Cap dedicated to the Cinelli winged ‘C’ logo designed by a young Italo Lupi in 1979. Lupi went on the become one of Italy’s most decorated and influential modern designers.
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One of the first things Antonio Colombo did on taking over Cinelli in 1979 was to commission a new logo for the company. He wanted a new logo that represented his design-orientated vision for the company. He asked two young graphic designers, now internationally renown as amongst the finest of the era, to propose a new logo for the company. These were Bob Noorda and Italo Lupi. Antonio eventually chose Italo Lupi’s now iconic “Winged ‘C.'”
The new Cinelli logo employed a Standard Bold typeface with modified spacing to register an iconic effect. The “winged ‘C'” itself was inspired by clean graphic art of the 1950s British motorcycle brands. The colors within the wings–an orange-red, mild green and yellow– made absolutely no reference to any cycling tradition. Lupi recollects that they were inspired specifically by the particular enameling of British locomotives, but with hindsight they seem equally a product of the irreverent postmodern aesthetics of the late-1970s and early-1980’s Milanese design.
The logo immediately and starky distinguished Cinelli from the competition adnd became perhaps the most imitated bicycle logo of the modern period. It was sexy, funny, ironic, and design savvy–a completely heterogeneous mix of the times, but also a refection of a confident and excited Milanese cultural industry.