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Interview with Roberto Terrinoni

Home > Designer Interviews > Roberto Terrinoni

Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Roberto Terrinoni (RT) for A’ Design Award and Competition. You can access the full profile of Roberto Terrinoni by clicking here.

Interview with Roberto Terrinoni at Friday 1st of May 2020

FS: Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
RT: As a teenager I dreamed of drawing the covers of my favorite punk artists, as a child I spent a lot of time drawing. I always thought my future had something to do with design.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
RT: A design studio in Latina, a small city near Rome.I work with the most relevant realities of the territory often as an ADV agency.I work with the most relevant realities of the territory often as an agency. At the same time, I work with large agencies in Rome on more specific projects, where I only deal with the graphic design aspect.At the same time I work with large agencies in Rome on more specific projects, where I only deal with the graphic aspect. Moreover, for 10 years I have been a teacher at the European Institute of Design (IED), with whom I have developed some didactic modules, I teach the third year of the course "Visual Communication", and I collaborate on special projects and thesis. I think in creative and communication contexts every request outlines a unique way which involves experts ready to express customer’s needs. Thanks to increasing national connections we’re ready to find the best professional man in every situation instead of an interior cooperation which could monopolize the style and touches of everything we product. As it’s visible between the work credits we try to find the photographer, the illustrator, the programmer, the 3D designer or the video maker with the best style and quality for the situation, coordinating everything.

FS: What is "design" for you?
RT: Design is the union between aesthetics and functionality.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
RT: I do most of the branding and coordinated identity. Typography and paper, but I like to study and discover new things all the time. I'm studying 3D and motion graphics for example...

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
RT: I like people who combine various ingredients to create new styles. Magritte, Warhol, Dali, Obey, Banksy, Jamie Reid. I love the cut and paste...

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
RT: I designed a logo for a very important pharmaceutical company in my city, I was just graduated and without any experience. Everything went well, and every time I pass by the mega-station on my way to work I look at it and I'm very happy with it.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
RT: Paper, I love paper. When I started out, I worked at four monthly paper magazines almost every day. Then everything went digital, but also developing websites and apps, I always looked for paper, in the field of packaging or other specific categories.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
RT: Sicuramente la notte: buona musica, bell'atmosfera, ma sopratutto il telefono che non squilla

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
RT: If it works! That is, if it communicates what it was created for...

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
RT: All the time planning anxiety, fear of missing something. The creative process is very complex, and each client is different, it is very easy to make a mistake, and the outcome of the work is closely related to this.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
RT: it's wonderful to see things that were only in my head being used in everyday life by everyone. On every trip I take I always go looking for my products around and sometimes I find them. Then I hide and see how people interact with them. I could spend days between the shelves.

FS: What makes a design successful?
RT: In my field if it communicates what it is designed for, if it attracts attention in the users to whom it is addressed, and if it leads them to react as expected.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
RT: There are some elementary technical qualities such as readability and communication hierarchies, which should be taken for granted, but which unfortunately are not a standard even among professionals today... After that, it has to work...

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
RT: The responsibilities are many, both in terms of concept and message, both in terms of eco-sustainable production choices and in the choice of materials and production models. Designers should always include in their works concepts of awareness of the serious problem we are experiencing.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
RT: Unfortunately design is digitizing, standardizing, impoverishing, and as everything in this dark age aims more at visibility than essence (look what happened to the logos of fashion brands in the last two years).

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
RT: We received a silver for a very innovative project on a sneakers store. I was in charge of interfaces and augmented reality.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
RT: Whatever, graphic design is everywhere: in a street sign, in a box, in a restaurant menu, in an airport bathroom, in a meme on the internet, on the t-shirt of the guy I meet in the morning.

FS: How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
RT: transversal, I think I don't have a well defined style, I experiment and I fall in love with many things, some of them are better and I deepen them, but only until the next lightning strike

FS: Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
RT: Of course, I'm proud to be Italian only in terms of design. We've made history, it has to be said, even if we haven't been working great lately.

FS: How do you work with companies?
RT: I realized that a happy customer isn't the one who gets something nice from you. A happy customer is the one who gets something from you that is suitable for him.

FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
RT: Very often the customer can't figure out for himself what to choose. I always suggest to talk for a long time about a brief and look for the person who is more in line with their know-how, putting him/her to the test in your specific field.

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
RT: Very rational in the analysis, always different in the realization, sometimes it takes a minute and sometimes 10 days to do the same thing, sometimes you get straight to the goal, sometimes only at the end of a thousand arguments. In my work I don't think there is ever an order the same as another, they can be similar, but even the smallest diversity can generate giant differences in terms of workflow and processes. Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
RT: ipad, glass&goblet, paintings off the wall, lamp, chair

FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
RT: I do very different things, so there isn't a day like any other, fortunately!

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
RT: Citando Hermann Zapf: Una scritta, una qualsiasi composizione alfabetica utilizzata in esterni, una qualunque scrittura esposta, nel senso più ampio del termine, non è mera espressione artistica con le forme dell’alfabeto o veicolo di valori estetici; prima di tutto, è strumento di comunicazione

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
RT: The good thing is that my hobby is my job, don't tell anyone but I'd do it for free. The negative aspects is certainly the little value that is given to creativity in the world today, especially in Italy.

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
RT: Less is more

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
RT: Basic design, psychology of form and composition, know how in respect of application and production dynamics.

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
RT: Practically all the adobe suite, more procreate on ipad pro.

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
RT: Unfortunately, I spend a lot of time, often more than I'm paid for, but if I don't get what I want, I can't stop.

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
RT: It depends on the subject, and as I was saying before about many other aspects

FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
RT: Can you put the bigger logo? :)

FS: What was your most important job experience?
RT: Definitely be part of the Fefè Department, creative group founder of "visual culture". Publisher of "Fefè Magazine", a visual magazine distributed worldwide, was a project of the director of the IED in Rome. From 2007 to 2012 I travel with them all over Europe organizing festivals and events and taking care of the design of the magazine.

FS: Who are some of your clients?
RT: IED Istituto Europeo di Design Oxford University Reale Ambasciata Norvegese MSC Crociere Birrificio Italiano Nike Sportware Amnesty International A.T.A.C. Comune di Roma Radio Taxi 3570 Vista Eyewears

FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
RT: I like to work on branding and corporate image, because it's like a great mixer, on which every time you find the right equation for the song you're playing.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
RT: Waiting for the train, the chance to design a brand that will remain in history, appear as a backdrop in goals or movies that will remain forever.

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
RT: Most of the time alone as a creative director, I have a network of operational people with whom I often discuss concepts and ideas.

FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
RT: I'm concentrating on a personal project in which ad hoc commissioned artwork is developed, but it's still too early to talk about it.

FS: How can people contact you?
RT: all my contacts are on my website: www.robertoterrinoni.com

FS: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
RT: nothing in particular, thank you


FS: Thank you for providing us with this opportunity to interview you.

A’ Design Award and Competitions grants rights to press members and bloggers to use parts of this interview. This interview is provided as it is; DesignPRWire and A' Design Award and Competitions cannot be held responsible for the answers given by participating designers.


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