Emiliano Ponzi paints a visionary history of Venice

If you're doing Dry January, then look away now. Why? Well, Italian illustrator Emiliano Ponzi has done some classy illustrations for a drink brand which might make you sentimental for a glass or two.

The award-winning artist has worked with SELECT Aperitivo to tell the story of Venice and the drink over the decades. Emiliano's work retraces the history of the brand and its deep bond with the Italian city through eleven tables that tell a Venetian decade, having as its protagonist the iconic ruby red aperitif – a historic emblem of the city's lifestyle.

"It's a long and glorious history that starts in the 1920s," Emiliano tells us. "We began telling this story by finding important events that happened in Venice from the 1920s to 2020. All the illustrations are built to highlight the close and ancient connection between Aperitivo and Venice's people. Particularly as it's not just a drink but contains important values rooted in Italian history: sharing important moments, the pleasure of conviviality, and laughing and drinking after a long day of work."

"In every illustration, we hid the decade in question. For example, in one, celebrating the reopening of the Venice Arts Biennale after the Second World War, people can see '1940' type-drawn inside a painting two visitors are looking at."

Emiliano's work has appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, the Washington Post, and many more over the years. He is internationally renowned for his bold, textured designs, and has won awards including the Young Guns Award and the Gold Cube from the Art Directors Club of New York.

"I prefer to call my style a language, as 'style' to me seems like a rigid item," he says. "My language is something that can be adjusted; in every new project, I study the best way to communicate with my reference audience to create a custom visual product that can be understood and appreciated. I always try to push towards a more artistic vision, where brands are part of the image but not too predominantly."

"Inspiration is a form of curiosity for what we still have to learn. I'm inspired and happy when I discover something new I want to learn, and I can practice with it on a job."