Featured Art Director & Graphic Designer

Riccardo Riggio

November 2019

We recently caught up with Art Director and Designer Riccardo Riggio, who chatted to us about how education shaped his career, learning how to keep calm in the face of terrible client communication, and the importance of the thinking behind the design work.

Where did you study and what were some of your first jobs?

I studied graphic design and communication since high school, in Como, a small Italian city, and then I attended an art direction academy in Lecco, again in Italy. The academy name is ISGMD, a very small institute but full of creative people and wonderful classes and teachers. The truth is that after the high school, I didn’t want to continue to study, but now I can say that the art direction academy is one of the best decision I’ve made in my life, because there I learned a lot of things and knew beautiful people. I attended also a one-year course in copywriting, intending to expand my cultural knowledge, and in 2018 my love for typography and lettering moved me to Madrid to attend a lettering course.

At the start, I was very lucky because I knew a guy that was opening a restaurant and one of my first jobs was been the branding identity for that. I’m very proud of the result.

What's the worst design job you’ve ever had and how did it make you a better designer?

I think the worst design job I’ve ever had was a packaging project I had during an internship at a communications agency. The brief was a mess and the client continued to change his ideas every hour, he sent to me the changes via Whatsapp, writing with the pencil tool directly on the image, always on Whatsapp.

This experience made me a better designer because I learned to keep calm in a difficult situation.

Give us the elevator pitch on what you do.

I’m, first of all, a great thinker.

In everything I do, the thinking process is the fundamental key to reach success. For every project, branding or lettering, illustration or editorial, the difference between a beautiful project and a successful one is only the thinking.

I always try to go deep into the brief, into the client needs, to communicate the right value, because my aim is not to do only visually beautiful projects, I want to help clients with strong and consistent work, beautiful to see and rich in significance.

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The difference between a beautiful project and a successful one is only the thinking.

"

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

My favourite design books are surely Just my type by Simon Garfield, a book that talks about typography and typefaces; Take your pleasure seriously by Luca Barcellona, one of my favourite calligraphers, and in his book you can see the best of his work — it is a big source of inspiration; and the last but not least is Elegantissima, a wonderful book by the wonderful Louise Fili.

Who are your top five design crushes globally right now?

In this moment I like very very much BIS Studio Graphique, Israel G. Vargas, Solid Studio, Kinoto Studio and Estúdio Arco.

2019 for you in a sentence.

This is the year of the big jump: I moved from Italy to Madrid, I started to live independently in a new city, with other language and another way of living. I’m trying to make my way in a different place, I’m testing myself both in work and as a person, and this kind of adrenaline is what pushes me always to do better.

Website: riccardoriggio.com

Instagram: @ridgermeister

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