Beyond a mere advertisement, Cappiello’s poster “Aix Les Bains” sold the apparent euphoria a person would feel if they visited the town which inspired this poster. An advertising genius, Cappiello interwove subconscious image associations with simple, spirited figures rendered in strong lines and bold colors. Appealing and effective, “Ramos Pinto Porto” merges Belle Epoque, Art Noveau, and Art Deco styles.
After the first Wold War, decorative art and design began to change drastically. The organic expression of Art Nouveau was being replaced by the machine-age style of Art Deco. The new icons of power and speed were reflected in Art Deco’s simplified, sleek shapes, and angular scripts.
In 1898 Cappiello headed to Paris to join other artists of his period. He immediately started painting caricatures for the French publication Le Rire. This precipitated a string of assignments with French newspapers. In 1900, he signed a contract to do poster designs for the poster publisher Vercasson
The advertising poster “Asti Cinzano” is as bubbly as the product it is advertising, with its bold color, whirlwind movement, and unbridled revelry. Even though the ad was done early in his career, Cappiello’s highly effective “less-is-more” style is apparent: create an eye-catching character and make a bold, loud statement and everything else becomes irrelevant.
During World War I, Cappiello worked as an interpreter in Italy. Afterwards, he devoted his career completely to poster design. In 1919, he signed a contract with publisher Devambez and he remained with the agency until 1936.
Cappiello’s bold, eye-catching “Victoria Arduino” exudes all the revitalizing energy of the eight (yes, we counted them) steaming, red cups of coffee it depicts. He often used dark backgrounds mixed with the bright, vivid colors of his main subjects.
Gradually his style developed so that his images were created using solid lines and strong flat color. His contribution to poster design contemporized this popular art form. He became a naturalized citizen of France in 1930 and retired to Grasse at age 66, having fulfilled his dream to be one of Europe’s most celebrated graphic artists.