What’s your background and how did you get into graphic design?
As for many designers, I liked drawing a lot when I was a kid. I knew very early that I want to have a profession in the creative field. Then my university studies proved to be crucial in my attempt to become a graphic designer. In 2010 I started to work at Studio FM Milano, four years later I left that position and joined Mousse Magazine & Publishing design team.
What lead you into editorial design?
I have a passion for typography, books, and magazines. I like to keep myself updated with the newest products released by paper manufacturers and the latest innovations in printing technology. Editorial design is the field that combines all of this.
What are your influences and how does it affect your work?
Aesthetically I find myself very influenced by the past, mostly by principles of Swiss graphic design and publishing in the 70s. Different people I’ve worked with also influenced me a lot, but more regarding having a certain kind of attitude and know-how rather than style, I believe. My first years as junior graphic designer have built my professional behaviour above all, and I still feel the importance of that period.
As a designer, what do you enjoy most about working in publishing?
I design printed matter for artists, writers, public and private institutions, galleries and other art and cultural initiatives. The goal is to give every single printed project originality and care by combining style, format, and design in a unique way. This perpetual aesthetic and conceptual effort is the most fascinating aspect of the work.
What’s your typical work process from start to end?
It usually starts with a discussion that aims to understand the client’s needs and outline a mutually agreed solution regarding timeline, budget, and workflow. Once these terms have been set up, the next steps are research, concept, and execution. The work ends with the oversee of the printing process.
Do you have any heroes?
There’re a so many designers and artists whose work I admire, both from past and present.
I usually like to cite the work of Emil Ruder and Franco Grignani.
Tell us something important you have learned.
How to relate with people – especially clients, printers and suppliers – in order to get the best achievable result. But since every new project involve different persons, environments, problems, and needs, that’s something you never stop to improve actually. You have to be reasonably flexible and demand the best from your work.
What’s your dream project?
The brand identity for a space agency—let’s say something like Danne & Blackburn did for NASA forty years ago.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
Most of the times I spend nights and weekends working on freelance projects or personal stuff.
When I am not, I enjoy having rest, hanging out with friends, hiking, going to movies, visiting exhibitions, travelling, reading.
What’s good and not so good about working as a designer in Italy.
Today, the Italian graphic design scene is rich with many creatives who have made many distinguished and recognizable work and who are now appreciated internationally. Everything is pretty much concentrated here in Milan. It’s the city with the higher number of studios, magazines, and clients. The design and art scene are active here and a lot of international and intercultural influences are coming together. As a result, this is where a lot of brilliant people come from all over the country, from North to South. So it’s still a great environment for every kind of creative person. Many designers are starting out small studios too. The city is bubbling over with activity, and this is definitely good. On the downside there are those classically Italian burocratic aspects that make young freelances’ working lifes sometimes complicated.
If you had to choose a different profession, what would it be?
I have always thought of myself as some kind of designer.
Since I feel so proud and lucky to do what I love, it is quite difficult for me to figure out myself busy doing something else.
What are your future plans?
Do as much great projects as possibile and start a studio with few good talented friends.
View all of Matteo’s work.