Never Now & TRiC Studio

We recently caught up with Melbourne based designer Tristan Ceddia. Tristan is currently the Creative Director of Never Now and TRiC Studio. He shared with us his favourite design books & podcasts, talked about his struggle with designing on the computer and Everyday Messaging – a studio workshop he created for design students at Monash University.

What did you do while you were studying to prepare you for the design industry?

While I was studying I worked as a model maker for architectural firm and began freelancing as a graphic designer. All of my early work came through fashion, music and film. I made club flyers, worked for small clothing and record labels, and helped my friends at P.A.M. (Perks And Mini) who I shared a studio with. Working in their space I was introduced books, ideas and people who opened up my mind to design through art. I learnt to design backwards.

What are your three must-read design books/blogs/podcasts and why?

Symbols of Australia (1980) by Mimmo Cozzolino and Fysh Rutherford

Mimmo taught me at University the became a friend and mentor. He had a studio in the 70’s called All Australian Graffiti and made Symbols of Australia in 1980 which is a super compendium of archival Australian trademarks, symbols and ephemera. Every time I flick through it I notice something new and I am always looking for extra copies at the op shop.

Design Observer

This is an obvious, and important one. I love listening to Jessica Helfand and Michael Beirut talk about life, current affairs and culture through design.

MacGuffin Magazine

I have been collecting MacGuffin since issue 1 in 2015. Each issue is themed around a single topic, like the bed. Wonderfully designed by Sandra Kassenaar and edited by Kirsten Algera and Ernst van der Hoeven, the magazine provides an indirect view on the ordinary world.

I told him about my problem with the computer, and he told me to think of the computer as an extension of my arm, just like a pencil or a pen.

Whats the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

When I began studying graphic design, I had a grudge against computers. I’d previously studied art, and a lot of my work was photocopied, hand drawn, screen printed etc. Around 1 year into my course, I met an artist/ graphic designer from London who I looked up to. I told him about my problem with the computer, and he told me to think of the computer as an extension of my arm, just like a pencil or a pen.

Are you involved in any mentoring/teaching/workshops and if so how it shapes your practice?

In 2019 Rick Milovanovic and I were asked to write a final year design studio at Monash University. Everyday Messaging invites students to extend the boundaries of their own discipline by sending them out into the world to explore the world of incidental design, created by non designers. Students define a research topic and leverage this to build out the framework for their graduate project. This model of exploration is a large part of our own practice, and observing these projects as they evolve through the depths of abstraction inspires us, and our students, in ways we could never imagine.

Who’s on the team, what are their roles and why do you love them?

I recently launched a new studio TRiC with Rick who I mention above. TRiC is an extension of Never Now, the studio I have worked under for 15+ years. Rick is a great friend, a great inspiration and brilliant graphic designer. We bounce ideas around and work really well together. We have some super interesting projects in the TRiC pipeline that we are excited to share this year.

How was 2020 for you in a sentence?

Pandemonium.

Where to find Tristan:

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