“Telling extraordinary stories about seemingly ordinary people": C41 Magazine gets a new look and direction

Titled For a new Rennaissance, the tenth issue of the Milan-based publication focuses on its beloved native country of Italy, and the people who hope to better it through art and design.

11 December 2020

When the viewer first looks upon the latest issue of contemporary visual arts publication C41, the first thing they see is an image of one of the great designers in Italian history, Mario Bellini. The smooth plastic cover is an indication as to what the reader can find in the rest of the issue, titled For a new Rennaissance, the tenth issue of the Milan-based publication. Marking a seminal stage in the biannual magazine’s run, this tenth issue does exactly what it’s name suggests and opens up a new chapter in its explorations. This time round, focusing on the magazine’s beloved native country of Italy and all the people in the Italian landscape who hope to better it through art and design.

Designed by Studio Och, the magazine’s self-acclaimed renaissance is evident in its form as well as its content. Minimal, offset printed and perfect bound, issue 10 can be described like many an Italian luxury fashion house: chic. “We built an issue offering readers a cross-section of the most revolutionary and interesting personalities of the new renaissance,” says C41’s editorial and creative director Luca Attilio Caizzi. Featuring the likes of Giuditta Aresi, Takashi Homma, Johanna Borella, Ugo La Pietra, Cariolina Amoretti, Isabella Potì and Marika Zaramella, not to mention cover star Mario Bellini, the bold relaunch is jam-packed with interesting stories around Italian culture and identity today.

After bringing Studio Och on board to deliver a new vision and fresh perspective, the studio decided to make some changes in the name of sustainability as well as design economy. A new size was suggested in line with maximum paper savings during the printing process. Non-hazardous paper and inks were chosen to lower its carbon footprint and to compliment the written features, aesthetically, images and text can breathe with airy blank spaces relaxing the viewer. Editorially, each feature was carefully commissioned to focus on the magazine’s ultimate ethos: telling extraordinary stories about seemingly ordinary people.

Selecting its interviewees for being “protagonists of change” in a “period that needs passion and belief,” Issue 10 takes the viewer on a tour of Italy’s icons and realities. From a conversation with Mario Bellini – who has 25 works on permanent display at New York’s MoMs – that looks back on his career in design, to a survey of Takashi Homma’s award-winning series Narcissistic City, and an essay on Luigi Ghirri, “one of the greatest photographers in history” according to Luca, Issue 10 is a deluge of Italian talent from the past and present.


C41 Magazine: Issue 10 (Copyright © C41 Magazine, 2020)

In another exciting feature, the C41 team has been curating all the images and video content for the exhibition Cambio, an ongoing investigation by Studio Formafantasma into the extraction, production and distribution of the timber industry. Commissioned by London’s Serpentine Galleries, the exhibition compiles documents, images and archival research dedicated to the subject, something C41 presents in its signature style especially for an in-depth exclusive.

These stories, are just a handful of examples which embody the magazine’s new philosophy. As Luca tells us, C41’s motto is “an ordinary life makes an extraordinary story.” Where it used to publish solely stories on photography, this newly expanded mindset has given the team a chance to delve deeper, not just for themselves but also for the reader who “has grown up with us and wanted more,” says Luca. This relaunch, in turn, is testament to how C41 has listened to its readers, venturing into new disciplines which resonate with the long-standing publication’s concept of living life in a so-called “ordinary” way.

C41 never wishes to be complacent in its output, promising its readers new goals and a degree of growth with each iteration. “We feel more mature now,” Luca adds on how this issue sets itself apart from its previous, “we fit into a market that understands our choices in terms of narrative and research.” And doing what it does best – tell stories – what better an occasion, in the publication’s tenth issue, to celebrate the country that brought it to life: Italy.

GalleryC41 Magazine: Issue 10 (Copyright © C41 Magazine, 2020)

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C41 Magazine: Issue 10 (Copyright © C41 Magazine, 2020)

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About the Author

Jyni Ong

Jyni joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in August 2018 after graduating from The Glasgow School of Art’s Communication Design degree. In March 2019 she became a staff writer and in June 2021, she was made associate editor.

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