Looks like a wasp

Vespa is an Italian brand of scooter manufactured by Piaggio

The name means wasp in Italian. The Vespa has evolved from a single model motor scooter to a full line of scooters.

From their inception, Vespa scooters have been known for their painted, pressed steel unibody which combines, in a unified structural unit, a complete cowling for the engine (enclosing the engine mechanism and concealing dirt or grease), a flat floorboard providing foot protection, and a front fairing.

In 1944, Piaggio engineers Renzo Spolti and Vittorio Casini designed a motorcycle with bodywork fully enclosing the drivetrain and forming a tall splash guard at the front. In addition to the bodywork, the design included handlebar-mounted controls, forced air cooling, wheels of small diameter, and a tall central section that had to be straddled.

Officially known as the MP5, the prototype was nicknamed “Paperino” (either “duckling” or “Donald Duck” in Italian.)

Piaggio was displeased with the MP5 and contracted aeronautical engineer Corradino D’Ascanio, to redesign the scooter. Upon seeing the MP6 for the first time, Enrico Piaggio exclaimed: “It looks like a wasp!”

Inspired by Saul Bass

In a career which spanned over 40 years, Saul Bass not only designed some of America’s most iconic logos, but also designed title sequences and film posters for some of Hollywood’s best filmmakers, including Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, and Martin Scorsese. For Hitchcock, Bass created innovative title sequences for films including North by Northwest, Psycho, and Vertigo. The opening sequence of Mad Men—one of my favourite TV shows—pays homage to Bass who died in 1996 aged 75.

“I want everything we do to be beautiful. I don’t give a damn whether the client understands that that’s worth anything, or that the client thinks it’s worth anything, or whether it is worth anything. It’s worth it to me. It’s the way I want to live my life. I want to make beautiful things, even if nobody cares.”

—Saul Bass
Inspiration for my design
Inspiration for my design

About Saul Bass

Born in New York in 1920, Saul Bass was an American graphic designer and filmmaker, best-known for his corporate logos, film posters, and title sequences. Bass worked with some of Hollywood’s best filmmakers, including Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, and Martin Scorsese.

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