Caterina Bianchini

Precise yet playful typography paired with a keen eye for colour and texture—the captivating work of London-based graphic designer Caterina Bianchini is the focus of this week's Talent...

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Graphic collage design, Latitu° (Boston-based leather bag brand)

Describe your work in three words...
Playful, considered and charismatic.

What first sparked your interest in design?
I was always interested in the ways things looked—as a kid I collected stamps, I loved it! The details and the intricacy of pattern and type on such a small area amazed me. I also kept scrapbooks (when I was really young) and used to dry out flowers and leaves in them. I think to be honest, I have always collected things. Posters at uni, I used to nick them off toilet walls and fill my entire room floor to ceiling with them, flyers, train tickets, magazines (I have one of the first ever Vice mags). So, I suppose that habit was the first thing that caught my interest. Also, my dad is an antique collector so I reckon that's where I got the collecting gene from; being surrounded by amazing antiques and art probably gave me an eye for design too.

Thereafter, I think it was discovering art and learning about art in school. John Baldessari is a huge influence for me, he is amazing. The photographer Ansel Adams allowed me to understand contrast and composition, and the work of Kandinsky, which explores the interaction of shape and colour, and the creation of space in a composition, is also a big influence.

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Poster Design, Axe on Wax (South London Record Label and Events)

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Poster Design, Axe on Wax (South London Record Label and Events)

Where did you study, and how did that experience shape your practice?
I began studying in Edinburgh, doing film photography, 35mm and medium format, and then went on to Grays School of Art in Aberdeen, where I now guest lecture annually as part of two professional design modules. I think photography gives you a good eye for balance and creating something within a limited canvas. I think university allowed me to explore and experiment, push myself and learn new skills like video editing and screen printing.

Are materials and production processes an important consideration within your work, and if so, why?
Yeah, definitely! I work primarily with print, so understanding texture, how stock takes colours and the weight of paper is really important. Also, a brand comes to life in application so you need to understand how you can make it amazing off-screen. If it’s sitting on a shelf amongst 100 different products, you have to think about how it will become the one product people go over to and pick up and experience!

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Four Heads, Branding/Online + Print, Four Heads (underground music platform)

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Four Heads, Branding/Online + Print, Four Heads (underground music platform)

What role does experimentation play within your practice?
A massive role! I feel like I have a really visceral design process, and I think that method of design is nurtured through experimentation. I am constantly experimenting, I never go into a project knowing what to do—I might have some sort of an idea, mainly because of the brief that has been provided to me by the client. But to be honest it’s all about experimenting, pulling words apart, thinking conceptually, breaking down characters within a word then rebuilding them, does it become a shape? Does the character get deleted all together? Do characters overlap? It's all about experimenting, that's the most important part. My artboards are always mental! Type everywhere, drawings, graphic illustrations…

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Trainspotting Rave, Online, Boiler Room (Music platform + events)

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Posters, Print, L'Anatomie (Edinburgh based record Label + events)

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Hand me Down, Branding/ Print, HAND ME DOWN (vintage fashion retailer)

Tell us about a recent project you've particularly enjoyed...
I recently worked with a new blog site called IN P.O.P. (In Pursuit of Purpose); the woman who owns it was ex-marketing manager at Paper Magazine and works a lot with Girl Boss in the US. The blog is a biblical blog, featuring new biblical content, teachings and enlightenment for millennials. The reason I enjoyed it so much was that it was totally new to me. I have never worked on something that deals with religion, which I think can be quite a daunting topic! You don't want to be naïve or offend anyone. But the branding is so fun and really colourful—I managed to create a brand identity that included the biblical verse that the name IN P.O.P references. It really was an outside-the-box project.

Are there any particular visual or conceptual references that you draw upon, or ideas that you try to explore throughout your work?
Day to day, I am constantly being influenced by what I see, because there is so much visual stimulus everywhere. I find shop signs are always a really cool typographic and colour combination reference. In my own work, typography is a real centrepiece. I think it’s something that is really hard to get right. Every brand has a character, and portraying that character through a typeface so it can stand alone, without all the other brand assets, is hard. I also love using graphic shape and experimenting with space.

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Parko, Branding/Packaging/Print, Parko (organic Soap + Hand cream)

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Parko, Branding/Packaging/Print, Parko (organic Soap + Hand cream)

What would be your dream project?
Oh, I have so many! A collaboration with Converse or Nike would be pretty sick! Working alongside someone like Kenya Hara (Hara Design Institute) or Eike Konig (HORT) would also be amazing.

What are you working on now, and what's next for you?
I am working on some really cool projects at the moment—I’m lucky enough to attract some pretty interesting clients (I can't say too much though!). My work is also about to be exhibited in Venice as part of the 2017 Art Biennale Next this August and September. In the future, I want to open a studio and hopefully build a team of amazing designers. But first, I want to move country and explore graphic design somewhere new.

caterinabianchini.com
@caterinabianchinidesign
facebook.com/caterinabianchinidesign

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Lookbook, Online, Stories Collective (Fashion Editorial)

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Lookbook, Online, Stories Collective (Fashion Editorial)

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Õnda, Branding/ Print, Õnda (recycled fabric label)

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Õnda, Branding/ Print, Õnda (recycled fabric label)

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Õnda, Branding/ Print, Õnda (recycled fabric label)

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Õnda, Branding/ Print, Õnda (recycled fabric label)