1908

Birth

04/02/1908: he was born in Pieve Porto Morone, in the province of Pavia; the youngest, with four brothers and two sisters

1928

Turin

after having studied Geometry at high school in Pavia, in 1926 he undertakes two years of studies  in Mathematics at the University of Pavia; he then moves to Turin to continue his studies in Architecture

1933

Second Futurism

Second Futurism

takes part in the events of the second generation of Futurists still nineteen in Pavia and then in Turin; in 1933, with his work “Introspezione”, he is among the two hundred exhibitors at the “Grande Mostra Nazionale Futurista” in Rome, under the aegis of Marinetti

1934

Milan

Milan

1934: completes his studies in Architecture and moves to Milan; in the same year, at the “Galleria delle Tre Arti” in Milan, he takes part in the exhibit “Scelta Futuristi Venticinquenni”, subtitled “Omaggio dei Futuristi Venticinquenni al Venticinquennio del Futurismo” in honor of Umberto Boccioni

1935

Photography

Photography

his figurative experimentations dedicated – in typical Futurist fashion – to speed and mechanics lasts only about six years, and from 1935 he moves onto more abstract subjects, especially through photography; his first graphic works were shown in a collective exhibition at the Italian Pavilion of the “Arts et Techniques dans la Vie moderne” International Expo in Paris in 1937

1938

Pioneer in graphic design

Pioneer in graphic design

1938: begins his pioneering activity as a graphic designer; he works for firms like Cyma-Tavannes, SCAC, Fiat, Editoriale Domus, Electrolux, Fratelli Borletti

1940

Second World War

Second World War

1940: is called up by the army at the beginning of the Second World War and is assigned as an Officer in charge of an aircraft-sighting course within the Sighting School; teaching others how to quickly spot moving shapes in a short timeframe led him to what will become the final essence of his work in visual analysis, in particular the interdependence between the eye and the mind

1942

Jeanne Grignani

Jeanne Grignani

1942: marries Jeanne Michot, a fashion figure artist for brands of national importance who greatly supports him for years in a duo of close collaboration

1947

Dompé

Dompé

1947: becomes the Artistic Director of “Bellezza d’Italia”, the house organ of Dompé Farmaceutici, for which he designs until 1961 numerous covers and advertisements which are seen as a true revolution compared to other 1950s ads of romanticized work and family life

1950

Studio Boggeri

Studio Boggeri

since the early 1950s, for a decade, he collaborates with Studio Boggeri, one of the best and most important design studios in the world

1952

AGI

AGI

1952: the five founders of AGI, the “Alliance Graphique Internationale”, select the 60 best graphic designers in the world to create the first historic group: Grignani is invited from Italy together with Bruno Munari, Giovanni Pintori, and Erberto Carboni; from 1969 to 1981 he will be the president of the Italian section

1952

Alfieri & Lacroix

Alfieri & Lacroix

1952: starts a 27 year-long fruitful cooperation with the renowned Italian printing company Alfieri & Lacroix, which allows him full creative freedom in carrying out the corporate advertising campaign

1954

National Award for specialized advertising

1954: the advertising campaign carried out for A&L earns him the gold medal of the 11th National Award for specialized advertising for technical magazines (“XI premio Nazionale della pubblicità per l’annuncio specializzato per riviste tecniche”)

1956

Pubblicità in Italia

Pubblicità in Italia

1956: becomes Art Director, content selector, and author for the magazine “Pubblicità in Italia” from the start to its closure in 1985

1957

Triennale of Milan

Triennale of Milan

1957: plans the overlay of the Graphics pavilion at the XI Triennale in Milan; among his clients of this period appear Montecatini – for which, in addition to many product ads (Ducotone, Meraklon, Moplen, Movil), he designs several pavilions at the “Fiera Campionaria” in Milan – and Montedison, Mondadori, Marzotto, Necchi, Pirelli, Fiat, Ermenegildo Zegna, Bassetti, Italfarmaco, Sandoz, Bayer…

1958

Two hundred exhibits

Two hundred exhibits

from 1958 onwards, he exhibits his works in solo in the most-renowned galleries in Italy and abroad, and in a whole host of public institutions; he takes part in many collective exhibitions as well

1959

Gold medal at the Triennale of Milan

1959: wins the Gold medal at the Triennale of Milan

1959

Golden Palm for Advertising

Golden Palm for Advertising

1959: wins the Golden Palm for Advertising together with Necchi

1962

First national photography exhibition in Venice

First national photography exhibition in Venice

1962: wins the “Leone d’Argento” at the first national photography exhibition in Venice

1963

Woolmark logo

Woolmark logo

1963: designs what will become the best logo ever

1965

Dream Team

Dream Team

1965: is called to sit beside Aldo Novarese, director of Nebiolo’s “Studio Artistico“, to collaborate on new typefaces with Pino Tovaglia, Giancarlo Iliprandi, Bruno Munari, Ilio Negri, Till Neuburg, and Luigi Oriani for over a decade

1965

Vision 65

Vision 65

23/10/1965: as a lecturer, he participates in the “Vision 65” conference, officially called “Vision 65: World Congress on New Challenges to Human Communication”, at the Southern Illinois University of Carbondale

1966

Piaggio

Piaggio

November 1966: absolute winner in the contest for the new Piaggio logo

1967

Typomundus 20

Typomundus 20

1967: receives the highly coveted recognition merit of the ICTA, the “International Center for the Typographic Arts” of New York, for the “Typomundus 20

1968

ED group

ED group

1968: participates – till 1976 – within the “Exhibition Design (ED) group“, founded by Silvio Coppola, with Giulio Confalonieri, Bruno Munari, Pino Tovaglia, and Mario Bellini with aims of research, design, and dissemination

1968

Penguin Books

Penguin Books

1968: is commissioned for the covers of sixteen science fiction novels for Penguin Books, to be published the following two years

1969

Typomundus 20/2

September 1969: participates in the jury of ten international designers in Stuttgart for the selection of the twentieth-century communication graphics

1970

Warsaw International Poster Biennial

Warsaw International Poster Biennial

1970: member of the jury of the 3rd International Poster Biennial in Warsaw

1972

Biennale of Venice

Biennale of Venice

1972: wins the “Leone d’Argento” at the 36th Biennale of Venice in the Experimental Graphics section

1973

STA

STA

26/06/1973: is elected Honorary Member of the STA, the “Society of Typographic Arts of Chicago”

1975

Rotonda della Besana

Rotonda della Besana

1975: the City of Milan organizes a retrospective exhibit of his work at the “Rotonda della Besana” with more than one hundred and forty works; from then on he devotes himself almost exclusively to art

1980

NABA

NABA

1980: NABA, the “Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti” in Milan, asks him to become part of its teaching staff; still today, a NABA department is named in his memory

1983

back to Pieve Porto Morone

back to Pieve Porto Morone

1983: Pieve Porto Morone, his native village, organizes an important anthological exhibit in honor of their fellow citizen

Even looking back on his work as a whole, it’s impossible to confine Grignani to a specific movement, not least because he made a point to be different from everyone else.
Despite his solitary research, he was one of the people who most influenced the studies and inquiries into visual perception, as well as international graphics.
The constant evolution of his graphic work, as well as the coherence of his method, have always aroused a keen interest among young graphic designers.