1938 – The year of Fosfina pasta

In the wall calendar of 1938 – that unfortunately has come to us lacking three pages – the references to a competitive vitality and efficiency in sports as in professional life prevailed. These were combined with the essential and dry style of drawing of Mario Puppo, an advertising graphic artist active in Chiavari in the 1930s. He was a prolific author of touristic propaganda posters that were fully in line with the dominating style of communication during the twenty year period of Fascist regime.
In the page dedicated to the months of March and April, a package of Fosfina pasta appears: this was an enriched diet food sold exclusively in its special packaging with a window, designed and made by the Zafferri Printing Works of Parma.

The campaign to launch the product had been commissioned by Pietro Barilla to Nino Giuseppe Caimi, the owner of Ennecė, an agency based in Milan. After working for years as a journalist, he had matured the choice to move towards a new profession following a journey to the United States.
With truly concise and resounding slogans as “Fosfina Pasta gives strength to the weak, and sustains the strong”, the announcements created by Nino Caimi supported the behavioral models of the Italian upper middle class with measured elegance, as this was the only true mass public in those years.


Mario Puppo, 1938 Barilla Calendar. Wall calendar. Milan, Pizzi e Pizzio, 1937. ASB, Rla 10.