Design spotlight: Lora Lamm

After five years working at San Francisco's Goodby Silverstein & Partners, you could say I have a mild obsession with ads. I've always been drawn to the illustrative mid-century Pirelli ads and their incredible use of color and shape (I've actually been on the hunt to find a full size one to frame for our house for years now), but it was only recently I learned a bit more about the designer, Lora Lamm. 

Lamm was a main contributor to the post-war era of Milanese design when brands such as Pirelli tires and Olivetti typewriters were just beginning to establish advertising departments realize the importance of design. Born in Switzerland in 1928, Lamm moved to Milan, Italy in 1953 to work for the renowned Studio Boggeri in 1953, where she quickly moved beyond the novice task of designing wrapping paper and was given the agency's crown jewel: La Rinascente (Italy's most lavish department store). Using a new "house" typeface of Futura bold, Lamm created a wide range of arresting print ads for the brand and developed her unmistakable style: simple, pictorial illustrations with an unmistakable bold color palate and feminine lines. 

Her ads for La Rinascente and Pirelli are works of art in and of themselves: