For over a century, Pirelli have stood out by publicising their tyres and other products with imaginative posters.
We spotted the Italian company’s eyecatching array of cycling advertisements at Eurobike in July 2017 and decided to showcase them in our Giro d’Italia edition. With help from the Fondazione Pirelli, we were made aware of their vast archive – adverts for everything from tyres to water bottles and umbrellas – and their in-house magazine.
Pirelli rivista d’informazione e di tecnica was a bimonthly organ that included features on everything from Michelangelo to nuclear engineering, Italian football and the racing cyclists who used their tyres.
That leads us to Fausto, Gino and an eyecatching mid-1949 cover: Coppi and Bartali, two legendary champions and rivals, two impeccably-dressed gentlemen, two opposites. Che classe.
Given that it’s a portrait image, we broke with tradition by opting for a split cover rather than the usual wraparound image. On the back, we used Renzo Bassi’s stylish 1933 poster.
Tyres might not be the sexiest objects of desire on a bicycle, but it’s clear that publicity for them can be beautiful.
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