Riccardo Manzi (1913-1993) started working for Pirelli in the late 1940s, when the engineer and poet Leonardo Sinisgalli – who had founded the “Pirelli” magazine as the Milan-based tire company house organ – recognized his potential.
Through this collaboration, Manzi became one of the artists who at the time were putting their talent at the service of corporate identity communication, joining Bob Noorda, Max Huber, Raymond Savignac, Pavel M. Engelmann, Albe Steiner, and the Italians Armando Testa, Bruno Munari, and Giulio Confalonieri.
While chiefly known for his illustrations, Manzi had studied to be a painter and had achieved noteworthy accolades. Art critic Alfonso Gatto described his style as “painting you can read”, and made references to no less than Chagall and Klee in presenting one of his exhibitions.
Judge for yourself: his minimalist and ironical style shines through in the illustrations he created for “Pirelli” magazine, and in his advertisement posters for the company.
Here are some excellent examples.