Written for SYP Scotland blog | Francesco Franchi – The Changing World of Editorial Design – Magfest 2015
Francesco is Art Director at Italian magazine IL, and takes Magfest attendees through an eye-opening presentation of the possibilities of editorial design. “I’m going to speak about how important design can be,” he begins, a mission statement the talk lives by.
The moon landing was a big step for man, but it was a giant leap for typography. The Italian cover is one of many that were willing to toy with convention, and opened people to new prospects for print. Print can be beautiful to look at, lovely to feel, it can have more added value. Print is not dead, is just smells funny!
In producing news as a designer, he’d look at magazines from the past, those who were most important in Italy for design. He focuses on the type, making it close to vintage design, putting newspaper designs in magazines at times.
You need to introduce a collective decision process to the workflow, between journalists and graphic design, editor in chief and art director. It’s a functional hierarchy. “I believe writing is no longer enough,” he says. To combine multiple languages is one of the great challenges of our time. They’d set up infographics and games, try to show information through illustration – visual storytelling has a narrative too. “Turning visualisation into a story asks for a designer’s point of view.”
“I view digital technology as a great opportunity,” he says, adding that we need to “requalify paper”. It needs no batteries, but it can be costly so it needs to have valuable content.
“It’s not that newspapers are dying,” explains Francesco. “It’s that one way of making newspapers is coming to an end. I try to underline the importance of being a designer, to underline the role of the designer.”
The reason Francesco is so thrilling to listen to is the multiple examples that he brings, so we’ve selected just a few, and you’ll immediately understand quite why he’s such an authority on the topic.