The seventh Festival del Disegno (see ‘Follow the line’ in Pulp 23) takes place from 10-11 September in Milan and then continues throughout Italy until 9 October 2022. Pulp spoke to Paola Fortuna, who has designed the festival’s identity since 2017. Fortuna graduated in architecture and worked in Venice before moving back to her hometown to found +fortuna, which focuses on editorial, identity, wayfinding, infographics and exhibition design.
Why did you move from architecture to visual design?
When I was a university student, courses in visual design, visual communication, and exhibition layout were part of schools of architecture, and this was particularly true at Università Iuav di Venezia (Iuav), where I studied and graduated. There, I could attend lectures by Matthew Carter, Erik Spiekermann, Uwe Loesch; there I met some of my future mentors in the field of visual design, Pierpaolo Vetta and Gianluigi Pescolderung. The architectural approach I cultivated and developed at university affects the way I look at things and conceive projects. And I realised the social and ethical importance of communication design.
How has your approach to the festival’s identity developed since 2017?
I worked on FdD from its second edition, when it did not yet have a clear identity. The challenge was to create an image conveying joy, lightness and imagination. My team and I thought of watercolour silhouettes on a background of leaves, trees and flowers. The introduction of a different illustrator each year enriched the format. Imagining the act of drawing or painting as a dance was our first idea; then came the castle and Leonardo da Vinci. In 2021, with Guido Scarabottolo, we decided on the hand as a gesture of reconnecting, touching and making. With Giulia Orecchia we chose nature for the theme of this year’s festival.
How do you use Fabriano and Fedrigoni papers?
When I was a schoolgirl, my imagination found expression on Fabriano drawing sheets – rough or smooth. Fabriano is synonymous with handwriting and drawing for Italian culture.
I love experimenting with combinations of textures, colours and finishes and Fedrigoni offers a wide range of possibilities. My local agent, Natalina Mazzucchin, keeps me updated on new products. My book for Barbarito Bancel architects is printed on Arena White Rough 140 g/m2 and the cover is Sirio Limone 290 g/m2. With Ivana Barbarito and Benjamin Bancel I design for luxury brands such as Dior and LVMH – Fedrigoni papers communicate the ideas of exclusivity, elegance and timelessness these brands represent through the feeling of the paper. My business card is on Fedrigoni Materica Gesso. The contrast between the natural paper with a rough finish and the hot foil matches my motto: ‘Sooner or later Fortuna comes …’.