Progetto Grafico 29 — “Clients and Patrons” — Contents

Curated by Carlo Vinti and Davide Fornari, with Riccardo Falcinelli

At a time of general economic difficulty and continuous changes in the sphere of visual communication, Progetto grafico is focusing its discussion on the question of clients and their relationship with designers.
The graphic designer’s position towards the patron has taken on numerous shapes over time: from the work for “ideal” clients such as Adriano Olivetti to the search for like-minded exponents of worlds which already recognized them, up to the eclipse of commission givers one can often observe in nowadays practices. Starting from this variety of approaches and positions, Progetto grafico 29 questions how the relationship among graphic designers and commission givers has changed. Together with theoretical and historical essays, the issue features a survey on the opinions of professionals, clients, educators as well as to the head of foundations that support the work of graphic designers.

Carlo Vinti, Davide Fornari
Clients and patrons: the reasons behind the issue

At a time of general economic difficulty and continuous changes in the sphere of visual communication, Progetto grafico is focusing its discussion on the question of clients and their relationship with designers.


Giovanni Anceschi
The competent client

We asked Giovanni Anceschi’s permission to reprint a decisive essay he wrote in 2005, The competent client, fruit of his experience at the Graphic and Multimodal Systems research unit at the Politecnico di Milano, and asked him to take a look back at the theories he held at the time.


Gianluca Camillini, Jonathan Pierini
The imagined client

The figure of the client takes on different facets depending on the context and phases of work of the graphic designer: sometimes absent, sometimes simulated, sometimes replaced, the imagined client is however always present.


Antonio Iadarola
Designing the conditions

Design is in a phase of continuous and rapid change. Designers are often asked to construct the way content is conveyed rather than shape the contents. How does this affect the relationship between graphic artists and clients?


Huib Haye van der Werf, Jo Frenken (Jan van Eyck Academie); Stefano Faoro; Marianne Burki (The Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia); Julien Mercier; Stefano Coletto (Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa); Krisis; Kido Hideyuki (DNP Foundation for Cultural Promotion); Mariko Takagi
Supporting graphic design — A survey on foundations

More and more institutions are supporting the work of graphic designers. We asked four foundations to tell us why. We also asked for feedback from designers and researchers who have received their support.


Leonardo Sonnoli, Project Projects, Mark Porter, NORM, R2Design
Portraits in the mirror 1/2 — Graphic designers and clients

Hated or sanctified, the clients are the counterparts of graphic design, although we tend to talk little about them because of work ethics. We asked five graphics studios to tell us about their relationship, real or ideal, with their clients.


Alberto Aspesi; Marco Benvegnù (Arper); Giovanni De Mauro (“Internazionale”); Evelina Bazzo (Umbrella); Christina Reble (Museum für Gestaltung)
Portraits in the mirror 2/2 — Clients and graphic designers

No one knows anything about the client and rarely does the graphic designer’s main counterpart get a chance to speak. We asked clients and those who represent them about their relationship with the designers.


Luciano Perondi (isia, Urbino); Armand Mevis (Werkplaats Typografie, Arnhem); Steven Heller, Lita Talarico (School of Visual Arts, New York); YuJune Park, Juliette Cezzar (Parsons School of Design, New York); Adrian Shaughnessy (Royal College of Art, Londra); Laurent Ungerer (EnsAD, Parigi)
Importance of the curriculum — Do graphic design schools prepare for the relationship with clients and commissioning parties?

The curriculum at graphic design schools is constantly evolving in an effort to adapt to changes inside and outside the profession. How do schools and colleges respond to new market and client demands?


Giorgio Ruggeri
The Progress Film posters

In East Germany, film posters were examples of an odd political short circuit. They were commissioned by a single government body and made by graphic designers seeking to subvert the aesthetic dogmas of the regime in favour of individualism.


Emanuela Bonini Lessing
Notes on the situation of public competitions — Reflections on why they don’t work (and a way of keeping calm)

Recent competitions for the corporate identity of various Italian cities have added to the debate over longstanding topics such as graphics for public utilities, public competitions and the role of the graphic designer.


Off Topic


Francesca Cozzolino
De Certeau’s Theory of Everyday Life and its Circulation

The ideas in The Practice of Everyday Life encourage us to recognize the individual’s creative ability to subvert the rules through everyday actions: a lesson for designers as well.


Luca Capuano, Veronica Maccari, Luciano Perondi
Photography and Writing

Photography as a tool for obtaining data and/or for communicating it


Sheila Levrant de Bretteville — Silvia Sfligiotti
Being otherwise

A conversation with Sheila Levrant de Bretteville on feminism, public art, education, and the gentle art of activism.

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