Francesco Franchi is a Milan-based designer whose work we first picked up through a link to some of his recent work. I was most impressed by the shots of thesis, called Il Re Designer, which is generously exhibited all over his site.
A word about Italian University: here, a lot of work is put into the ceremonial presentation of theses. Graduation is a very big, formal deal (check out this excellent post on how far this tradition goes back). As a result, even the measliest little print shop stuck in the back of an alley and cluelessly selling DVD-Rs for 5 euros each, will bind your thesis in full, glorious hardcover style. They’ll even take your messy, unorganized word .doc and sort it all out for you, too.
This means when you’re doing a masters at a big-time Milanese University, and this masters is in communication design, and you fancy yourself an Italian designer–you had better make that thesis damn beautiful.
The title is a play on words: “il redesigner” means simply “the redesigner”, but when you separate the word “re”, as he’s done, it becomes “the king designer”. Something like “the designer as king” makes more sense in English, which fits in with his argument that the design of a newspaper is fundamental to its meaning, and should be integrated into the publishing philosophy as an crucial part, rather than simply compartmentalized as the aesthetic presentation of content.
Beyond academia, Franchi has also co-designed the layout for the less-business-y insert to Milano’s big time business paper, Il Sole 24 Ore. It plays with the beginning article from the newspaper’s title (it just means ‘the’), creating an acronym for Intelligence in Lifestyle. I don’t tend to give much time to business papers here in Italy, but maybe I’ll start picking this one up on Fridays and see just what Intelligence in Lifestyle actually means.