Interview by : Mark Powell
Featuring : Luciana Lattanzi, Creative Director & Founder of Atelier Heart
Graphics : Luciana Lattanzi
Layout : Mark Powell
Photography : Felicia Howar
Mark Powell from Stripped interviews co-collaborator and partner in crime Luciana Lattanzi about graphic design and the state of the industry in 2017.
Q. So hi Luciana! Welcome to Stripped Creative! Lets start off with a quick question. Who would your dream collaboration be with?
Oh its a hard question but now I'm thinking David Lynch, haha, dreaming big! Or Martin Paar, I love the stuff that he does. Lately I'm more into raw stuff. Eventually a lot of the things you see feel the same. So now Im really into stuff that isn't really design, or design that really hasn't been properly taken care of, or at least in the usual professional way… Martin Paar really spots that.
Q. That's really interesting, do you think creativity is getting kind of lost in the design world?
Yeah, it deﬁnitely feels like it. The design process has become so digitalized that you can recognize the same thing all over. But this is a consequence of design always having to be functional as well, it's there to sell something and it ends up feeling very simple and process driven.
Q. Do you think that is a time relative thing? That people have less time to work on projects?
Yes, it is absolutely time related. I mean it is crazy, timelines are so tight these days and, as a consequence, you need to cut corners and this has an impact on the quality of the work that you produce. It can be the case that you don't have enough time to do as much research as you'd like and this hampers further development of the project and yourself as a designer. It's a shame companies don't have more patience collaborating with artists and designers as it would probably lead to a better quality of product and a more long term approach.
Yes, it is deﬁnitely about time, there is no time! Ha. It's simple, if you hire me and don't give me much time, I have my bag of tricks which aren't exciting but they work for most companies but it doesn't give them anything new.
Q. There's certainly a will amongst creatives to educate their clients, but as an artist you are afraid of losing or offending the client as well so compromising is very normal but means lost quality on the ﬁnal product. So is there a way to educate our clients you think?
I think so, but maybe also educating ourselves about how the clients work. Maybe we shouldn't be as patronizing when we end up doing exactly what the clients ask for as they rarely understand how to express what they want. So we could maybe communicate differently and instead of asking for a visual description of what the client wants, ask what the ambition and goal is with the project, what is the design supposed to feel like etc. That way we meet in the middle via communication, our clients will feel better understood and will have a better idea of what they want. In turn you also get more creative freedom.
Q. Like a creative translation service? 🙂
Haha maybe, but I think there can often be a clash of personality when a client meets a designer or artist. As they come from two very separate worlds and they often have a pre-conceptions of each other, that can harden things from the beginning. But if we approach every client with a more open and patient approach to communication, we might have a bigger chance of success. Put yourself in the clients shoes as they might not be as creative as you, and do not patronize them if they aren’t.
Q. What excites you about design today?
Ooooh, I guess the endless possibilities. One week I can work with a mufﬁn bakery and the next week a car company. I ﬁnd that really interesting and I am always learning and developing. There is nothing like a perfect design but there is always a will to ﬁnd it, haha, and that keeps you going. You keep dealing with new trends and new technology, updates come every year now but the only way forward is ﬁnd it fun and exciting.
Q. Where to next? If you had to decide on a place to work which wasn't the UK, where would that be?
Thats really hard, there are many places that would be interesting to try. You have Switzerland with their amazing typography and the Netherlands has really good design as well. But then you have France who have their own style which feels more arty and quite cool, the same with Barcelona. Design in the UK feels more commercial but it is still creative you know.
Q. There's some good stuff coming out of Scandinavia as well?
Yeah, there really, same with French design, but I think it struggles with the British population. But it is obviously good that there is a difference in design and response from the public. South American Design can be more colorful and in your face than here, but I mean that is good! It wouldn't be nice if all deisgn was the same everywhere.
I went to this really, well supposed to be, cool exhibition on poster art and they were so blunt and mainly only had simple text saying stuff like ”Feel good”, ”do that” etc... and I just feel like "you haven't used the space", "this is just indulgence again", they used nice paper and etc... but there was a real lack of substance when there was an opportunity to speak.
Q. What's your view on the social media aspect? Should we be embracing it as much as we're told we should?
Well I don't really know, I choose to not really care about it. I’ve met really young promising artists who I expected to be social media wizards but they also don't seem to be that bothered. I guess that's a generation thing. When you're born into a society run by social media it makes sense to want to seek alternative platforms. I don't know but I feel like social media is vastly changing and evolving into something different and people seem less up for sharing their personal life with everyone so it will probably look very different in 5 years.
Indeed, maybe we'll all return to the world of analogue, who knows! Thank you for sharing your time and thoughts with us Luciana. Good luck with future exploits and I really hope you get that gig with David Lynch!