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a-list / angelo :: graphic designer :: mel

Angelo: Creative Packaging-Design Career, Freelance Senior Digital Finished-Artist Employment Brisbane, Temp Digital Digital-Design Career Brisbane, Junior-to-Mid Artisan Production-Management, Freelance Government Production Recruitment Geelong
Angelo
I would daydream a lot, and my imagination could entertain me for hours....
 
Background...
What sparked your passion for design?  
I used to draw a lot, but I had no real natural talent. I used to love drawing architectural floorplans, and when I discovered mountain biking I would draw different styles of bike frames. I remember being in Grade 2 and I would draw trucks for all my mates for art class, using rulers and any round object I could find to make sure all the lines were straight and the wheels were perfectly round. But I think the real spark came from Lego; I was obsessed with Lego.

How creative were you as a youngster? 
I would daydream a lot, and my imagination could entertain me for hours. I would draw over everything, and before each school year I used to cover all my books and folders in pictures and graphics from skateboarding magazines.

Do you come from a creative family? 
Not really. I was born on a tobacco farm in a small town called Myrtleford. What my family did instill in me is a strong work ethic; my father migrated from Italy when he was 22. He worked hard all his life, would build everything himself, and made wine as a hobby. He was a perfectionist.

Were they supportive of your desire to be a designer?
My parents have always been supportive of anything I did. They didn't really understand what Graphic Design was, but they could see how much I wanted to do it. I used to do alot of packaging work, and my mum would always buy them to show family and friends: "Look, this is what Angelo is doing".

The first move...
What sort of education and training have you had?
I was lucky that my high school had a dedicated computer graphics classroom, and I had been using Macs at school since I was 12 and loved IT class. I did TAFE courses in Computer Graphics at nights when I was doing my HSC. I moved to Melbourne to go to Swinburne TAFE and did Diplomas in Design and Graphic Art. That's what really exposed me to Graphic Design and was one of the most exciting periods of my life.

Who did you want to work for when you first entered the industry?
When I finished studying, I wanted to work for Storm. They were just around the corner from Swinburne in Prahran, and they did a talk for our class, which was really impressive. I remember a friend who was doing an internship at Emery Vincent in the late 90's and showing me their work. It just blew me away; I'd never seen anything like it.

Tell us about your first project and what do you feel about it now?
I guess my first project was when I was in high school. There was a go-karting centre in the town where I grew up. It was on a main road and had great exposure, but it had no signage. I thought about it for a while; it was a wasted opportunity, so I eventually mustered up the courage to ask if I could design a logo and signage for them. I think they thought it was sweet; here is this kid, still in his school uniform, wanting to design us a logo. So they said yes. I presented the work back to them, they liked what they saw and I provided files for them to get it produced. I was wrapped, but about 6 months later they went out of business. What it did teach me was to be proactive and trust my instincts.

Technology...
What is your preferred software to work with and what has been the greatest
advancement in technology over the past 5 years?
Photoshop hands down; I love it! It almost has a calming influence over me. I think the greatest advancement in technology recently has to be mobile and tablet. Its changing how we gather and view information, how we communicate, its beginning to change how we work. Were also seeing how its influencing design, with user interface styles influencing design online and in print.

Is digital technology going to eliminate the need for print?
Not in our lifetime. It may change how we see and get newsprint and magazine content, but the almost privileged feeling of holding a beautiful casebound book can't be matched by any tablet.

We could be heroes...
Whose work do you really admire and why? 
I love checking out James White (Signalnoise), Radim Malinic (Brand Nu), Aaron Foster (StudioADFX), and have a lot of respect for Justin Maller (Superlover / Depthcore Collective). Agencies I admire are MadeThought, Moving Brands, Attik, R/GA, and Imagination.

Who has been the greatest person that you’ve ever had the pleasure of working with and what have they taught you?
I've been lucky to have worked with so many amazing people in my career, but the most influential has to be the Senior Finished Artist at my first job in a studio. I was a junior eager to learn everything, and he took the time to mentor me; the right way to create accurate artwork, techniques in Photoshop, how to be a problem-solver, how to manage a studio, etc. He was brilliant! Most of all he taught me the satisfaction you get in teaching creatives and production staff, taking people under your wing and passing on that knowledge. 

All about me...
How would you describe your work?
I love branding and get a kick out of developing and delivering brand identity. Making considered adjustments to logotypes, adjusting kerning and letterforms, perfecting shapes and brand elements, and creating beautiful imagery and layout.

What are your plans for the future? 
In the future, I’d like to work for a branding agency, to make a valuable contribution to the success of the agency and work with talented, like-minded people to deliver great work for our clients. I also want to learn more about motion graphics and experiment with moving image.

What sort of company would you like to work with next?
As I said above, I’m looking forward to working in a leading branding agency that believes in their staff and aims to produce great work everyday.

Locally made...
What is your opinion of Australian design? 
I've just returned from working in London for 5 years, and I've really noticed how much beautiful work is being produced here. With the popularity of design blogs, there are quite a few Australian studios making a great impression internationally, as well as this being quite influential to a lot of designers here, who can get inspired by great work from all over the world as soon as its created.

What is the best/worst thing about being a designer in Australia? 
Everyone says the best thing is the location, but I think its our approach to our work. We take it seriously and we have a good work ethic, but we're also grounded; we know we're not out saving the world. The worst thing, actually, could be our location. We're so far away and our market is small, which results in smaller budgets, less competition in business, and clients that maybe a bit cautious and don't want to take risks.

In your opinion, what is the greatest challenge the Australian design industry has to face in the near future? 
From my perspective as a Finished Artist, I think the greatest challenge is the trend facing one of our key allies the printing industry. I've seen and heard how a worrying amount of print work is moving to Asia and parts of our local industry are struggling to compete. The Australian design community needs a healthy printing industry, one that is at the forefront of new technology and techniques, for help us deliver the best quality print work for our clients.

Just for fun.. .
What is your creative outlet outside of design? 
I'm got the DIY bug! This year I'm planning to start restoring, designing and building furniture.

What is the best designed bar in Melbourne?
I've only been back in Melbourne for 5 days, and the only place I've gone for a drink has been the Thornbury Bowls Club (great decor).

What are your top 5 websites at the moment? 
Australianinfront
Pinterest
Lifehacker
Digital Arts
Computer Arts

What CD are you currently listening to and is it any good?
I don't really listen to CD's, but I search alot for new music. I guess the last album that I've listened to was checking out the soundtrack to The Social Network by Trent Reznor and Atticus Rose. Nice background music.

If I was a font, I’d be...?
I'd like to think I'm a Gotham or a Fette Fraktur, but I think I'm more a Cooper Black.





watch

Lawrence is listening to ...
Akcent - My Passion
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