In the Certosa District a large mural signed by the graphic studio CamuffoLab with SIGNS

Quando la città cambia tu guarda i suoi colori, 2021, via Varesina 162 Milano. Designed by CamuffoLab con SIGNS in partnership con CertosaDistrict

Bright colors, geometric shapes that follow one another, citations of industrial architectural elements symbolizing an area in full evolution: it is a narration in images, of the neighborhood and its identity, the one that appears in the new large mural, over 57 meters long, just designed by the graphic studio CamuffoLab in via Varesina 162, on the external wall of the La Forgiatura corporate campus.

An intervention strongly desired by SIGNS, the permanent observatory on visual design that involves over 100 Italian designers and graphic studios, to convey a message of urban rebirth and regeneration, in the sign of visual design, in a district - Certosa District - of production is gradually transforming itself into an innovation district.

Not surprisingly, the inauguration of the mural is also an opportunity to announce the first edition of the Milano Graphic Festival (MGF), the new widespread festival dedicated to graphic design, illustration and visual cultures - a project by SIGNS and h +, curated by Francesco Dondina, - which from 11 to 13 February 2022 will bring a wide calendar of events - including exhibitions, workshops, talks, lectures, studio visits and installations - throughout the city, starting from the two main hubs - Certosa District and BASE Milano - and in the main Milanese cultural institutions.

When the city changes, look at its colors, 2021, via Varesina 162 Milan. Designed by CamuffoLab with SIGNS in partnership with CertosaDistrict
The mural in Via Varesina represents the start of a wider collaboration and synergy resulting from the meeting between SIGNS and Certosa District, the district in the north-west of Milan currently at the center of a lively rebirth which, after years of neglect, is now re-emerging as a commercial hub, populated by fast-growing creative industries and innovative companies.

The meeting point between these two realities is precisely graphic design as an instrument of change and representation of the city in transformation.

For the creation of the mural entitled When the city changes you look at its colors, the project by the Venetian studio CamuffoLab was selected, which chose to graphically represent some architectural elements of the neighborhood and images of the city in motion. Different shapes and bold colors make up a "tesserae" narrative juxtaposed to each other, to bring the city into these spaces and reflect on the meaning of the neighborhood, for a Milan that is increasingly inclusive and close to its inhabitants.

When the city changes, look at its colors, 2021, via Varesina 162 Milan. Designed by CamuffoLab with SIGNS in partnership with CertosaDistrict

When the city changes, look at its colors, 2021, via Varesina 162 Milan. Designed by CamuffoLab with SIGNS in partnership with CertosaDistrict

In a moment of profound social and urban transformation like the present one, where great attention is paid to the concept of neighborhood branding, design intervenes to redefine the identity of an area that is a candidate to become a reference point for graphics and emerging visual design, thanks to the involvement of young talents.

The decision to bring one of the two main hubs of the Milano Graphic Festival to this district goes in this direction with the birth of the Certosa Graphic Village, a temporary performative and creative space of 3,000 square meters dedicated to contemporary creativity, where designers under 30 can design and create during the Festival, working on a special urban graphic project. Certosa Graphic Village will also be the place dedicated to meetings, experiences and research: talks with Italian and international designers, project rooms, thematic lectures, performances and workshops will animate the Village in a very rich three-day program dedicated to professionals, students and all people of all ages who love Visual Design.

BASE Milano will be the second hub of the Festival. Here 25 Italian graphic studios will be the protagonists of the SIGNS II exhibition. Contemporary Italian Graphics, the second chapter of the exhibition of the same name, also held at the former Ansaldo at the end of 2016. By combining authoritative names with promising young people, SIGNS II intends to offer an insight into the state of graphics and design of Italian communication, to show how this enjoys excellent health, in the wake of its great historical tradition but always capable of renewing itself and dealing with the international scene.

When the city changes, look at its colors, 2021, via Varesina 162 Milan. Designed by CamuffoLab with SIGNS in partnership with CertosaDistrict
Spread throughout the city, the Festival will also activate exhibitions and events at the most important Milanese institutions dedicated to the languages of visual communication, art and design: among these La Triennale, ADI Design Museum Compasso d'Oro, Castello Sforzesco, Società Humanitarian, Mudec - Museum of Cultures, MUBA - Children's Museum Milan, House of Artists. The Festival will see the involvement of schools and universities, associations, art galleries, private studios, bookstores and publishing houses that will promote special projects and in some cases will open to the public for the first time, to guide them to discover the complex world of visual design. of the city through dialogue with graphic designers, art directors, illustrators, editors and professors who will talk about their projects and the role of visual design today.

A system project, inclusive and collaborative, the Milano Graphic Festival proposes itself as a catalyst of ideas and relationships on the subject of visual communication, to generate knowledge and contamination and put the business world in contact with the best Italian communication design, aiming not to only on the enhancement of an art that intersects all disciplines, but on the importance of communication design which - in the words of the curator Francesco Dondina - “contributes to building the culture and identity of a country”.

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