The cars have been backed by posters from the outset. The new industrial product was immediately featured on many magazine covers including Tribuna Illustrata, Auto Italiana and Domenica del Corriere.
The first A.L.F.A. advertising poster is shown here.
The first Alfa Romeo poster after the end of World Wall I displays the slogan: “Automobili Alfa Romeo, le migliori per città e turismo” [Alfa Romeo motor cars, best around town and for touring].
Designed by an artist named Elio, the print shows a winged Mercury, symbol of science and progress, lifting a car.
Clearly influenced by Cubist art, the poster created in 1924 by René Magritte, depicts the car in a surreal urban context.
Two elegantly-clad female figures are shown to emphasise the class of the motor car.
LA VOITURE ITALIENNE DE GRAND LUXE
During the 1920s, references to motor sport are very apparent in all but a few specific posters. The object of desire was extolled only by confirming its technical virtues.
From the 1920s, information began to give way to communication. The advertising attempted to evoke situations and settings typical of the jet set.
It created an exclusive, high-class image designed to appeal to customers.
This style also persisted into the 1930s and during World War II but a different language began to make itself felt with the advent of fascism. The rhetoric of the empire, the dictatorship and the homeland radically influenced the advertising posters.
Despite a much more imposing and propagandist style, cleverly imbued with a futurist ethos, a pronounced sense of aesthetic and artistic value is also present.
Class, elegance and technical perfection: a gem in other words. This is how Alfa Romeo was defined in the 1930s.
Alfa Romeo became “the vehicle of dictatorship”, “the most famous sports car in the world”, “the Mille Miglia thunderbolt”. Engineering: a gem in other words. This is how Alfa Romeo was defined in the 1930s.
The 4-seater Alfa Romeo 6 c 2300 Mille Miglia combined speed and fast touring with a “blend of perfection and aristocracy”.
A new language began to become established with the arrival of fascism. The rhetoric of the empire, the dictatorship and the homeland radically influenced the advertising posters.
The advertising conveys the product's added value not so much to the customer as to a citizen of the empire.
In an atmosphere of pomp and propaganda, Alfa Romeo emerges as an industry of excellence.
Its products are symbols of homeland power but also of its breeding, its good looks and its industry.
The symbols and values of the empire are represented in fascist period posters: fasces lictoriae, the power of industry, soldiers at the front in North African landscapes, aeronautical feats and naval endeavour.
Just as in the aeronautical field, excellent motor boats were also powered by Alfa Romeo engines.
The Alfa Romeo brandname is almost automatically associated with car production but we cannot overlook the fact that for more than 50 years, Alfa Romeo was also one of the main manufacturers of passenger transport vehicles, buses and trolleybuses.
World War II came to an end at last and military aircraft, soldiers at the front and cars with camouflage livery disappeared from the posters.
It created an exclusive, high-class imagine designed to appeal to customers.
At the same time, people forgot the propagandistic tones and rhetoric of the empire and the dictatorship.
The first cars assembled were luxurious 6C 2500 cars, whose roots went back to the 1930s.
Post-war years were the age of optimism and reconstruction. For Alfa Romeo, this meant rebuilding a plant destroyed by bombing, resuming car production and saturating a production capacity that had grown out of all proportion during the wartime period.
In the 1950s motor racing was again the means of bringing Alfa to a mass market - and that applied to advertising as well.
158 cars were winning throughout the world and the posters reflected their triumphs.
The new Alfa Romeo spider 2000 combined the world of motorsport with elegance. Aesthetic value was also important: sketches, water-colours, photographs with special lighting or focus effects, are designed to be eye-catching.
Moving onto the Giulia, 'designed by the wind': the posters depicted a sophisticated saloon, an ultra-sporty Sprint and a Spider representing joie de vivre.
The Alfa Romeo truck chronology strikingly reveals that, after Fiat, Alfa was the most long-lived Italian manufacturer of industrial vehicles.
The topic of safety – active and passive – has been a concern from the early 1960s It is present in the poster for the Giulia, the car “designed by the wind”.
A poster designed to amaze, to amuse, to arouse curiosity, not from a purely design viewpoint but rather from the viewpoint of content.
Slogans that are witty and sometimes ironic, witticisms and sometimes even stories, played out in episodes over a series of posters. These range from subtle humour to more evident comic appeal.
The adverts no longer followed a single aesthetic style. Instead each advert or series of posters pursued its own path and appealed to a different audience.
Somewhat conventional images were associated with various degrees of humour with a descriptive text.
In 1967, the magnificent Alfa Romeo Coupè Montrèal was presented in the Italian pavilion at the universal exhibition in Montreal. The theme of the pavilion: "Human conquests". The final version was then presented at the 1970 Geneva motor show.
This was the time of a very fine set of posters for the French market on the "Alfa Virus”, describing all stages of the 'disease' that strikes down Alfa enthusiasts.
The “Alfa Virus”: embodying what it meant to be an Alfista. A disease that strikes at the heart and has no mercy.
The poster was the hymn of Alfisti throughout the world. Maybe some did not realise its symbolic value but in the end does it really matter?
“The Spider is Alfa Romeo. The Spider is moving through nature” or “Giulietta. It turns dads into heroes”: this was the fresh and light-hearted style of posters during the late 1970s.
A set of adverts was also published for the newly-created Alfasud, with comic-book graphics and language: “Alfasud, it's all yours Aunt Giulia”, “Before you fall in love, find out about her family”, reveal a carefree and naive approach.
The 33TT12 victory announcement in 1975 went beyond celebrating a brand that excels on the track. Instead, it simply reflects a way of being: winning.
The Alfa 6, a saloon car produced by Alfa Romeo at the Arese plant went on sale with the difficult task of competing with the great German BMW and Mercedes-Benz saloons.
“Alfa 6 the Italian alternative” was the claim.
An Alfa Romeo that takes on a more sporty image that is at the same time more seductive and sensual. The Alfa perfectly illustrates the idea of the “chevaux de feu”, the excellent advertising slogan taken from a Russian film produced in 1962 by the Armenian film director Serge Paradjanov.
In the 1980s, we find advertising posters that enhance the car's shapes and models, giving rise to advertising with a double meaning: an Alfa Romeo Spider seduces and conquers.