Jessica Lupi

Visual Book Il crollo delle aspettative. Scritti insurrezionali su Milano

General Informations

BA Thesis ProjectScuola del Design, Politecnico di Milano

Visual Concept
Graphic Design
Materials and Technique Selection

Cristina Balbiano D’Aramengo (Prototype Bindery)
Tiziano Codina (Bindery)


Il crollo delle aspettative. Scritti insurrezionali su Milano (Garzanti, Milano, 2005)

Luca Doninelli 

Project Details

155×240mm (6.1×9.4in)
Case Binding (‘Bodonian’ hardcover) w/ acetate dust-jacket, 128 pages
Paper stock: Mohawk Superfine Smooth, Ultrawhite 105g/m2
Cover materials: Cordenons, Malmero, Noir, 160g/m2; G.f. Smith, Colorplan, Vermillion, 700g/m2 
Composed in Adobe Acumin Pro, Adobe Caslon Pro


This edition of ‘Il crollo delle aspettative. Scritti insurrezionali su Milano’ offers a personal visual* interpretation of Luca Doninelli’s book, published by Garzanti in 2005. Doninelli relies on harsh and irreverent words to demonstrate his love for Milan. His caustic tone inspired the sharp shape of a parallelogram for the book.

*The purpose of the project was about redesigning a book as long as the new design concept could visually represents its original contents - and its author’s message. We used to call this process «designing a visual book».


The project reflects the critical tone of the essay by removing the formal canons of the book and reading. This dynamic form made it possible to represent, just handling the closed book, the idea of a city that is always in the making, consciously projected towards the future, as in the vision desired by Doninelli. 

The interventions focused mainly on two visual aspects: the shape of the book and the text. Both design elements refuse the tacit dogma that a book and the words it contains must necessarily be orthogonal shaped. 

The volume design thinks about its visual impact and above all the experience of use so that the appearance of the book could take the reader to change approach to reading. 

In addition to the unusual physical impact of handling the book, there is also a strong intervention inside the pages: when the criticism turns on in the narration, that passage assumes the same inclination as the book. 

In the page there is an ample whitespace to insert the page navigation and paratextual elements. While the double column evokes a newspaper layout — to tribute Doninelli as a journalist — the notes find space in the lower margin, following the edges of the page.

In this way, reading is an awakening experience: it proceeds between the inclined lines becoming an opportunity to sharpen the sensibility of the reader. The visual book aspires to stimulate interest and curiosity towards the city, increasing the consciousness of those who live there.

«La grandezza di Milano risiede da sempre nelle aspettative, ossia nell’amore dei suoi cittadini […] La volontà di rinascita di una città come questa dipende essenzialmente dalla sua capacità di ristabilire le proprie aspettative.»

«The greatness of Milan has always resided in the expectations, namely, in the love of its citizens […] The will to renaissance of a city like this essentially depends on its capability to restore its own expectations.»

(Doninelli L., Il crollo delle aspettative. Scritti insurrezionali su Milano, Garzanti, Milano, 2005, p.135, § Processi)