James is a calligrapher and scholar from London who has been living in Italy for years. He has travelled all over our country hunting for the signs and inscriptions that mark our urban landscape.

From the ornate Tuscan style of the 19th century to the eccentric letters of Art Nouveau, from the grandiose architectural lettering of the 1930s to the exquisite surviving examples of the old signwriters, from fascist ghost signs to lettering on manhole covers, in “Signs of Italy” Clough points out the highs and lows of this artistic expression as he takes readers on a fascinating lettering tour of Italy, with over 300 pictures captured in more than 100 places throughout the whole Peninsula.

This book has required over one year of work, and it’s clear why when you hold it in your hands. As Master Giancarlo Iliprandi writes on the back cover: “A treasure lies in front of us Italians and we have hardly given it a distracted glance. At last, a British designer with a passion for history is opening our eyes.”

The text of this book is composed in Zenon, while titles and captions are in Zenans. Both font families are courtesy of the type designer Riccardo Olocco, who allowed us to use them as a preview. The cover and foreword are by Luca Barcellona, co-founder and partner of Lazy Dog Press. The book is available both in italian and English version.