Armando Testa

Born in Turin in 1917, he attended the Vigliardi Paravia typographic school where Ezio D'Errico, abstract painter, introduced him to contemporary art, to which he will always look with great interest. In 1937, at the age of twenty, he won his first competition for the creation of a poster, a geometric design created for the ICI typographic color house. After the war he worked for important cases such as Martini & Rossi, Carpano, Borsalino and Pirelli. He also works as an illustrator for publishing and creates a small graphics studio; In 1956 the Testa agency was born, dedicated to advertising not only graphics but also television. Some of the companies that serve the Testa agency soon became industry leaders: Lavazza, Sasso, Carpano, Simmenthal, Lines. In 1958 he won the national competition for the official poster of the 1960 Rome Olympics. Then, between the fifties and the seventies, images and animations filmed for television were born that have remained in the history of advertising, linked to slogans that have entered common language: the graphic play between black / white and positive / negative for the Antonetto digestive (1960); the perfect geometries of the sphere suspended on the half sphere for the Punt e Mes aperitif, which in Piedmontese dialect means "a point and a half" (1960); the conical puppets by Caballero and Carmencita for Lavazza's Paulista café (1960); Pippo the blue hippo for Lines diapers (1964); the spherical inhabitants of the planet Papalla for Philco (1969). As the first institutional recognition of his work, he was invited to hold the chair of Drawing and Composition of the Press at the Polytechnic of Turin from 1965 to 1971. In 1968 he received the Gold Medal from the Ministry of Education for his contribution to Art Visual while in 1975 the Italian Advertising Federation awarded him the Gold Medal in recognition for the successes achieved abroad. Since the mid-eighties Armando Testa, in addition to real advertising, has been involved in the design of posters for cultural and social engagement events and institutions, from Amnesty International to the Red Cross, from the Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto to the Teatro Regio of Turin. It also produces the brands that mark cultural institutions such as the Book Fair and the Youth Cinema Festival in Turin, and the Castello di Rivoli Museum of Contemporary Art. His agency becomes the largest among those operating in Italy in that sector, with offices in the most important European countries. Armando Testa died in Turin in 1992.