Alex Valentina, Understand yourself, understand everyone4 min readReading Time: 4 minutes
Alex Valentina is a graphic designer from Italy graduated at ISIA Urbino (Italy) and at KHIB Bergen (Norway). He believes in the importance of combining multiple disciplines in visual communication. Besides the obsession for typefaces, Alex is also a musician, music producer and video director.
I’ve studied graphic design at KHIB in Norway and at ISIA in Italy. During my school years I was always very busy with my musical project and spent most of my time in studio producing. During those years I was freelancing as graphic designer for music labels or other music projects.
I still continue to alternate these two worlds, because each gives me a different type of energy and allows me to oxygenate the mind when I spend too much time on the same projects. Nice thing when I do graphics is the possibility to actually listen to other people’s music ! Something I can’t do when I spend entire days just mixing frequencies and abstract sounds.
Lately I’ve been dedicating a little more time to personal graphic projects, searching for my own dimension and trying to understand if I actually have something to say and if I can say it in an innovative way. In any case, throughout my life typography has always been a constant obsession, to which, however, I had never actually committed. but collecting and cataloging special fonts on my computer has always been one of my main late late night pastimes.
When the graphics becomes too formal, rigid, and “geometric” is when i generally tend to get bored. I’ve spent years loving that style but at this moment I feel this approach belongs to another historical period, or at least that is not stimulating enough compared to what is required of graphics at this moment in time. i feel that in addition to all the rules, we should be able to add more soul to the things, to be able to infuse more meaning. authenticity is the hardest thing to achieve these days. for me, visual communication does not only mean regularising but just as much creating quality products that can generate true communication, allowing life, ideas and a vision to shine through as much as possible. opening a dialogue is the first step to being 100% honest with ourselves, with our creative process and with the end user, whether it’s a customer or anyone else that has contacts with what we do. an authentic design has to be sincere, human and alive. Being honest with yourself and with your own process shows results in the outcome, people feel it and this helps to establish a direct form of communication with fewer filters. Graphic design is less about selling and more about saying: “this is me, this is what I stand for, what are your thoughts on this? what’s your reaction?
Since Goliagolia was my first type, there was no desire to make it become a full-on font. it was the test project that was supposed to enable the learning process and help me understand the softwares. this allowed a creation process that was totally free, without pretensions or obsessions. I allowed myself to forget everything I had learned about typography during my years of study. I thought it would never be something that could be seen and judged so i felt completely free to do whatever I wanted. the whole process was regulated only by what I considered beautiful and interesting in that moment. I’m not a fan of the a zero rules approach but I admit that this kind of starting point has allowed the development of a totally genuine and spontaneous process.
Here some spontaneus reactions to questions you never asked me:
- Oh god, yes yes yes yes! less graphic design, more trees!!
- No, i think you should always use an unacceptable typeface!
- Definitely cats, and foxes!
- Remember what you discovered the last time.
- I totally agree, the most surprising part is how often you fail to acknowledge your true intentions.
- Not sure, probably that time while we were on the tour bus and the light designer told me to remember that perfect is the enemy of good.
- Lately i’ve been thinking that it would be better having a couple more of scientist rather than designers.
- Pizza and kanelboller! and the United States of Europe.
- I’m obsessed by the idea that i probably i should quit and start doing something more useful for the future.
- Single book pages sold individually so that you don’t have to buy the whole book when you just fall in love with a couple of spreads.
- Absolutely not, I would have studied physics or astronomy.