MFA in Communication Design


SACI's MFA in Communication Design


In this two-year program, MFA candidates have a unique opportunity to situate their personal design practice in relation to both the design and art legacies of Italy and Europe and the challenges of contemporary urban Florence.

To facilitate a modulated learning experience, each MFA candidate works in dedicated studio space that fosters communal studio experiences. The studios are in a fully renovated 16th-century palazzo in the heart of Florence—the city that during the Renaissance, revolutionized visual culture and has since served as an inspiration for generations of designers.

MFA candidates investigate the evolution of Communication Design from its roots in Western visual conventions to current trends and processes. They are encouraged to adopt—and incorporate into their own way of working—practices from both old and new disciplines: Graphic Design, Information Design, and Visualization; Branding and Advertising; Infographics; Typography; Illustration; and Environmental, Interactive, and Web Design.

Ongoing dialogue and critiques with SACI instructors and visiting designers provide MFA candidates with varied perspectives on their creative work. A deeper understanding of the Italian culture of creativity and style is reached through presentations and workshops, visits to the studios of cutting-edge designers, and travel to design fairs throughout Italy and Europe.


Students earn 60 credits.  During their first year, they create a customized program that balances independent study, studio design assignments, and course work. In their second year, emphasis is placed upon career options for emerging communication designers. MFA candidates have the option of gaining practical experience as SACI Teaching Assistants, and they can undertake Design Internships in Tuscan design firms and cultural institutions.


Provide students with the knowledge needed to:

  • Work across mediums embracing the ever-expanding range of available tools and technologies.
  • Interpret data in developing information systems.
  • Work with a keen sense of what the social implications of one’s design are or could be.
  • Understand and use design as a tool for change.
  • Work as creative mediators within a multi-disciplinary collaborative environment.
  • Contribute to and expand the field of Communication Design through research and pedagogy.


After completing their MFA in Communication Design, graduates will be able to demonstrate:

  • The ability to approach design work as an integrated system and to solve problems by employing research methodologies and visual communication practices.
  • Advanced professional competence as evinced through a well-developed body of work which demonstrates a depth of knowledge and experience.
  • Knowledge of theory and practices necessary for leadership positions within the design professions.
  • Advanced capabilities with technologies, as evinced through creation, dissemination, presentation, documentation, and preservation of work.
  • Understanding of the significance of Italian, other European, and global Communication Design practices, both historical and contemporary, and the ability to demonstrate this knowledge through creative, innovative, and socially-responsible design projects.


See the ADMISSIONS section of this website to find out more about How to ApplyApplication DeadlinesScholarship Information, Dates & Fees, Federal Aid, and more.


Camilla TornaCamilla Torna has a Laurea in Art History from the University of Florence. Camilla's thesis paper was on "Push Pin Studios."  She studied and worked for several years in New York City as a graphic designer. When she returned to Florence, she shared a design and illustration studio with two illustrators, whose principal clients were publishers of children's books. From 1998 until 2002, she lived in Vienna where she was first exposed to infographics design and worked as a design consultant in the field of education and training. Her strong interest in the visualization of ideas and related visual narratives is evident in the founding of her company ICASTIC and in her research about visualizing time. Camilla has involved SACI students in design projects dealing with local cultural roots and community issues, including projects for the San Lorenzo district of Florence and Florentine primary schools.

After completing his degree in Industrial and Product Design at the University of Belgrade, Dusko Stojanovic earned a Laurea in Industrial Design and Visual Communication from the University of Florence. He began his professional career in 2002 in Belgrade’s “Orange Studio” where he became Account Team Leader for such clients as Converse, Philip Morris, Coca-Cola, Delta Sport (Nike), the Serbian national football team, and the Serbian National Philharmonic orchestra. After moving to Italy, he worked as a freelance designer for Florence’s Diaframma agency and began creating logos, labels, and web designs for the most prominent wine label studios in Europe, including that of Simonetta Doni. He also started instructing university-level students in Multimedia, Typography, Graphic Design, Color Theory, and Visual Communications. He is currently preparing a user’s manual of basic Typographical principles.

Elena LombardiElena Lombardi has a Laurea in Industrial Design from the University of Florence. Elena has studied all forms of static and moving image-making. She has traveled the world for inspiration, attending an Illustration Workshop at Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design in London, and working for world-renowned digital production companies. She specializes in illustration and character design for digital media and in the design of educational products. She has been a guest lecturer at numerous design schools in Italy and Sweden.

Raffaele CingottiniRaffaele Cingottini has studied Communication Sciences and Computer Engineering at the University of Siena. He is the founder and CEO of Do You Speak Graphics, an advertising and web design company based in Lucca. Since 2007, he has been an instructor of Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. He has created the brand images and the websites for numerous companies throughout Italy.


Master Degree in Communication Design | SACI Studio Art Centers International