The 27th of April is International Design Day that is connected to one of the most primitive forms of art and entertainment, used in a wide variety of areas.

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International Design Day


International Design Day has been celebrated on 27 April every year since 1962. This special celebration was established by the International Council of Graphic Design Associations (Ico-D). Drawing is not only prerogative of the artistically gifted ones, but has always been a powerful means of communication and entertainment with proven therapeutic properties.

The Treccani dictionary defines drawing as "graphic representation of objects of reality or imagination, people, places, geometric figures, etc., made with or without artistic intent".

A way to let your imagination run wild, to have fun, really within everyone's reach.

Follow this story from primitive design to the history of graphic design in Italy

Some steps in the history of drawing

Probably the first signs that were created by man, with the will to assemble them according to a meaning, are those found in the Rouffignac caves, which date back some 32 000 years.
In Italy we have the Val Camonica Rock Drawings which is a Unesco World Heritage Site and dates back more than 13,000 years. 
Over the centuries, many designs have been produced. Those from antiquity have been lost, perhaps due to the perishable nature of the materials used, but the Middle Ages left testimonials survived until the present day, as the basis for architectural designs or illuminated manuscripts. During the Renaissance , drawing became even more important, as artists often used it for sketches or studies of details, which preceded the creation of the final works. We can perhaps say it was during this period that the foundations for the modern meaning of drawing were laid.

Rock Drawings in Valcamonica

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Drawing: benefits and art therapy

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Using pencils and paints is part of the baggage we carry with us since childhood, an activity that everyone has done at least once in their life. Almost automatic gestures then, having the function of relieving stress. Colouring books for adults can often be found in bookshops, a sign that messing about with colours is good not only for children.

The wellbeing resulting from performing an artistic activity is the basis of art therapy. Developed in the 1940s and 1950s as a rehabilitation technique to improve the relational abilities of people suffering from pathologies, it is a practice applied transversely through drawing, painting, music and literature.

In Italy, designers and painters can also be found working in the streets, inspired by Italian beauty. 

Drawing and Italy

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The “Belpaese”, home of art and unforgettable artists, has always had a close relationship with drawing. This is demonstrated through the initiatives that have come about despite the current difficult situation, such as the exhibition 141 - A Century of Drawing in Italy organised by the Fondazione del Monte as part of the Art City Bologna 2021 programme. The exhibition will be inaugurated on World Drawing Day, 27 April.

Here is what we read on the Foundation's website:

The exhibit offers - starting from a 1909 Boccioni’s drawing, until 2020 works - a cross-section of the infinite possibilities given by an ancient technique that, even on this occasion, does not fail to reveal its incredible relevance.

The list of artists in the exhibition includes leading figures from the main movements and most innovative trends of the 20th century: from Futurism to Metaphysics, from Informal Art to New Figuration through Pop Art, from Arte Povera to Conceptual Art. At the same time, through the heterogeneous panorama of individual researches, they've been included various techniques of contemporary art, from painting to sculpture, from performance to new media, united by the common denominator of drawing.

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