Vincenzo Ragona

Vincenzo Ragona on learning on the job

Vincenzo Ragona began his career in design learning from YouTube videos but – via a degree at Ravensbourne – is now working with clients including Jamie xx and Apple Music. He explains his hopes for a changing industry

Vincenzo Ragona had an unusual route into design. At school he focused on Ancient Greek and Latin and – ­having been a lifelong ­computer geek – at 14 or 15 ­started a tech review site. Before he was even old enough to vote, he found himself helming something of a successful platform, commissioning writers, learning how to build WordPress sites, and teaching himself (largely via YouTube) how to use Photoshop to design branding elements.

A few years later, he had sold the site (for far too little money, he now realises) and was using the design skills he’d gained to work on an increasing number of commissions – mostly flyers for people’s 18th birthdays in the early days, then bigger, more commercial parties.

Vincenzo Ragona
Top: Type for Jamie xx’s video Let’s Do It Again; Above: Still from an animation inspired by Bridget Riley’s art

Originally from a small town in Sicily, he decided to take a punt on applying to graphic design courses in ­London, eventually choosing Ravensbourne since it seemed more tech- and industry-focused, and also because the others seemed a bit, well, hipsterish. “I’d never seen a hipster before in my life!” laughs Ragona.