The three wise monkeys and the Serie gialla

Serie Gialla Garzanti
The “Serie Gialla” by Garzanti Editore.

What is the meaning of the three wise monkeys pictorial? And what does it have to do with a series of mystery books from the 1950s?

This charming pictogram was impressed on the hardcovers of the famous “Serie gialla” mistery book series published in Italy in the 1950s and ’60s by Garzanti publisher.

273 titles, mainly by US authors, were published between 1953 and 1964 in the “Serie gialla”.

But it’s hard to say what the graphic designer had in mind when he decided to feature the three mystic apes on the covers of the “Serie gialla”.

Did he refer to the unbecoming habit of turning a blind eye to morally unacceptable behavior?

Or did he hint at the organized crime’s ‘code of silence’?

Or, more appropriately, did he allude to the Buddhist proverbial principle “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” which means that we must keep bad thoughts from taking over our minds?

You be the judge! And, most importantly, you decide what’s the meaning when you wear this beautiful tee adorned with the three wise monkeys pictorial.

Click to see the Serie Gialla Three Mystic Apes t-shirt for men → and for ladies → 

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