DAVIDE ROSSETTO — Interview
Davide Rossetto, graphic designer based in Zurich.
Hello Davide, how are you?
Perfect, thank you.
Can you introduce yourself?
I’m a graphic designer working in Zurich, where I also did my studies and graduated this summer. My work focuses on editorial design, communication, corporate design and research. I’ve had the pleasure to do some 3-dimensional projects also but everything is heavily based on typography.
Can you tell us some words about your upcoming new design studio?
Together with my friends Kevin Casado and Philipp Intlekofer we‘ll officially found our studio labor in the upcoming year. We share the same values of what graphic design should be like, complement each other with constructive inputs to achieve some interesting results and to build a wide range of visual languages together.
Where does your interest in graphic design come from?
My uncle had a small, rather old-fashioned atelier in the east of Switzerland. I always liked being around him and would watch him work. He inspired and encouraged me to work in this field. I did my apprenticeship at his atelier before I began my studies.
Can you explain to us one of your projects?
My latest project was the identity for an exhibition at the Museum Rietberg where they showcased Indian Mughal paintings from the 16th – 17th Century. As in the most projects, the research part was fundamental and almost the biggest effort to genuinely create a dialogue between the design and the content. The design itself is based on a modular system containing typography, image and color scheme. Each one of these components is a contemporary translation of how it was used in the original paintings and can be handled either combined or by itself in the defined rules. With the smallest manipulations of for example the line spacing, rather weird placements, colors and shapes the whole design got pushed into an exotic esthetic without appearing too trashy or loosing the ability to communicate straightforwardly.
Do you have a favorite typeface to work with?
My interest in type, its history and evolution is huge, so it’s hard to choose just one typeface but I have to admit that I like to use well-drawn grotesque fonts the most if they fit the context of the project. I think I’m drawn to these types of letters because their anatomy is immediately visible and it’s impossible to hide something. I have drawn my own font with the details of the typefaces I like the most just to use it like a personal tool for myself and my friends. So I’m using it as much as possible to see where adjustments are needed – there’s still a lot to do though.
Is there any designer you appreciate a lot?
In my own work I can’t hide the fact that I admire many Swiss and Dutch graphic designers from the 1960’s. Because of their designs but also because of their educational effort that grounds the work and attitude of many designers – including me – until this day. With this being said I have to say that I respect a lot of my generation’s designers also. In this time of progressive technology it’s enjoyable to see how today’s generation still keeps a strong historical awareness.
What stimulates you outside graphic design?
There are many things like art, architecture and nature. A whole lot I take out of daily life like for instants conversations with my family and friends. And then there is music, which I see equal to design: space between notes that create a certain rhythm, length of notes, interaction between different instruments, percussiveness, etc.
Is there a book or a manifesto which opened your eyes about design?
I didn’t had a radical experience like that but the book I took out of the shelf the most would be Emil Ruder’s Typography for sure. Without sounding too romantic like Helmut Schmid – whose designs I like a lot too – I think it really shows how direct communication can be with the smallest units possibly used, that’s how I like to approach design.
The last word…
Thank you and keep it up L I G A T U R E !
Interview: Dennis Moya & Tiffany Bähler — 12.15
Projects: ©Davide Rossetto.