Seeking Beauty
Anita Klinz

Available for the first time in English, a new book asserts Anita Klinz’s position as a true pioneer of modern book design and art direction

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Among the few people who know her work, Anita Klinz is regarded as one of the greatest book designers of the 20th century. Yet despite her impressive output, her career as art director at Milan publishers Mondadori and Il Saggiatore in the 1950s and 60s has never been fully recognised – and much of Klinz’s stunning work has been forgotten. Until now. Luca Pitoni’s Seeking Beauty – Anita Klinz: Pioneer of Modern Book Design reasserts her position as one of Italy’s most formidable graphic designers. The book, originally published in Italy as Ostinata Bellezza: Anita Klinz, prima art director italiana, brought the designer’s work to a wider audience within Klinz’s native country. Now available in English for the first time, Seeking Beauty will reinstate Klinz’s position as one of the greats of modern book design.

Klinz was born in 1923 in Opatija, now part of Croatia. After university in Prague she left the city following the German occupation, for Milan, where she remained for most of her life. In 1951, Klinz joined the publisher Mondadori, working initially as a graphic designer (under Bruno Munari) and then as art director in a long career which included establishing the look of the fledgling publishing house, Il Saggiatore, through a range of publications. While there, Klinz installed a talented team of graphic designers and produced often bold and experimental book covers that regularly featured striking typography or eye-catching imagery.

Klinz’s work is a balance of these dramatic yet controlled visual approaches; she embraced abstract visual ideas, incorporated bright colours and innovative type treatments across niche and mainstream titles. For The Great Masters of Contemporary Architecture books, Klinz created one of her most celebrated series designs, where each minimalist cover referenced the work of a particular architect through a simple visual suggestion of their work. As an art director, she also collaborated with several well-known illustrators, including Ferruccio Bocca, Ferenc Pintér and Karel Thole. By the early 1970s, Il Saggiatore had folded and Klinz returned to Mondadori to work on various magazines and newspapers. According to Pitoni, her life gradually became more isolated (she spent much time on the small island of Giannutri) before she retired into what was effectively “a professional and personal silence”.


264 x 187mm
360 pages

Interiors printed 4/4 on 130gsm Yulong Pure paper; endpapers 1/1 on 140gsm uncoated woodfree. PLC printed, 3 Pantones on 120gsm imitation cloth with machine varnish and graining.

Special edition as above but with cut flush edges, housed in a thin card slipcase printed 3/3 with grained embossing.

How it works

If our funding goal is met before GMT this project will commence development. All pledges will be immediately refunded in full if the funding goal is not met.

Estimated delivery

Winter 2024


Tracked worldwide

Few book designers have been as imaginative, rigorous and prolific as Anita Klinz in the 1950s and 60s.

Alice Rawsthorn

Seeking Beauty includes an 80+ page illustrated biography of Klinz, featuring a range of previously unpublished material (diary and sketchbook pages), alongside personal and family photographs. Klinz’s book cover design work is split over two extensive chapters which focus on her time as art director at publishers Il Saggiatore and Mondadori.


Unit Editions


Unit Editions is an independent publishing venture, producing books for an international audience of designers, design students and followers of visual culture. The company is hugely experienced in the production and delivery of books and publications, using only high quality suppliers (printers, binders, etc.) and distributes titles globally on a daily basis.

The cover of Seeking Beauty is designed by Astrid Stavro who also created the blue slipcase design for the special edition (the slipcase also features grained embossing). The book includes a foreword by design critic Alice Rawsthorn, essays by Mario Piazza and Leonardo Sonnoli, as well as a concluding personal text by author Luca Pitoni. Archive research is by Pitoni and Livia Satriano. Photography by Louis De Belle.

Klinz gave [her publishers] a standard of quality that she managed to expertly administer for twenty years, always continuing to innovate, adapt and defend.

Luca Pitoni
Meet the author

Luca Pitoni is a graphic designer, journalist and lecturer in editorial design at the Politecnico di Milano and ISIA Urbino. Specializing in editorial design, he has designed magazines for leading Italian publishers and has received numerous awards for his work, including a Mention of Honour at the XXII Compasso d’Oro. In 2017, with Davide Di Gennaro he co-founded the graphic design studio Tomo Tomo, who count among their clients ll Sole 24 Ore, Mondadori, Teatro alla Scala, La Biennale di Venezia, Triennale Milano, Iperborea, Skira, Marsilio Editori, Silvana Editoriale, Electa, MAXXI, Quotidiano Nazionale and Touring Club Italiano.

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