“I draw from the ideas carried by fantasy and music,” says Rome-based graphic designer Brando Corradini. It sounds like a rather whimsical approach for a man whose portfolio is packed with deliciously minimal and heavily type-based work, often in punchy color palettes. He qualifies this abstract statement with something that feels a little more apt:
“A good graphic should communicate with little, not adding but selecting. My creative philosophy is enclosed within the phrase ‘less is more.’”
Working across identity projects, posters, illustration, editorial design, typography, lettering, and digital, the bulk of Corradini’s side hustle is spent with cultural clients; his 9-5 is at Italian web magazine SnapItaly. It was his stunning art books for the likes of Marina Abramovic, Ai Weiwei, and Jon Rafman that caught our eye, as well as the utterly beautiful recent book, Everything Is Design, which is, as many jokes have had it, black-and-white and red all over.
It uses an unusual series of black dots on the cover, overlaid and partially obscured by white typography, a hint at what’s inside. The sans serif type and its no-nonsense application certainly has more than a whiff of the Swiss style that the contents delineate. It says a lot about his aforementioned design philosophy, which means he “always [tries] to be careful about details, and above all, to create graphics that are fairly clean and synthetic.”
Corradini’s Brexit project marks a departure from his arts-focused work, but not from this sort of impactful style. The zine was commissioned by London indie publisher Roys Room. “I wanted to communicate the messages through the juxtaposition of words and images,” says Corradini. “I tried to deal with Brexit’s delicate subject by documenting myself, in a way, creating a piece of graphic work with emotional and intuitive images to engage and influence the most everyday aspects of our lives as well as the most extraordinary ones.
“The design is synthetic, minimal, studied in every detail. It was the first time I’d had to deal with a political topic, but the project gave me the opportunity to freely express all my creativity without any constraints.”
While Corradini’s style appears to be universally loved and omnipresent in the graphic design community, the designer says that in his native Rome things are a little less straightforward than in cities like New York or Berlin. “My projects and graphic style are more appreciated abroad,” he says.
“In Rome, there is little camaraderie and a lot of competition that makes it difficult to to break into the world of work as a young graphic designer, but with a few difficulties and a lot of tenacity I’ve become more known.”
This tenacity stems from Corradini’s childhood, spent “passing the time drawing and colouring,” he says. “This was my fantastic world! And now it is reality.” As such, his most rewarding projects are often those based in the art world. “Choosing to design an art book comes from my passion for publishing and graphics,” he says. “The preparation phase is long and laborious, once I choose the topic, I try to develop the concept, content organization, and visualization of images with the text, trying to create interesting and engaging communication. The positive thing about working with cultural clients is to collaborate and share ideas, concepts, and see the endorsement of your project.”
Aside from a passion for music (he even studied for a professional DJ qualification), Corradini swears by a good night’s sleep. “Often, I think about new ideas in the night, as I sleep heavily. Suddenly I’ll wake up and run to ‘throw’ some sketches on white pages.”