Marcello Minale

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Marcello Minale (December 15, 1938 – December 30, 2000) was a world-renowned Italian designer, writer and a former international oarsman.[1]

Early life[edit]

Marcello Minale was born into an Italian naval family in Tripoli in 1938, the son of a colonial administrator and former naval captain who became a local city mayor in Aziziya, Libya.

Education and formative influences[edit]

After studying art and architecture at the Technical Institute of Naples, Minale won his first assignments for an architectural magazine in Milan and for a Scandinavian company in charge of interior design and graphic design in Rome.

Minale worked briefly for the Young & Rubicam advertising agency in Rome before moving to Finland in 1961 to be part of the golden age of Scandinavian design working firstly as a designer for Taucker and then as Art director for Mackkinointi Uiherjuuri – both Finnish advertising agencies.

It was at the Industrial Design School in Helsinki where Minale was introduced to Scandinavian Modernism – amongst his seminal influences were the Finnish designers Tapio Wirkkala and Alvar Aalto whose style was a world away from the Baroque Italian household in which he had grown up.


In 1962, Minale came to Britain to work as a designer in London, again for Young & Rubicam and met his future partner Brian Tattersfield.

Two years later, the duo formed Minale Tattersfield during a period that coincided with a new generation of young London design firms including Wolff Olins and Fletcher/Forbes/Gill.[2] These fledgling firms[3] were jettisoning the old commercial-artist tradition in favour of a more simple and pared-down style of visual communication much influenced by Bill Bernbach in New York.

Minale made sure his fledgling design firm got noticed. The firm even introduced its own corporate logo – the "Scribble", a loose, free-form, pencil-drawn counterblast to the formal graphic conventions of the time. With Tattersfield the quieter foil to Minale's exuberant frontman, the partnership swiftly prospered. Its client list grew to include: Thames TV,[4] Kodak, London Transport, British Airports Authority, Nestle, Harrods, NatWest, Armani, Premier League, Eurostar, Imperial War Museum, International Cricket Council, Sydney Olympics and many more.

Design establishment contribution[edit]

Minale contributed widely to the British design community, helping to launch and fund Blueprint,[5] and over the years became a mentor to many young designers. A favorite phrase of his was “keep moving”, and his energy, thoughtfulness and generosity of spirit inspired many who worked with him. Minale was President of D&AD[6] between 1981–2 and a Fellow of the Chartered Society of Designers.

Minale also contributed to the design establishment as an author and was published a variety of books on visual identity, branding and the business of design including the only design-led book[7] looking at the modern service station. He also devoted time and energy to writing and to illustrating four children's books.

In his obituary[8][9] Marcello Minale was described by Jeremy Myerson[10] in The Independent as 'one of British commercial design's most colourful and original practitioners' and 'a man of wide interests whose flair and expertise put him at the forefront of British design for three decades.'[11]


Minale Tattersfield has received more than 300 international awards for design creativity and design effectiveness. They include: 13 Silver awards from the D&AD – the prestigious President's Award for outstanding contribution to British Design, and 3 Gold awards from Art Directors Club of New York. In 2012 Minale was named eighth most awarded designer of the last five decades by the D&AD with a posthumous Lifetime Achievement: Designer Award.

Personal life[edit]

Away from design, Minale's two great passions were his family and his rowing:

  • Minale was twice married: first in 1963 (source: (dissolved 1974), to Ebba Oljemark, with whom he had a son, Marcello; and second in 1975, to Roberta Broadbridge, with whom he had two sons Manlio, a brand consultant and Massimo, who is studying architecture at Cambridge.
  • An international medal winner in rowing at the 1956 European Championships,[12] Minale’s love of the sport remained firm, becoming the chairman and President of the Tideway Scullers School between 1995–2000.

Published works[edit]

Design books[edit]

  • How to design a successful petrol station, Booth-Clibborn Editions, 2000 (ISBN 978-1861541352)
  • How to Keep on Running a Successful Design Company, Booth Clibborn Editions, 1999 (ISBN 978-1861541307)
  • All Together Now, (ISBN 1861540671) Booth-Clibborn Editions, 1998
  • How to Run & Run a Successful Multidisciplinary Design Company, Internos Books, 1996 (ISBN 978-1873968796)
  • The Leader of the Pack, Elfande, 1993 (ISBN 1 870458 50 8)
  • Minale Tattersfield Creative Unit, 1965 (ASIN: B001P534KC)
  • The Image Maker: Biography of Minale Tattersfield, Booth-Clibborn Editions, 1995 (ISBN 978-1873968536)
  • Design: The World of Minale Tattersfield, Booth Clibborn Editions, 1990 (ISBN 0904866777)
  • The Best of British Corporate Design, Booth Clibborn Editions, (ISBN 978-0904866681), 1989
  • Best of British Packaging, Booth Clibborn Editions, 1988
  • Design a la Minale Tattersfield, Booth Clibborn Editions, 1986/7

Children's books[edit]

Design work[edit]

Furniture, industrial and interior design[edit]


  1. ^ "UK rower charged over killing". BBC News. January 2, 2001.
  2. ^ Alan Fletcher Alan Fletcher, Colin Forbes Colin Forbes, Bob Gill Bob Gill
  3. ^ Communicate: Independent British Graphic Design since the Sixties
  4. ^ See: The Thames Logo Parade
  5. ^
  6. ^ Formerly known as the British Design & Art Direction, London)
  7. ^
  8. ^ "UK rower charged over killing". BBC. January 2, 2001. Retrieved June 25, 2012.
  9. ^ de Quetteville, Harry; Sally Pook; Thomas Penny; David Graves (January 2, 2001). "Rowing coach stabbed to death". The Telegraph. London. Retrieved June 25, 2012.
  10. ^
  11. ^ Myerson, Jeremy (January 5, 2001). "Obituary: Marcello Minale". The Independent. London. Highbeam. Archived from the original on January 25, 2013.
  12. ^ Later to become the World Championships

External links[edit]

  • Minale Tattersfield's official website [18]
  • Logo Designers – Marcello Minale [19]
  • In 1988, Michael Bryce joined with design consultants Marcello Minale and Brian Tattersfield in London to form Minale Tattersfield Bryce and Partners becoming an international partner of the Minale Tattersfield Design Strategy Group working across corporate identity, branding and urban design. [PDF: 105KB] [20]
  • IDEA NO.78 : Five Young Designers [21]
  • The Best Designs Never Seen, RED, The Design Council, September 16, 2005 [22]