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Visually’s Marketplace connects thousands of designers with clients seeking to commission infographics and data visualizations. Every week, we feature a member of our designer community here, on the blog. If you are interested in participating, please contact us at blog[at]visual.ly.
Name: Antonio di Vico
On Visually: antoniodivico
In Design: 9
1.Tell us a bit about yourself: how did you get into design, and how long have you been doing it?
Although a significant part of what I have done in the past 10 years is design, I wouldn’t quite define myself as a designer. I would say I am much more of a communications expert with an instinctual design intuition.
When I graduated from the University of Salerno, Italy, with a degree in Communications Science, my final thesis focused on the role of music in advertising. At that point I really wanted to work in advertising, which I did through establishing my own company.
I then travelled to India for the first time with my camera and came back home with about 50 rolls of unexposed film. I had fallen in love with the world and with photography and ended up far away from advertising on a travel around the world. Soon I found myself working for a photo agency covering social issues such as prostitution and transgenderism, as well earthquakes and rural traditions in Italy.
My travels in developing countries exposed me to and made me very aware of poverty, as well as developmental and human rights issues. This in turn gave me the motivation to radically turn my career into a different direction and contribute my skills to non-profit organizations. In the past three years, I have worked as a communications professional for several United Nations agencies and NGOs on themes such as climate change, literacy, water wastage and violence against women.
Information design is probably just another step in my personal and professional evolution, which passed through several phases: painting, photography, digital art, advertising, web management, and so on. But I feel that information design is something that is here to stay. Both in the communications panorama and in my life.
2. In 7 words or less, describe your style.
Clean. Accessible. Reassuring. European.
3. If you could take a seminar with one designer or artist, dead or living, who would that be? Why?
If I had a time machine, it would certainly be Leonardo da Vinci. A scientist, artist, inventor and so much more, a genius who was centuries ahead of his time. Among the living, I’d like to take a seminar not with a designer but with Steve Mc Curry, a photographer whose work never ceases to amaze and inspire me.
4. What’s your favorite color? Why?
My triad is white, red and black. They are pure, strong, elegant colors that work amazingly well together. I love white because to me it means endless possibilities, red because it’s such a primitive, visceral color, and black for its uncompromising and absolute qualities.
5. What is the biggest mistake you’ve made in your work and what did you learn from it?
Thankfully, I don’t have many horror stories in this regard, although I have had my share of tragi-comic ones. I’d say my biggest mistake was accepting a project with a very, very vague brief without reading it properly. I assumed the customers had done their homework. But they hadn’t. Needless to say, I should have simply asked the client to revise the working document and come back to me at a later stage. But I didn’t. This meant working twice as much, an unsatisfied customer and a final result I wasn’t proud of. Bottom line: never accept a poorly written brief. And, yes, read your email with attention.
6. What about your biggest achievement? Tell us about the project you are most proud of in your career so far.
It’s in my nature to rarely be satisfied with my work. Only a few hours after I have delivered a project, I can already see with painful lucidity all its shortcomings. But design, like art and life in general, is a process and I try to treasure both the things I did “wrong” and the few ones I think I did right for the next assignment. Trial and error, it’s always the same story. Although stressful, I realize I love working on projects with a big visibility like infographics, because it pushes me to raise the bar each time.
Despite all this, I am very proud of my latest infographic for UNESCO on water collaboration, both for the incredibly interesting topic and the way I managed to communicate such a complex issue.
7. Who should we feature in this space next?
Angela Morelli. She is probably already well known on visual.ly and elsewhere. Her work is brilliant and inspiring; a perfect combination of beautifully organized content and social activism. I’d love to work on a project with her.