Interview to Fabi – Ceo of Pininfarina Segno


Codex was born in 2016 from the cooperation with Pininfarina and with the Product Design department of IED in Turin

Our strive for innovation always brings us towards the young: we believe that, inside young heads, ideas still exist that have not yet been influenced by market stereotypes.

I told the students of IED about our project and I threw down the challenge of conceiving an innovative and revolutionary item, a writing tool, a lamp…

Claudia Gentili perfectly read into the theme and presented Codex. Further to the neat and beautiful design, it strikes me that it represents the greatest mystery about Leonardo for all those who read Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code and watched the movie. 

For this project in particular, I must give credit to Luca Montini of Mecom that, further to being one of our main suppliers, is today also a dear friend. I remember telling Luca about this project at IED ,which was extremely hard to realize, and Luca replied: “Don’t worry, I want to do it”. 

He was of great support and did the 3D engineering, finding the best technical solutions in order to encounter as little trouble as possible during the production phase.

Raffaello Minelli was fundamental too, a great businessman and an innovating craftsman. He faced the project head on and, a very short time after, he was able to optimize every single piece in wood. 

After only 6/7 months we were incredibly able to present our Codex to the Club del Design, during a press conference with Pininfarina, and we went on improving it until today’s official presentation.

Codex is an item destined to leave its mark. It contains more than an object: it encloses all of the values Italian craftsmanship represents in the world. 


Codex is an icon which can leave its mark over time, an icon that may stay on a desktop for years and represent creative uniqueness. 

It contains Cambiano, our must-have, an item difficult to replace despite all of the other wonderful items we created over time; Cambiano is the company’s true icon.

Codex contains one Cambiano, but it also contains passion, know-how and the Italian craftsmanship’s expertise. It also represents the great trust, the hub, it is the result obtained by companies that, trusting in each other, give it a try and create to innovate.

Moreover, Codex was born in 2019, the year dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci, the 500th anniversary of his death. We slowed down Codex’ launch on purpose, to express all of its power in Leonardo’s year and, even before it saw the light, we had plenty of requests for it.


Their ability to see beyond the business, the passion for their job, the history of a family who has been doing this job for years and hands it down from father to son. 

I call both Minelli and Montini artisans, because the artisan is a figure I really love, although they really are important technological companies.

We did not realize Codex using hammer and chisel, we obtained it by taking advantage of great technologies, especially 3D engineering. This is the technological evolution of craftsmanship, it’s being the artisan at heart, but the innovator in the company.

An object conceived to preserve treasures becomes a jewel itself.
Produced in a limited edition of 500 numbered pieces

Turin, 01 April 2019 – A coffer able to enclose an object, preserving it as a precious treasure; a product that enriches a design desk, giving it an elegant and mysterious character. Codex is a Pininfarina Segno creation, inspired by the genius of Leonardo Da Vinci and dedicated to those who love history, a tale made up of enigmas, quotes and, at the same time, artisan mastery and design. Produced in a limited edition of 500 numbered pieces.

 The Codex structure combines the purity of aluminum with the essentiality of solid walnut wood, forming a cylinder which inside can be accessed exclusively by aligning the letters in the right sequence, composing the secret code that seals the content. At the center of the cylinder, an empty space conceals a Pininfarina Segno stylus, as well as valuable information, or small personal objects, making Codex a true design secret, refined and elegant.

The Codex project takes inspiration from the “Cryptex”, invented by Dan Brown in his bestseller “The Da Vinci Code” and attributed by the writer to Leonardo da Vinci. A suggestive and fascinating idea, that Pininfarina Segno dedicates to all the fans of the “Da Vinci Code” and to all those who like to think that the creation of Cryptex is really born from the genius of Leonardo, re-living a little of the mystery evoked by the novel.

The idea is the result of a project that has seen the students of the European Institute of Design (IED) of Turin challenge themselves with the design of an original object for an author’s desk, which respects the values of innovation, attention to style and quality craftsmanship that Pininfarina Segno represents. The proposal presented by Claudia Gentili, at the time a young student enrolled on the course in Product Design, was the one who best knew how to respond to requests with technique and genius, thus giving life to the prototyping and subsequent production of Codex.

As stated by Paolo Pininfarina, President of the Group, “when design meets innovation, extraordinary projects are born. Thanks to the collaboration with the IED and to the creativity of the students we have given shape to a new chapter in this exceptional story”.

Davide Fabi, CEO of Signature, the company responsible for the Pininfarina Segno project, underlines the brand’s vocation for enhancing the creativity of young talents “the collaboration with institutes of excellence such as the IED represents the lifeblood: for us, the ideas and projects of the tomorrow’s designers are, already today, important stimuli, ideas to work on”.

Limited Edition of 500 pieces
Price: € 600
In pre-sale at