Italian photography magazine C41 has just been relaunched in a larger, more sustainable format. We spoke to its founder Luca A. Caizzi, a photographer and creative director based in Milan. Alongside C41, he works with design and fashion brands and magazines from across the world.
How do you start your week?
It can’t be an accident, but Monday is always a sunny day. I always wake up at 7am. and drink an espresso. I believe that preparing coffee in our Italian coffee maker is the real secret of my awakening. These weeks are different, the routine is broken by this new condition of freedom.
Our studio is open, but having to respect a series of rules on spacing, we alternate our physical presence. I try to work out of the house every other day in order to go on living a little bit of normality. I prefer to walk or cycle to the editorial office. I love the aesthetics of sport and technical fabrics, I like useful solutions and minimal Nordic design.
Describe the state of your desk and what you can see in your studio/office.
Our studio is inside an Art Nouveau building from the early 1920s. We are inside a former doctor’s office, divided into several rooms where the creative, production and editorial teams are divided. My office is in the kitchen. When you enter you feel at home, in fact our clients during meetings or presentations sit on comfortable designer armchairs, drinking a good Italian coffee, of course.
I am a very rational person. I love order and in fact I empty my desk every day when I leave. It is perfectly balanced and everything is positioned straight compared to my sight.
Which magazine do you first remember?
Il venerdì di Repubblica (a newspaper supplement).
Which magazine matters to you the most right now?
Describe C41 in three words.
Visual, Lifestyle, Story
You cover such a wide range of subjects: ‘lifestyle, fashion, design, outdoors, and creative communities’. What is the common thread that holds the magazine together?
‘An ordinary life makes an extraordinary story’.
C41 has always reflected the contemporary since when it was used to only publish photography. Time has forced us to deepen the content proposed because our reader has grown up with us while asking for more. Today we keep on listening to the voices from the markets that are more related to us, which reflect the aesthetics and lifestyle in an apparently ordinary way.
You publish a lot of material online – explain the relationship between digital and print.
C41 was born online. I was a photography student and back then the online was simply an useful and pragmatic way to keep elements of research neat and easy to question. In a short time we were almost forced by the many requests for publication and reviews and the desire of our initial readers (who were mostly content creators), to give space and an institutional place in which to present themselves/ourselves.
Today C41 continues its daily work of publication by alternating content of simple entertainment and light inspiration with in-depth content. The desire to deepen some topics led us to turn to a more calm and mature reader and in 2015 we printed the first paper issue.
You’ve relaunched the magazine for the new issue 10; which are the thoughts behind the change, and what will be different for the reader?
In the last five years, C41 has observed and told the stories of the characters who have contributed to reformulate the visual language of the contemporary world. The tenth issue of C41 opens a new chapter in our editorial research, to be considered as a growth step, rewriting our paradigms while narrating the world looking at it through new eyes.
In the last year we have been working in order to make our product and our production process as sustainable as possible: a new size, 210x280mm, allows us to maximize paper savings in the printing process and the use of not-harmful paper and inks makes our environmental impact even lower. Moreover, in our editorial research, we have decided to get rid of all the superfluous, focusing on what we do best: telling extraordinary stories of people who are apparently ordinary.
Share one piece of publishing or business advice that helped you.
Nobody taught us how to deal with publishing. C41 is the result of choices, tests and attempts. I do not have any advice which works 100% but the only thing I feel like saying is that you must always give yourself the right time, avoiding giving up to the first NO.
Looking ahead, what are you excited about this week?
My first reaction to any event is optimistic. Then, afterwards I reassess my position. In relation to that, I can’t wait to show you and show the readers the new contents of C41 number 11, it will be awesome.