imagespannaggi_treno-in-corso-webIn his Manifesto of Futurism (1909), Filippo Tommaso Marinetti summed up the major principles of the movement and led a scathing attack on ideas from the past.  Futurists love speed, violence and technology.  For them the images of cars, planes, and industrial towns all symbolised the technological triumph of man over nature.  After Marinetti’s death, Futurism died out, overtaken by “the future”, but in its time it had great influence over other styles including Art Deco, Constructivism, Surrealism and Dada.



Filippo-Tommaso-Marinetti-Words-in-Liberty-1913-e1348084381679Marinetti’s style was to use expressive typography with poetic impressions. This he called “multilinear lyricism”, using type of various sizes in split columns and carrying elements, accenting the onomatopoeic effect.

He wrote “The book will be the futurists’ expression of our own futurist consciousness.  I am against what is known as harmony of a setting.  When necessary, we shall use three or four columns to a page, and twenty different typefaces.”

Image property of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

During the second phase of Futurism, Depero mixed in a cacophonous barrage of “noise” which revolutionised typographic expression, favouring streamlined lettering to emphasise speed. Often the pictures were fragmented, dynamic, and fast moving, often with multiple images of a person or vehicle.

Another example of Depero’s style was in publishing an eighty page catalogue of designs printed on different papers and bound together with two big stainless steel bolts, mimicking machinery.  It also made it harder to stack on a shelf.  A thousand copies were printed, some with metal covers, and one or two in special presentation boxes.

Ars Libri_DEPERO_depero futurista

Other major players in the movement were Umberto Boccioni, Giacomo Balla, Carlo Carra, and Gino Severini.



Futurism. 2016. Futurism. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.slideshare.net/oneillolivia/futurism-10605316. [Accessed 24 January 2016].

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