Franco Cosimo Panini Editore have been publishing books on art and culture in Modena for over twenty years, though both in Italy and abroad the name Panini was best known in connection with children’s stickers.
From 1960, in fact, Giuseppe and Benito Panini, later joined by their brothers Umberto and Franco Cosimo, produced and distributed their extremely popular stickers of footballers. This range was soon joined by others, covering all kinds of subjects: history and geography, science, entertainment, sport. There were stickers of Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Barbie.
In 1966 the present head offices opened in Modena at 380 Viale Emilio Po 3, and in the early 1970s Edizioni Panini entered the international market: within a few years they were exporting to forty countries and had become world leaders in the stickers sector.
The first book published by Panini came out in 1978. It was a renaissance chronicle of the city of Modena, edited by Franco Cosimo Panini for Edizioni Panini.
In the beginning book-publication went side-by-side with the production of stickers, but it soon became a separate department, and within a few years boasted a list full of titles of the highest cultural importance, especially in the areas of art, archaeology and local history.
In 1989, when the Panini brothers decided to sell their company, the book-publishing division was retained by Franco Cosimo Panini, who gave his own name to it.
This was the start of Franco Cosimo Panini Editore, which from then on has continued to expand and diversify. The company entered the children’s books market, and achieved a success with the puppy Pimpa, created by the cartoonist Altman. The popular series Comix was launched, introducing the celebrated characters Daniele Luttazzi and Fabio Fazio.
In recent years the name of Franco Cosimo Panini Editore has become associated with two publishing initiatives of exceptional scholarly and cultural importance: the production of facsimile editions of precious illuminated manuscripts – beginning with the famous Bible of Borso d’Este – and the creation of the series Mirabilia Italiae, the most complete and exhaustive volumes ever devoted to the principal monuments of our great artistic patrimony. Finally, on the occasion of the fortieth anniversary of the original “Football Collection”, in 2000 Franco Cosimo Panini Editore published the nine volumes of the Panini Encyclopaedia of Italian Football, including all the stickers of footballers published by Edizioni Panini in forty years’ activity.
On 29 January 2003 Italy’s Presidency of the Council of Ministers awarded the 2002 Prize for Culture to the publisher Franco Cosimo Panini.
The current catalogue comprises over 200 titles, divided into several series, devoted to the art of the d’Este family and of the city of Modena, archaeology and architecture.
The Modenese publisher died on 30 March 2007.
After the death of Franco Cosimo Panini, leadership of the company passed his firstborn, Laura Panini, who for several years had worked alongside her father, and to her four siblings. Panini’s widow Emilia became President.