Enrico Mattei’s great faith in Italy and his confidence in the country’s energy and natural resources, first in its oil fields and then in its gas reserves, is a story many have heard. No less important, however, was his belief in the creative abilities of the Italian workforce.
Eni's founder wanted to use a competition for ideas, open to everyone in Italy and promoted in the magazine Domus, to design a logo. It was from this public appeal that the six-legged dog was born. Initially meant to represent only Agip’s Supercortemaggiore brand petrol, its popularity meant it went on to become the symbol of Eni itself.
The six-legged dog is the faithful friend of the four-wheeled man.
Launched in 1952, the competition focused on the advertising campaign for two key Agip products: Supercortemaggiore petrol and Agipgas natural gas. The winner would design two roadside billboards, two logos and a petrol pump.
The competition was open to everyone in Italy in a bid to convey a message of trust and openness to the whole population, and had a total prize pot of 10 million Lira, roughly equivalent to €160,000. Leading figures from the worlds of art and communications made up the jury, including painter Mario Sironi and Gio Ponti, one of Italy’s most famous architects.
The response was astonishing. More than 4,000 sketches were submitted and it took 14 meetings for the jury to decide the winner. Alongside the amateur illustrators and graphic artists who submitted entries were some big names in post-war Italian art and creativity including Armando Testa, Fortunato Depero and Marcello Nizzoli.
In September 1952 the committee chose Luigi Broggini, an important Italian sculptor who had lived in exile in Paris and Switzerland during the Fascist years, as the winner.
His six-legged dog was seen as a visual synthesis of the strength, energy and optimism that were driving Italy's economic miracle. Enrico Mattei himself was a big fan of the logo – and Italy took warmly to the symbol. The impossible six-legged animal called to mind the chimaera of ancient mythology and soon became familiar across the country.
Broggini submitted his design under the name of Giuseppe Guzzi, as he had something of an intellectual aversion to putting his name to a promotional or commercial product. Although the artist's true identity was known by some, it was only after Broggini's death in 1983 that his son officially confirmed it.
It did not take long during Italy’s boom years for the six-legged dog to become a symbol that announced two things to visitors to Italy: petrol stations and their accompanying quality cafés showcasing Italian ingredients.
As Eni grew, expanding beyond Italy into Africa and the Middle East, geologists, engineers, drillers and technicians moved with their families to Egypt, Iran, Libya and Tunisia. Wherever they went, the familiar six-legged dog flew above them every day on the flagpoles of platforms and oil fields, becoming a unifying symbol for Eni's men and women and their shared passion for overcoming challenges and making an Italian company a global player.
After Mattei’s death in 1962, Eni began a process of internal review, looking in particular at the way it presented itself both within Italy and to the world.
It was important to show that Eni was not just about fuel for cars, but that it was a major Italian business with a strong social and cultural sensibility and a mission to provide a wide range of services. Bob Noorda, the designer who oversaw two redesigns of the six-legged dog, in 1972 and again in 1998, summed it up saying: “The risk was that everything smelled of petrol.”
The desire for modernisation was so strong that the first redesign project initially involved creating an entirely new logo and coordinated group image. Studio Grafico Unimark and Noorda were entrusted with this task in 1972. But studying the logo and how it was perceived, the team realised that the dog was deeply rooted in the collective Italian imagination.
The plan to find a new image to replace the six-legged dog was abandoned and it was decided instead to standardise the existing image, choosing colours, shapes and backgrounds to make it easier to use the logo in advertising and ensure it was immediately recognisable.
All the companies in the Group adopted the new image immediately, strengthening their sense of unity of purpose. It was a unified corporate identity that at last crystallised Mattei's pioneering spirit in one image. Besides the dog, which was now shorter and framed by a yellow background, the name of the company appeared with a capital ‘E’. The shape of the logotype itself mimicked the shape of the six-legged dog and the red dot in the ‘i’' was like a flame, explained Noorda. The company logo was no longer an ordinary symbol, it was a proper name – a decision that would raise awareness of Eni’s overall corporate identity.
In 1992, the Italian government decided to privatise Eni, attracting the support and backing of both ordinary Italian savers and institutional investors who were betting on the strength and prospects of a company that was determined to make history in the global energy sector. Eni was listed on the Italian Borsa and the New York Stock Exchange in 1995 and went from being a national hydrocarbon company to an international corporation.
This change demanded a restyled image reflecting a rebirth as an agile, modern company in line with its new global position on the stock exchange. Noorda was called on once again to rethink the corporate image of the modern Eni Group.
The new graphic project was a process of progressive abstraction, based on simple elements that were also strong and evocative. The challenge was to bring together the different aspects of the Eni brand and show the unified character of the Group. The dog was removed from the yellow background with its black borders and rounded edges - very much associated with the petrol stations - and combined with the Eni logo within a perfect square. At the centre, a red horizontal line separated the dog and the Eni logotype. The dog was imperceptibly shortened to make it the same length of the Eni logotype and the word ‘Group’ was added, completing the transition to a corporate brand designed to encompass all the Group's activities.
Since 2010 the six-legged dog was once more restyled, based on the concept of ‘openness’. For Eni, the combination of the six-legged dog and the company name is the perfect symbol of what we see as our unwavering openness to new scenarios, adventures, and industrial and financial operations. The restyled brand became a synthesis of every one of the company's ‘vital organs’, from petrol, gas and electricity distribution to production fields and its listing on the stock exchange.
Today, the single name and logo reflects the goal of greater cohesion between the different sectors and a greater cultural standardisation. Above all, it has helped establish an even stronger company identity, born of an inspiring past and a great tradition. Today Eni's six-legged dog leaves the yellow square and jumps into a new corporate reality that communicates dynamism and tension towards the future, in a completely changing world of energy.
THIS WEBSITE (AND THE INFORMATION CONTAINED HEREIN) DOES NOT CONTAIN OR CONSTITUTE AN OFFER OF SECURITIES FOR SALE, OR SOLICITATION OF AN OFFER TO PURCHASE SECURITIES OR IS NOT FOR RELEASE, PUBLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION, DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, IN OR INTO THE UNITED STATES (INCLUDING ITS TERRITORIES AND POSSESSIONS, ANY STATE OF THE UNITED STATES AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA) OR FOR THE ACCOUNT OR BENEFIT OF ANY U.S. PERSON AS THAT TERM IS DEFINED IN THE SECURITIES ACT (A "U.S. PERSON"), AUSTRALIA, CANADA, JAPAN OR SOUTH AFRICA OR ANY OTHER JURISDICTION WHERE SUCH AN OFFER OR SOLICITATION WOULD REQUIRE THE APPROVAL OF LOCAL AUTHORITIES OR OTHERWISE BE UNLAWFUL (THE "OTHER COUNTRIES"). THE SECURITIES REFERRED TO HEREIN HAVE NOT BEEN AND WILL NOT BE REGISTERED UNDER THE U.S. SECURITIES ACT OF 1933, AS AMENDED (THE "SECURITIES ACT"), OR PURSUANT TO THE CORRESPONDING REGULATIONS IN FORCE IN AUSTRALIA, CANADA, JAPAN, SOUTH AFRICA OR THE “OTHER COUNTRIES” AND MAY NOT BE OFFERED OR SOLD IN THE UNITED STATES OR TO A U.S. PERSON UNLESS THE SECURITIES ARE REGISTERED UNDER THE SECURITIES ACT, OR AN EXEMPTION FROM THE REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS OF THE SECURITIES ACT IS AVAILABLE. NO PUBLIC OFFERING OF SUCH SECURITIES IS INTENDED TO BE MADE IN THE UNITED STATES, AUSTRALIA, CANADA, JAPAN OR IN THE “OTHER COUNTRIES.”
In any Member State of the European Economic Area ("EEA"), the information contained in this website is only directed at and may only be communicated to persons who are "qualified investors" ("Qualified Investors") within the meaning of Article 2(e) of Regulation (EU) 2017/1129 (the "Prospectus Regulation").
The information to which this website gives access is directed only at persons (i) who are persons falling within Article 49(2)(a) to (d) ("high net worth companies, unincorporated associations etc.") of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Financial Promotion) Order 2005 (the "Order") or (ii) who have professional experience in matters relating to investments falling within Article 19(5) of the Order or (iii) to whom it may otherwise lawfully be communicated (all such persons together being referred to as "relevant persons"). Any investment or investment activity to which this communication relates is only available to relevant persons and will be engaged in only with relevant persons, or in the EEA, with Qualified Investors. Any person who is not a relevant person, a Qualified Investor or otherwise permitted under applicable law or regulation to access the information, should not act or rely on the information contained herein.
Confirmation of Understanding and Acceptance of Disclaimer
These materials are for informational purposes only and are not directed to, nor are they intended for, access by persons located or resident in the United States, Australia, Canada, Japan or South Africa or any of the Other Countries. I certify that:
I am not resident of, or located in, the United States, Australia, Canada, Japan or South Africa or any of the Other Countries or I am not a U.S. Person; or
If I am a resident of, or located in, the EEA, I am a Qualified Investor within the meaning of Article 2(e) of the Prospectus Regulation; or
If I am a resident of, or located in, the United Kingdom, I am a Qualified Investor and a relevant person.
I have read and understood the disclaimer set out above. I understand that it may affect my rights. I agree to be bound by its terms and I am permitted under applicable law and regulations to proceed to the following parts of this website.
WARNING: the above certification constitutes a "self-certification" pursuant to Decree of the President of the Italian Republic No. 445 of 28 December 2000. False certifications are punishable by law.
You must read the following information before continuing.
The information contained in this segment of the website is not intended for, and must not be accessed or distributed or disseminated to persons resident or physically present in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Japan or any other jurisdiction in which it is unlawful to do so. The information also is not intended for, and must not be accessed or distributed or disseminated to persons resident or physically present in Italy who are not “qualified investors” (investitori qualificati), as defined in Article 2, letter e) of Regulation (EU) 2017/1129 (the “Prospectus Regulation”) pursuant to Article 1, fourth paragraph, letter a) of the Prospectus Regulation as implemented in Italy by Article 35, paragraph 1, letter d) of CONSOB regulation No. 20307 of February 15, 2018.
By clicking the button below labeled “I agree”, you are certifying that (A) if you are in the European Economic Area, you are a “Qualified Investor”; (B) you are not accessing this portion of the website from the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada or Japan; (C) if you are a resident or physically present in Italy, you are a qualified investor as defined under the Prospectus Regulation as implemented in Italy by Article 35, paragraph 1, letter d) of CONSOB regulation No. 20307 of February 15, 2018; and (D) you are not located in a jurisdiction where it is unlawful to access this portion of the website.
You acknowledge that the information and statements contained in the document you are accessing on this website speak only as of the date of such document (or such other date(s) specified therein), and such information and statements may become inaccurate, stale and/or out-of-date thereafter and should not be relied upon for any investment decision.
You acknowledge that the materials on this website that you are accessing are confidential and intended only for you and you agree you will not forward, reproduce, copy, download or publish any of such materials (electronically or otherwise) to any other person if this is not in accordance with the law.
You acknowledge that the access to information and documents contained on this portion of the website may be illegal in certain jurisdictions, and only certain categories of persons may be authorized to access this portion of the website. If you are not authorized to access the information and document contained on this portion of the website or you are not sure that you are permitted to view these materials, you should leave this portion of the website.
You acknowledge that no registration or approval has been obtained and Eni Gas e Luce S.p.A. società benefit and its affiliates assume no responsibility if there is a violation of applicable law and regulation by any person.
By clicking the button below labeled “I agree”, you are confirming that you have read and understood the disclaimer above.
If you cannot so confirm, you must exit this portion of the website