The Campari Posters



The Campari Posters

With a recipe that has remained unchanged since 1860, Campari is a bright red bitter aperitif made from bitter herbs, aromatic plants and fruit.

In 1860, in a small village in northern Italy, Gaspare Campari (1828-1882) developed a recipe for a bright red bitter aperitif made from the infusion of bitter herbs, aromatic plants and fruit, which he named after himself. He then moved to Milan and in 1867 opened the "Caffe Campari" in the centre of the famous Vittorio Emmanuel Gallery.

On 7 January 1889, the first advertisement for Campari was published in "Il Corriere della Sera" and the following year G. Mora produced the first poster for the brand. The poster shows a scene of a city in motion during the Belle Epoque.

Gaspare Campari's son, Davide (1867-1936), pursued a more dynamic approach: he built the first Campari factory in 1892 in Milan and invented the aperitif in individual bottles. In order to spread the brand throughout Europe, he called on the greatest poster artists of the time.


1901 – Adolfo HOHENSTEIN


Since the beginning of the 20th century, many avant-garde artists have illustrated Campari's advertising campaigns.

Below we present the most famous Campari posters, some of which have become extremely rare.

Cordial Campari

1913 – Marcello DUDOVICH


Many of these posters are unfortunately no longer available. In order to enrich this history, we have used photos from our own archives, as well as documents from two Italian museums. Special thanks go to Maurizio Scuderio, curator of the "Archivio Depero", for his valuable information on Fortunato Depero and for making documents available, and to the "Collezione Salce" of the "Museo Nazionale di Treviso".

The Gallery 1 2 3 acquired its first Campari posters in 1984 from the collection of Ettore Sobrero of Milan, a friend and disciple of the great collector Fernando Salce: the "Bitter Campari" poster (1921) by Cappiello with the "jester" surrounded by an orange peel, the red "Cordial Liquor Campari" poster (1926) by Nizzoli and the sublime "Cordial Campari" poster (1913) by Dudovich.

Drink responsibly.

Cappiello's Campari Posters

Around 1910, Leonetto Cappiello (1875-1942) produced a series of posters for Campari, the very first of which already featured a burlesque character.

Bitter Campari

1910 circa – Leonetto CAPPIELLO

Edited by the "Maga" Studio

Cordial Campari, Milano

1928 circa – Leonetto CAPPIELLO, MAGA


Giuseppe Magagnoli founded his company "MAGA" in Bologna in 1920, which quickly became the largest pre-war Italian advertising agency. He worked closely with great artists such as Mario and Severo Pozzati (Sepo), Achille Mauzan and Marcello Nizzoli.

His most striking poster for Campari is a "jester" who springs from an orange to capture attention. The bright colours on a black background contribute to its high visibility in the urban landscape.

The famous "jester" designed in 1921 by Leonetto Cappiello for Bitter Campari was printed in different sizes in the 1920s. Initially designed for the rival brand Picon, which did not wish to use it, the poster was then offered to Campari.

Imagine this 2-metre high large format on a street corner... It would not go unnoticed!

Cappiello at the top of his art!

A masterpiece superbly printed in stone lithography by Devambez Paris-Torino, on 2 sheets, in 140x200 cm.

Campari, Bitter Campari, the large Orange Peel (Jester)

1921 – Leonetto CAPPIELLO

CHF 14900.–

This poster was so successful that Campari had it printed several times during the twenties in different sizes: 50x70, 70x100, 140x200, and even 200x280 cm on 4 sheets!

Campari. Bitter Campari, the medium Orange Peel (Jester)

1921 – Leonetto CAPPIELLO

Lithographs 70x100 cm

< Edition signed "Cappiello"
with dark green title.

Edition signed
"Cappiello 921"
with light green title. >

Campari. Bitter Campari 1921, Orange peel

1921 – Leonetto CAPPIELLO


Cappiello's approach is based on visual surprise: the poster must "jump" to the eye and attract the passers-by. The simplicity of the brightly coloured images on a plain, often dark, background creates an aesthetic shock to convey a message reduced to the essential.

Bitter Campari

1921 – Leonetto CAPPIELLO

CHF 5830.–


< Magnificent 70x100 cm print on luxury paper, varnished at the time and in vibrant colours.

small size 50x70 cm >

Campari. Bitter Campari, the small orange peel (Jester)

1921 – Leonetto CAPPIELLO


Travellers lost in the mountains, you will be saved by this Saint Bernard!

Campari Cordial liquor

1923 – Leonetto CAPPIELLO

CHF 1820.–

In this poster from the 1920s, Cappiello uses the Swiss dog proudly carrying the barrel, an accessory that is inseparable from the Saint Bernard's rescue of people lost in the mountains. The barrel is no longer filled with eau de vie but with Cordial Campari, a raspberry-based liqueur! A fine example of the artist's "illustrative creativity".

< 50x70 cm edition

This poster was also printed in 70x100 cm and 200x280cm.

In 1925, Cappiello produced this poster for Campari's Red and White Bitter. Two identical figures, one dressed in red like the "jester" in the 1921 poster, the other entirely in white, each present a bottle of Campari, one red and the other white, both pointing to the Campari brand.

200x275 cm >


1925 – Leonetto CAPPIELLO


Cordial Campari


CHF 475.–

Poster composed of text only, which often accompanied the small formats of the dog and the "jester".

Nizzoli and the Campari Posters

Marcello Nizzoli's two futuristic masterpieces.

From 1923 onwards, Marcello Nizzoli (1887-1969) collaborated with major companies in Milan to create posters, including Campari.

Posters in large format 140x200 cm, printed on 2 sheets.

Campari, l'aperitivo

1926 – Marcello NIZZOLI

CHF 8800.–

< Drawing on the formal achievements of Futurism, Nizzoli transgresses the rules of perspective and creates a dynamic between the immobility of the bottle and the jet of sparkling water that gushes from the siphon.

A plunging perspective invites us to taste a Cordial Campari in a welcoming and elegant atmosphere. >

Campari, Cordial liquor

1926 – Marcello NIZZOLI

CHF 8200.–

Cordial Campari

1926 – Marcello NIZZOLI


Two more formats also exist:

< 70x100 cm

100x140 cm >

Campari, l'apéritif

1926 – Marcello NIZZOLI

Fortunato Depero and Campari

A member of the Italian Futurist movement, Fortunato Depero (1892-1960) was invited in 1924 by Davide Campari to work on the image of his company.


Directly inspired by Futurism, Depero creates avant-garde works, characters and geometrical objects in the spirit of Cubism. In his paintings and graphic works, he combines Cubist-style compositions with totally innovative typography in the spirit of Dadaism.

Maquette Campari

1927 – Fortunato DEPERO

For Campari, he created numerous models, catalogues, advertisements, a bottle, sculptures and exhibition stands.

Advertising artworks.
(Collection Archivio Depero)

Maquette Davide Campari & Co, Milano, Cordial

1926 circa – Fortunato DEPERO

While Depero designs a large number of layouts, advertisements and illustrations for Campari, strangely enough, to our knowledge, only two projects have been printed as posters.

Maurizio Scuderio, Curator of the "Archivio Depero" gives us the explanation of this mystery through the testimony of Luciano Amadori, now 90 years old, who had worked with his uncle Depero:

"Davide Campari feared that his friend Depero's designs were too avant-garde to be printed as large posters on the streets and that they would not be understood by the public. He loved his work and considered his black and white drawings perfect for newspaper advertisements."

This is certainly the reason why Fortunato Depero's posters are so rare today. We have found traces of only two posters:


L'aperitivo Bitter Campari

1928 circa – Fortunato DEPERO

Artwork, gouache, 1927 >
(Collezione Archivio Depero)

According to the testimony of Mr Passerini, former curator of the Campari collection:
"This project was printed in 1928, as a poster and in small format for trams, distributed only in the Milan and Turin area."
(Testimony collected in the eighties by Maurizio Scuderio, curator of the Archivio Depero).

To date, we have not found any images of these various prints from 1928. We do not know if this poster was ever printed in these bright colours.

Maquette Bitter Campari

1927 – Fortunato DEPERO

Bitter Campari, L'Aperitivo, Davide Campari & C, Milano

1965 circa – Fortunato DEPERO


According to the Mr. Passerini testimony, in the 1960s, the company published a tribute to this great Futurist, printed by "Officine Grafiche Leopoldo Baroni, Milano" in 70x100 cm size.


Fortunato Depero published a compilation of his work for Campari in a catalogue entitled "Numero unico futurista Campari 1931". A manifesto of Futurism in which he contests an idealistic vision of Art, pure, spiritual and disinterested. For him, in accordance with the principles of Futurism, Art is utilitarian and ideologised. Not only advertising art, but also painting.

Bitter Campari

1926 – Fortunato DEPERO

Thus his famous work exhibited at the 15th Venice Art Biennale in 1926 "Squiso al selz" ("Exquisite with seltzer water"), dedicated to the "Commendatore Campari", which is constructed like a large advertising poster, is in fact an oil painting!

Its description "Advertising painting, not poster" makes this vision of Art clear.

(Photograph provided by the Archivio Depero.)


The often-quoted "gigantic Campari poster" seen in this 1926 photograph is not, in fact, a poster. It is clearly a mural advertisement painted directly on a Parisian wall.

(Photograph provided by Archivio Depero.)

"Campari, l'apéritif" street advertisement in Paris

1926 circa – Fortunato DEPERO

To date, we have identified only two posters designed by Fortunato Depero for Campari.

The Campari Soda bottle


Maquette Campari Soda bottle

None – Fortunato DEPERO

In 1932, Fortunato Depero designed the beautiful triangle-shaped bottle that would become the Campari Soda bottle. In designing this bottle, he was inspired by the shape of an upside-down bitter glass.

Campari Soda, Dosé par Campari

1950 circa – ANONYMOUS

CHF 870.–

The similarity of the triangular shape between the glass and the bottle is clearly illustrated on these posters by Mingozzi and Michels.

Campari Soda

1950 – Giovanni MINGOZZI

CHF 990.–

< 70x100 cm

90x128 cm >

Campari Soda

1979 – Sergio MICHELS, PERRET

CHF 560.–

Recently, Campari issued a limited edition of three "collector" bottles in memory of Depero, with labels that reproduce his projects.

Corre con Franz Marangolo

"Campari Soda runs on time, for your thirst!"

Franz Marangolo (1912-1995) created several funny and elegant advertisement for Campari in the 1950s and 1960s.

Campari Soda, Corre col tempo, per la vostra sete

1960 circa – Franz MARANGOLO


< 100x140 cm

140x200 cm >

Campari Soda, Corre col tempo, per la vostra sete

1960 circa – Franz MARANGOLO

CHF 2350.–

The Campari posters by Carlo Fisanotti

Campari, dopo la terra... gli astri

Campari, dopo la terra... gli astri

1958 circa – Nino NANNI


"After the earth... the stars."

A poster for the Campari aperitif printed on 2 sheets, shortly after the launch of the first Sputnik.

The Campari posters for the Swiss market



After Hohenstein, Dudovich, Cappiello, Nizzoli and Depero, Campari keeps hiring the greatest graphic designers to renew the brand's image.


1980 – Bernard VILLEMOT


The feminine glamour by Bernard Villemot.

The poster by Ugo Nespolo for Campari

Campari Soda Si

1990 – Ugo NESPOLO

CHF 980.–

As Campari is an Italian brand, a nod to football was in order in this poster by the pop artist Ugo Nespolo.

Campari by Milton Glaser

Campari, Milton Glaser per Campari

1992 – Milton GLASER

CHF 650.–

The American Milton Glaser, a protagonist of the counterculture of the 1960s and 1970s, also contributed to the love affair between Campari and modern artists with these two "table settings" in Pop Art colours.

Campari, Milton Glaser per Campari

1992 – Milton GLASER

CHF 650.–

Red Passion, Campari

Cendrier Campari

1965 circa – ANONYMOUS


"Red Passion": the brand's modern slogan.

Red like this beautiful ashtray with its 1960s design.

Red is also the dominant colour of the famous Campari calendars produced in the 2000s with photographs by, among others, Mario Testino (2006), Marino Parisotto (2007) and Jean-Paul Goude (2009).


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