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IL summer issue
Magazine of the week

IL summer issue

IL, the monthly supplement to the Italian newspaper Sole 24 ORE, is a difficult magazine to track down outside its home country so it was exciting to open a parcel at magCulture HQ recently and have a bundle of recent issues spill out.

The magazine is best-known for its extraordinary infographics and the typographic wizardry of the ‘Rane’ section at the back of each issue; art director Francesco Franchi has been at the forefront of the growing interest in infographics, and leading the small IL design team has set a new benchmark in newspaper magazines (you can see a selection of the black and white, gothic ‘Rane’ designs on designer Francesco Mutti’s flickr site).

The current edition of the magazine is a summer special; from the front cover onward it is very different to the regular issues. The cover (above) has an artfully bleached-out image announcing ‘summer of me’; it cleverly captures the analogue burnout of overexposed beach photography, an effect repeated for the opening page of the summer fiction section (below) inside the issue.

IMG_1782Franchi and his team have a wonderfully confident way with type, as shown in the headlines across these images. Tilting each individual character like this is something almost every designer has played with at some point; few see it through to the printed finish.

IMG_1783The design team clearly have fun with all elements of the magazine, but for this issue they seem to have been allowed to take everything a little further than usual.

IMG_1785The tilted headlines feature regularly, with typography blending strongly with the photography and illustration. This book review applies the bleached photographic colours to the book cover reproductions (above).

IMG_1792This section opener (the regular ‘You Only Live Once’) is a parody of a celebrity magazine page, a messed up collage of cut-out figures.

IMG_1787A summer festival guide overlays blob-shaped images over more over-exposed beach scenes (above).

The overall effect is wonderful; any issue of IL is worth a look but this is a particularly special one. The pages are full of character, each one busy and complicated, yet none of the elements feel gratuitious or unneccesary. A very special edition of a great magazine.

Editor: Christian Rocca
Art director: Francesco Franchi
Designers: Micaela Bonetti and Madda Paternoster
Photo editor: Raffaele Vertaldi

ilsole24ore.com/cultura/il-magazine.shtml

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