In May 1952 Eni launched a national design competition offering prize money of 10 million lire. Designers from all over Italy were asked to come up with two billboard posters, two logos and a design for a petrol pump. This would serve to launch the AGIP Supercortemaggiore petrol and Agipgas natural gas.
The jury (with people from the world of arts and media) was inundated with entries. More than 4000 entries were received within a week. It took the jury no fewer than 14 sessions to pick the winner. The winning logo was unveiled in September 1952: a six-legged dog, a graphic depiction of strength, energy and optimism.
The logo was embraced en masse by the Italians as soon as it was launched. It was immediately clear that an iconic logo had been born. Soon after that it was decided to use the logo for all Eni's activities. Rumour has it that the designer was sculptor Luigi Broggini, although he never officially claimed the design. It wasn't until after his death in 1983 – a good 31 years later – that his son confirmed the rumours.
At the beginning of the 1970s, Eni's activities were globalised to such an extent that a study was launched to find out whether a new logo was needed. The conclusion was once again that the dog with the six legs is deeply rooted in the consciousness of Italians. It was decided to have a restyle done by the Dutch graphic designer Bob Noorda. "We wanted to show that Eni had by now become much more than a fuel producer," says Bob Noorda, who also led the second restyle in 1992.
The most recent modernisation took take place in 2010. The dog with the six legs is now the template for Eni's various new activities. Combined with an adapted font, the design exudes openness and innovation. This dovetails perfectly with the expansion of the core activities: as well as the extraction and distribution of petrol, gas and electricity, Eni is also developing initiatives in the field of solar energy and bio-refinery.
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