Marcello Nizzoli was born in January 1895 in Boretto, Reggio Emilia. He studied in the Art Academy at Parma and in 1911 he played a part in the decoration of the Boretto Town Hall. In 1913 Nizzoli gained his diploma in ornamentation, design and architecture. He was also active as a painter and designer of materials and embroideries. Together with the architect Giuseppe Mancini he worked on the theatre at Parma. His work at this time was predominantly influenced by the Viennese secessionists.
In the photo: G. Mario Oliveri and Marcello Nizzoli in front of the ENI offices in San Donato
In 1914 Nizzoli moved to Milan where he joined the Nuove Tendenze movement and exhibited some abstract embroideries at their first (and only) exhibition. He also exhibited a couple of paintings that were very influenced by Futurist principles. He officially joined the Futurists in 1914.
By 1919 he was moving towards graphic design and typographic work and this same year he began a studio producing designs for fabrics and tapestries. By 1922 some of these were being displayed in the Vinciana gallery in Milan. He worked for the silk embroidery studios of Carlo Piatti in Como, where he sketched ornamental designs for fabrics and scarves as well as preparing materials for exhibitions of decorative art. In 1923 he took part in the first Biennale of International Decorative Arts at Monza.
In 1927 he was working as a commercial advertising artist as well as a textile designer. He also designed scenery and sets for the Theatre in Erba with Luciano Baldessari.
In the 1930's he became associated with the modernist architect Giuseppe Terragni and the "Gruppo 7" although he did resume his Futuristic parole in libertà graphic-visualisations.
After the war Nizzoli worked as an industrial designer, mainly for Olivetti. With his design input for the sewing machine Mirella for the Necchi company, he won the Golden Compasses Prize for Design in 1954 and 1957 (and even today a Mirella machine is displayed in the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, New York).
Marcello Nizzoli died in Nervi in 1969.