Today we are sharing with you the works and thoughts of logo and all round graphic designer; Dario Calonaci. People may have found several of his logo’s and other work on his Dribble account and also he has previously had wallpaper designs on Wegraphics and TutorialStorage.
Hi Dario, It’s a great pleasure to be able to interview you for the latest in the Design Juices interview series. Can you first introduce yourself to our readers, those of whom may not know who Dario Calonaci is. How does he fit into the creative online and offline world of design?
Ha! I bet all of your readers haven’t heard about me! As you know, it’s my pleasure and honour to be interviewed here, so thank you.
I’m a 22yo Italy-based, worldwide available logo/branding and graphic designer. I’m currently working in a small italian company as a system-admin/analyst with also some small design-related tasks, like branding definition, website construction and so on.
How does I fit into the creative world? Well, I just consider myself as the mascot!
I’m lucky to be part of a world which is small and closed, which has been a lifetime dream to me, so I just hope to be a good mascot! Anyway, I had the opportunity to connect with a lot of great people with an infinite talent who are also willingly to share their resource and knowledge who soon as became mine, so after like three years of experience I’m here. You can find me a lot on twitter, google plus and so on just ready to help with anything – the more font related, the better!
From six/seven month I also started to study Photoshop, another dream came true and some of my works have been featured on websites like Abduzeedo, GoMedia, Inspirationfeed, HangAroundTheWeb, FromUpNorth, WeGraphics and so on, so I think I’m fitting nicely with my style being minimalistic and elegant, features I inherited from my study on timeless logo-design.
But really, I’m here the most to help and talk with other great designers (which some of I deserve and promised more than one beer, better if they forget this…); I’m just enjoying the ride!
What was your route to where you are today, did you follow several years of training in college and university? or did you go through the self taught route?
I’ve studied in the artistic high school of my town, Florence, which has left me only with some basic and useless knowledge about art and totally nothing related to new mediums and things that will help you live or made a profession out of.
I’d like to quote my conational, talentful graphic designer Sebastiano Guerriero :
“Italy does not offer good institutes for design, and not having the possibility to go out in another state to study I can say I have been forced to proceed by myself.” –Sebastiano Guerriero
Wise and warning words. Italy, Florence expecially, it’s a place founded and funded by art: why we’re stick on oldies, not lettin’ it take new roads? We’re becoming obsolete and this bring my heart to the despair.
Anyway, I started my freelance company while studying computer at the university and while working with almost nonexistent contracts for some companies. Soon I gained the first freelance contracts and this lead me where I am now, working part time as a system analyst/administrator and part time as a graphic designer freelance, willin’ to get a full-time job. In September I will teach something on typography and will frequent a two years degree in advertising design, just to make my CV grow.
What kinds of clients do you work with on a daily basis? & Do you have any big name clients we may recognise your work from?
Daily basis? I wish I had so much client!
I work with small companies/single people searchin’ for a professional, hopefully timeless brand, which is a thing that it’s not at all taught in this country. The most famous client I worked for it’s maybe the clothing brand “Borgo28 inc”, which I know has received aslo insightful reviews from the USA. And I’ve also done the complete branding for an exbithion that will be held here in Florence the next year!
Also, sometimes client search me for some illustration to be placed in magazines or to decorate their offices/shops walls.
With the advent of social media it gives designers a new way to promote and network with other designers and clients alike. What do you enjoy the most about social networking?
The most that I enjoy about social networks it’s that they made me as I am now! I learned a lot following and talking with designers through those – I’m currently working on the “promote” thing. It’s a long road, I’ll certainly enjoy it!
Also, being so minimalistique as I am, I fell in love with Twitter, Google Plus and Dribbble!
Can you recommend to us any members of your social media circle?
Of course that I can, so here it’s the list! By the way, it’s unordered, no one here it’s more important than the other. And if I forget someone, please forgive me – I don’t think there will be enough place for all the people I follow and love.
Graham Smith – master in logo design, been my mentor without even knowing it : @imjustcreative
Tim Van Damme, one of the best pixel pusher I’ve ever seen: @maxvoltar
Angelika Kural, my mentor in Photoshop; her early works are really inspiring: @andziadesign
James White, one of the most generous and sympa people I know: @Signalnoise
Richard Davies, one of the best artist with Photoshop I’ve seen, now that he found his illustrative style – and also a really good pal: @turksworks
Philip Brunner: his works always leave me breathless , he’s a really good friend and if I won’t feature him he will kill me with his master ninja skills! @philipbrunner (I invited him on Google Plus, so I’m the one to blame :P)
Richard Di Cesidio, a rare level of talent to be found in Italy – and one of my best friend: @visualhaze (I drafted him to Dribbble and invited on Google Plus, so I’m the one to blame :P)
Alexander Wende, one of the best logo designer of all the world, believe me: @alexwende (he drafted me to Dribbble, I’m so honoured – but for you, it’s time to blame him!)
Gert Van Duinen, a great, talentful as hell logo designer and great mate, I’m really an admirer of his skills: @gertvanduinen
Sergey Shapiro. His logo-makin’ style is really unique, his tecniques and results are unbelievable, he’s a crazy, adorable man and one of my best friends (hope this won’t offend him): @serhos
Michael Spitz, world famous logo designer; I’m an admirer and a jealous lover of his works: @m_michaelspitz
Francesco Mugnai, a talented web and graphic designer and a great social mediator, who it’s here in Florence too, so I just hope to met him asap; (his blog rules!): @francescomugnai
John Mark Herskind: the best young talent I’ve seen, he also one of the most active social guys IRL: @jmherskind
Jennifer Cirpici: so talent and with so many road on her back, even if she’s so young! @JenniferCirpici
I think I’m done here, as I said before I really can’t feature everyone I love – I’m so sorry, please don’t offend you if your name doesn’t appear up there – it appear on my heart and thoughts, which I think it’s the most important.(yeah, I know, you won’t getting’ pageviews from there, I’ll owe you a cold one!)
When your not designing in the evening and at weekends how do you switch off to relax and enjoy yourself?
When I’m not designing I unleash the not-so-inner-myself and I transform in a big WERENERD: I look my way around for new beta services, read and make my culture about technology, hardware/software/web, talk with other, go out searchin’ for lost money to imprison into my wallet, go out for a beer and some lovely pizza, see a lot of movie and nonsense, sometimes I shave my beloved beard too! That’s when tears come out.
Btw, I have a Peter Griffin, Domo Kun and Angry Birds plushies sittin’ near to my laptop. If this isn’t nerdy, I don’t know anymore in what to believe!
Where do you see your career in five years time? Do you have a grand plan of where you want to end up?
Five years from now I hope to have a bigger and important CV, one way more stable job, (maybe important too), have met in real some of the people that I adore on the web (and I hope they adore me too!) and to be honest, I just want to ride to the hopefully new job or freelance jobs meeting on a golden, jet-pack propelled, gorilla-shaped flying car.
As a final thought, I’m really thankful to you, Jared Thompson,
“This is my latest artwork, a minimalist one on the Shibumi concept; I wanted this to be the final essence of minimalism itself, like a poster for the entire movement. The artwork is dedicated to Angelica Kural, one of my best friend and best to say, her artworks were a big inspiration and engine for me to enter this world.”