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Napoli Segreta vol. 1: Hidden Gems from the bowels of Vesuvius

Contributed by Matthijs Sluiter on May 30th, 2019. Artwork published in
June 2018
.
    Napoli Segreta vol. 1: Hidden Gems from the bowels of Vesuvius 1
    Source: https://ngrecords.bandcamp.com License: All Rights Reserved.

    NG Records and Early Sounds recordings, are proud to announce the first volume of “Napoli Segreta”, a compilation of the rarest and invisible compositions of the 70’s and 80’s Neapolitan disco and funk scene.

    For this project we opened the old chest of our photos, finding the perfect wrong one for the beautiful cover designed by Riccardo Corda and some other very good for presenting the whole work. Not last, we had again more fun in designing a special gift included in the LP, and some other cool goodies. Dopolavoro

    The artwork for the first – and so far only – volume of Napoli Segreta (“Secret Napels”) is not shy of nodding to the 1970s/1980s. From the faded generic cover image and deliberately “simple” layout where everything is framed in boxes with rounded corners, to the typography that uses three typefaces from around 1970: it shows that the designer(s) had a lot of fun.

    “Napoli Segreta” is set with Domino, a design by two (brothers or sisters?) Demarchi. The design was a winner in a Mecanorma typeface design contest in 1972. Domino came in a solid and an outline version. [Domino was likely issued only in an outline verion, see comments]. The subtitle uses outlined Blippo (1969), a sturdier typeface from the same genre. To top things off, the album was launched with a limited edition soft drink with a variation on the cover typography, paired with a moustached Italian stallion and a line using Busorama (1970): “La vecchia camomilla ha dato il posto a...”.

    Napoli Segreta vol. 1: Hidden Gems from the bowels of Vesuvius 2
    Source: https://www.juno.co.uk License: All Rights Reserved.
    Napoli Segreta vol. 1: Hidden Gems from the bowels of Vesuvius 3
    Source: https://www.mrbongo.com License: All Rights Reserved.
    Napoli Segreta vol. 1: Hidden Gems from the bowels of Vesuvius 4
    Source: http://dopolavoro.org License: All Rights Reserved.

    Typefaces

    • Domino (Mecanorma)
    • Blippo
    • ITC Busorama

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    Designers/Agencies

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    7 Comments on “Napoli Segreta vol. 1: Hidden Gems from the bowels of Vesuvius”

    1. Robert King says:
      May 30th, 2019  1:00 pm

      I’m curious about how people use these vintage fonts that are not available digitally, like Domino in this example. Do they find a glyph set for visual reference and trace / build each letter individually in Illustrator? Is there any other method?

    2. Robert King says:
      May 30th, 2019  1:01 pm

      I love this design—really fun and cool.

    3. May 30th, 2019  1:48 pm

      I’m curious about how people use these vintage fonts that are not available digitally

      Chances are there is some freebie digitization floating around under a different name, without crediting the original. At least that’s the case for many other pre-digital typefaces that were forgotten or ignored by the commercial type companies. Also, dry-transfer sheets are still available second-hand and offered on Etsy, eBay, and other places, often at ridiculous prices.

      It’s indeed very much possible that this is custom drawn, based on a visual sample, like you described. You don’t really have to get (or make) a font for this kind of use. All you need is 11 letterforms, some of which are as basic as rectangles (I, L, T) and a circle with a dot in the middle (O). The others are likewise quick to draw, and within reach even for occasional letter drawers. The S used here is different from the one in the original Domino, which suggests that it’s indeed lettering – based on a showing with a limited character set (cf. Lucky/BD Fontabello, for example). The letter D on the can is different from the original, too. Judging from its counter, it was made by mirroring and squeezing the G.

    4. May 30th, 2019  1:58 pm

      by two (brothers or sisters?) Demarchi.

      It could also be married couple, or father and son, etc. Judging from the (one) photo included in a Mecanorma leaflet, at least one of them is male. Since they are from France, I assume we’re looking for a Jean-Claude Demarchi. J.C. & M., if you read this, please speak up! We’d love to hear from you.

      Domino came in a solid and an outline version.

      I haven’t found evidence that Mecanorma issued a solid version. I’m aware of the showing on Daylight Fonts. Keep in mind that Shin Oka doesn’t show specimens from Mecanorma’s dry-transfer release, but a phototype adaptation of the design, shown in two styles as Biscuit Black (solid) and Biscuit (outline) in Typony Core 1 and 4 (c. 1980).

    5. May 31st, 2019  7:29 am

      Thanks for your detective work, Florian! I think I was so happy finally finding the ID for the headline typeface on this album cover (which I intended to post since over a year ago), that I no longer searched for answers on the last loose ends. I’ve asked Dopolavoro about the (customized/lettered) version of Domino.

    6. May 31st, 2019  1:54 pm

      Antonello Colaps from Dopolavoro answered, and confirmed Florian’s assumption: “Ricardo Corda drew all the letters needed on the cover, then I continued the design for the goodies, as mentioned in one of the comments. Another goodie we have done is a chocolate tablet. On the can and bar, we used Busorama because I found it more readable than Blippo. The drink, as well as the chocolate, were gifts for our friends and fans.”

    7. May 31st, 2019  1:55 pm

      Antonello: “The moustached guy is the face on the Three of sticks/clubs (Neapolitan playing cards). Some people connect it with Ubu Roi – a character from a play by Alfred Jarry.”

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