So what is "Imago"? It is not easy to say: a magazine, a house organ, a sample book of excellence in design, a repertoire of images, a meeting place, a workshop for technical and creative experimentation or something else? "Imago" itself does not show itself with "intentions of clarity": first it hides, then, once opened, it explodes, expresses itself in infinite forms and eventually gets lost, fragments - or transforms with each new attempt to get closer to it.— Giorgio Camuffo
With its fourteen issues published between 1960 and 1971, "Imago" was a publishing venture that cannot be defined easily: a cultural adventure through the Milan of the 1960s, which in this book edited by Giorgio Camuffo is described and documented in its entirety for the first time. The result of a partnership between graphic designer Michele Provinciali and Raffaele Bassoli, owner of Bassoli Fotoincisioni, 'Imago' was formally a company magazine, produced to showcase the best that image and text reproduction techniques could ofer.
But it was also a kind of “promised land” of free experimentation, where figures from the world of art and visual communication - including Max Huber, Giancarlo Iliprandi, Bruno Munari, Remo Muratore, Armando Testa, Pino Tovaglia - interacted with important names in art criticism and literature, such as Dino Buzzati, Piero Chiara, Giuseppe Pontiggia and Mario Soldati. "Imago" was evidence of the role of graphic designers between the economic boom and protests, of the artistic trends of the time and of the relationship that developed between industry and culture in that period.
The photographs documenting each of these editions highlight the extraordinary variety of works featured in "Imago", as well as the importance of the physical and "experiential" dimension of the content, while the numerous stories and anecdotes convey the spirit that drove this collective art project.
In addition to the detailed chapters devoted to the individual issues, the book explores various aspects of the world of "Imago", from its main figures to its historical context, as well as its connections with art and graphics, through contributions by Giorgio Camuffo, Carlo Vinti, Maddalena Dalla Mura, Mario Piazza, Marta Sironi and Nina Bassoli, and interviews with Andrea Bassoli and Leonardo Sonnoli.
The book is enhanced by a replica of Le Saponette di Michele Provinciali, originally published in "Imago"'s first issue.