Gradwatch/: Giulia Garbin, Visual Communication, RCA

“Research, learning and fun are all essential to the way I approach my work”

Describe your work/style in five words:
Versatile, tactile, crafted, inked and whimsical.

What drives your creativity/work?
Curiosity and passion for the subject matter.

What idea or project of yours encapsulates your approach best, (and why)?
Research, learning and fun are all essential to the way I approach my work. My final MA project, The Street of Ink, where I recorded, illustrated and printed four stories about the last generation of analogue print workers of Fleet Street, captures these best. It started as a personal interest in the history of print in London. I was researching and cataloguing ghost buildings that were related to print. I liked the idea that they represented to me the symbol of the end (or shift) of a communication tool.

I had been many times to St Bride Library which specialises in print and typography. There I met James Mosley (the former librarian) and he explained the importance specific parts of London have in the history of printing. After also meeting some ex-newspaper printers of Fleet Street, I decided to produce and hand-make a printed publication dedicated to this vanished activity and the atmosphere of that place. It was a great and joyful opportunity to create an entire hand-made piece of work: linocut illustrations and letterpress 2 typesetting, a rare experience when you work in a studio.

What is the strangest thing you’ve done on a project?
The first brief I had to respond to in the first year of my Masters was to invent a new language without using words. I decided to create a language system with sounds and bananas, unfortunately the result wasn’t great.

If you could steal a talent from three people you admire, what would you choose, from whom, (and why?)
From Michele Provinciali I would steal his cleverness. He created beautiful narratives combining simple and forgotten objects. From Finnish film director Aki Kaurismaki I would steal his eye for the absurd. I love his films and his unique way of capturing humanity. And from my friend Alexis I would snatch his ability to switch discipline with great and inspiring results.

Who would you give your right arm to work with (and why)?
Institutions like St Bride or the RCA are places that I’d love to work with:
they are containers of interesting people and you will never stop
learning something new.

What would be your dream commission/project?
In the short term I would like to be able to develop and publish my final
project, The Street of Ink, and then start a second volume about printing trade terms. There is a lot to learn and divulge about them.

Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time?
Probably the same as today, with a lot of ideas, enthusiasm and positive energy.

How will design/illustration/photography have changed in ten years’ time?
Technology might change but the approach won’t. For me design is about ideas.

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