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Meet… Francesco Franchi & Christian Rocca, 12.05.15
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Meet… Francesco Franchi & Christian Rocca, 12.05.15

At our latest magCulture Meets night last Thursday, the creative team from IL Magazine introduced the new book about their work. Art director Francesco Franchi and editor-in-chief Christian Rocca shared the story of the magazine, described how it has changed and developed, and in the process revealed the chemistry in their close working relationship.

You can hear their talk here; and below see images from the night, along with pictures of, and thoughts about, the new book.

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The book, ‘The Intelligent Lifestyle Magazine,’ is a heavyweight volume that follows Francesco’s successful 2013 book ‘Designing News.’ It starts with a strong essay from Christian (above) that accurately lays out the state of the magazine industry, highlighting the rise of the small independents. He clearly regards his magazine as closer to these than the mainstream.

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We meet the IL Magazine team (above) and see some of the publications quoted as reference points (below). No surprises, perhaps, but as with Francesco’s first book this is a well-thought out and considered volume that reflects the clarity of thought in the pages of the magazine itself. These first chapters provide the context for the rest of the book.

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The rest of the book runs through the sections of the magazine from the cover to the back. We see how the various parts develop, from Commercial Type’s designs for a new logo (above) to the closing ‘Rane’ section (below).

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There are sections on features, the covers and of course the infographics; the magazine (and Francesco) remains best-known for the maps, diagrams and graphics and they are a key part of the project. But what the book makes clear is that there is much more to IL than just the infographics.

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Francesco’s first book grew from his university dissertation about news design, and this second book uses the eight years of IL Magazine to show how he has applied those theories to his magazine and in the process created one of todays iconic examples of editorial design. Published in Italian, we could never be 100% certain about the content. This book makes clear through translated captions that the content is as strong and clever as the design. Francesco relies on an eight-strong design team, but is also blessed with a strong partner in Christian.

Anyone vaguely interested in contemporary editorial design needs this book.

‘The Intelligent Lifestyle Magazine’ is published by Gestalten, ISBN: 978-3-89955-631-5

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