Friday, January 12, 2018

Turning Mundane Subjects Into Exciting Visual Communication

Years ago, I wished I could work on advertising projects for household names because I thought that above-the-line work would bring creative satisfaction. I’ve been lucky to work with many well-known businesses and charities, but looking back, my smaller projects were the most satisfying creatively.
Often, big brands have already established guidelines which mean there’s less room for me to experiment and exercise my creative muscles. I’m not saying brand guidelines are unimportant, but I prefer to work on projects where I feel I add the most value and a little of myself.
These days, product companies seem more interested in refining interfaces and simplifying user experiences. I value those things when I use a product, but I find working on these projects less rewarding. Well-known clients still have a certain allure — and having logos in my portfolio has been good for business — but I now look for projects which offer me the freedom to develop my creative interests.
I’m fascinated by how design can tell engaging stories about products and services, even those which might be considered mundane by some. I enjoy exploring how images, layout, and typography can be used to communicate messages in visually distinctive ways. Above all, I love using my experience and interests in art direction and graphic design to help businesses, charities, and sometimes individuals, who might otherwise be exposed to them.
“I do not attempt to speak on behalf of the machines. Instead, I have tried to make them speak for themselves, through the graphic presentation of their elements, their operations and their use.”

— Giovanni Pintori
Even highly regarded, well-known designers spent time working with mundane subjects and produced iconic work. After moving from Switzerland to the United States, Erik Nitsche for magazines including Harper’s Bazaar, Life, and Vanity Fair. But it’s his work for General Dynamics which became his most recognized. In his five years as an art director at the aerospace and defence company, Nitsche developed an information design system which resulted in annual reports, posters, technical data, and Dynamic America, a 420-page book tracing the company’s history.
Italian designer Giovanni Pintori worked for business products manufacturer Olivetti for 31 years where the simple style and geometric shapes he applied to advertisements, calendars, and posters developed into the company’s design vocabulary.