LEFTLOFT ― TRANSCRIPT
I think that our culture is deeply rooted in beauty and the pursuit of beauty, so in our perception, you know, to make design is to make things work, to solve problems, and to make them look as beautiful as we can.
And I think that in Italy, Studio Boggeri, was the one who started all that stream of beautiful and the golden age of Italian design that probably was during the 19 60s. And I think even if I professionally grew up in a completely postmodern era, I think that they were still casting their shadows above us in a way.
My name is Andrea Braccaloni and I am one of the four founders of Leftloft. Three of us were architecture students and then we started doing some graphic design little jobs just to pay the bills and somebody told us we were good so we believed it. And we started doing this very naturally.
What we’ve learned after 21 years of this studio is that if you just wait for the brief to come, and to be in the end of the line of the decision making process, you'll be just more or less a decorator, a graphic designer that’s doing some nice and cute things without affecting the decisions.
When you use letters to convey a message, first you have to study a little bit and you need experience. That's why it takes a while to learn type design, you need to train your eyes and to look at letters all day long. You have to be a nerd, otherwise, there is no way you can spend your time like I do, watching a "G" and be like "Oh, you look beautiful" like this you know.
And so you have to learn and each time you deal with somebody that did this, you develop an attention to details. An attention to craftsmanship. There's no way you can be a good designer if you cannot treat letters well.
Oscar Mondadori is the most, the biggest catalogue of paperbacks in Italy, and it's also the oldest. We've been assigned to redesign just one single book chain - a book series, sorry, and we did a logo for that purpose and the layout.
In the end, we came up with a solution that I think is quite clever, we changed it just by cutting a little part of the book to reveal a part that normally nobody sees, you know. So by cutting 45 degrees the book cover, the book jacket, you can have a visual on the first page and then you can open up and discover another anti-cover in a way, something that dialogues with the first one. And I think this is a little gesture, but it's very memorable.
So actually what we did, was basically to do a timeline from 1000 BCE to now, and we divided these eras in different typefaces. When it came to designing the typeface for the Oscar logo, it was like, which one do I pick? I mean, which era is good for us? So we decided to go back to our roots, to our Italian roots, this peninsula, so we decided to go with the Roman inscriptions in a way and Greek first engravings.
And so we designed something that I think looks fresh and contemporary completely, but it has some subtle details that actually recall somehow the stone engravings and the proportion of the letters are the ones you had in Trajan’s Column or those kinds of places where the power was. And we did something that I think is 100% contemporary but still has some ancestral flavour.
Choice is a beautiful word because it's a word that opens so many scenarios. I like to think that design is exactly this: to make a choice, whether people like it or not. It's better if people like it because you do it for people most of the time. But it's about taking responsibility. So I think that choice is linked, and tied to the design world in a very strong bond between the two terms I think.