com/p_tovaglia/docs/quinebiolon10_l; the text is in Italian but includes (in b&w) a wider range of specimens and ads, which were published in different ways in leading periodicals in Italy and abroad in the late 1960s.
More specifically on the role of Franco Grignani, see also https://www.francogrignani.info/forma-vs-helvetica/, based upon the work of Professor Alessandro Colizzi.