THINK WORK OBSERVE — Interview
Think Work Observe, Alberto Moreu and Piero Di Biase. Gaphic design studio based in Udine, Italy.
Hello Alberto Moreu and Piero Di Biase, how are you?
A — Quite busy and waiting for a bit of summer but I’m definitely fine thanks.
P — Everything’s fine, I’m waiting for summer too.
Can you introduce yourselves?
A — We started TWO in December 2011, after many lunches together spending time talking about a common project. I was quitting with my old studio where I met Piero some years ago. He didn’t like to stay too much in the same place, so he moved, but we kept in contact and when it happened I had to make a personal work, I asked him if he would like to help me. We then started sharing and in the end he came out with this acronym Think Work Observe, and we thought it was so brilliant and we just needed to start.
P — I’m 39 years old, I’m a self-taught graphic designer and since few years (I’m trying to be) a type designer. After some experiences in graphic agencies I’ve started to work as a freelance in 2007, after a couple of years I met Alberto and we started the TWO project. We basically are two designers that share works, thoughts, suggestions and sometimes beers.
Where does your interest in graphic design and type design come from?
A — I did so many things before coming back to what I did as a child, that is drawing. I always said that I would be a graphic designer but I was quite lucky in having the chance to start working. Since the beginning, I’ve always been more attracted by composition with words: type design came quite obviously from this urge.
P — I’ve started quite late to work as a designer (I was 24 years old) but I’ve always been attracted by shapes and type. If I had to say what pushed me to become a designer I would say music artworks, they created a lot of interest in my starting life as a designer.
Typography is a core tool of your work, isn’t it?
A — I think a designer should be able to use every tool, not just the one he is more comfortable with, but it’s true that we pay a lot of attention to letterforms. You haven’t got often great images, but you can always produce great letterforms.
P — Yes typography is one of the most important elements of our design, few years ago we did a side project and we’ve spent time trying to test our skills and style making simple and experimental typefaces. Today we want to have a new approach, working in a more complex way and producing good fonts with complete families. We’re also thinking to start our own Foundry in the next months but I don’t want to reveal too much.
Can you tell us more of how you work together?
A+P — We work on different aspects of the project, we see design problems from different point of views: it happens that by sharing we see far more solutions.
Do you use your own typefaces on graphic design projects?
A+P — More and more. We have the need to customize our work and to use the forms we’ve found with, as we have a clear idea of what we want. The part of producing letters is often the part we like the most.
What do you think about the connexion between architecture and type design?
A — I think it’s a matter of relationships. Both got inner relationships, i.e. the form of the letter, and a context, that’s to say how the single element is influenced by environment. In the end, it is the notion of beauty and ugly. A pure question of context.
P — Connection was quite strong in the past, Bauhaus period is a good example where architecture and type design followed the same concepts, in the last years I think different fields gave new motivations to type designers, especially with the digital world and Internet.
Is there any designer you appreciate a lot?
A — Charles and Ray Eames.
P — Yes I appreciate many designers but I’m more curious about the work of some artists like Laurence Weiner, Guy De Cointet or Marcel Broodthaers.
Which books are on your bedside tables?
A — “The Last Word” by Hanif Kureishi, “Tycho’s Nova” by Tomato, “Project Vitra” by Rolf Fehlbaum and Cornel Windlin, “Delta of Venus” by Anaïs Nin, “Marc Jacobs Advertisements 1998–2009” by Jurgen Teller.
P — Capote’s “Cold Blood” and an old Letraset catalogue.
The last word…
A — Fin.
P — Ciao.
Interview : Dennis Moya & Tiffany Baehler – 07.14
Pictures ©Think Work Observe.