I am fully convinced that everyone can take the road of design, even if what they did previously was completely different. I haven’t done any design or graphic school in the past and yet I’m in this field.
Please give us a brief bio of yourself.
Hi, I’m Marco Grimaldi and I’m a Visual Designer. I’m 30 yo born and raised in Naples, Italy.
Since I was a child I’ve always been passionate about video games and new technologies, in fact, in my study path, programming and maths have been incredibly important, but, at the same time, I always had a strong interest in design and art.
What do you do for inspiration?
My inspiration process is made of different phases: study, analysis, and research, and every step has a different kind of source.
I’m a keen observer, I like to observe all of the things surrounding me and to note every tiny detail; and, sometimes, are exactly those little details that are going to make the difference on the final result.
Please list 3 of your favourite sites.
This is a tough one, but I’m going to try:
1 - http://thecreatorsproject.vice.com
I’m a very methodic person, who learnt to give himself a lot of rules. Few years ago my answer to this question would have been “h24, 7/7 days”, but now I know I need to set a specific time frame and try to stay true to that.
How do you relax or unwind?
I love to do some sport, like swimming or running, or just to go out and have a nice walk in the nature.
I enjoy to go to the cinema a lot and of course to do all of those activities strictly art-related world such as going to exhibitions, photography galleries, museums and so on. I think that going out is the best way to get inspiration.
If you weren't working on the internet what would you be doing?
I love the manual, to create things from scratch, so I guess I would have been a carpenter, woodworking is something that has always fascinated me.
What's your favourite part of your job? What's the hardest part of your job? What do you do when you get stuck?
I can sum all of it in one sentence: GET COMFORTABLE WITH FEELING UNCOMFORTABLE.
What's the longest you've ever stayed up working on a project?
It’s been during my first ever week of work in an agency. The project they assigned me was very complex and I had to use technologies I never used before (magento e-commerce). For two long weeks I stayed at work from 9 am till 10 pm without resting, and being my first job I had lots of pressure, basically a nightmare, but totally worth it because the result had been great.
If there are any pivotal experiences/decisions you could point to that helped shape your career, what would they be?
I never wanted to pause, since the beginning. I think that has been my most important decision. In my opinion for us designers there never is an end point but only targets to hit to grow more and more and get better results. I really love what I do.
Who do you rate as being the top 3 design companies?
- Hello Monday: because they keep being innovative and making innovation, in every project they do.
Has winning FWA awards helped you in any way?
Since I was 16 I have memory of FWA being always part of my daily routine, every day I checked which one was the website of the day, analysing the animations and the design that deserved such an award. FWA helped me growing and developing my ability to observe the web in so many points of view.
What did your very first site look like? Is it still online?
Unfortunately it’s not online anymore but I can tell you that was full of tables!
Are there things you do OUTSIDE of work to ensure that you are in the right mindset to be creative and/or successful in whatever you are doing?
I've always been of the opinion that once finished working you should not keep talking about it. Being surrounded by people that are not designers or strictly related to your work sphere is something extremely exciting. Sometimes it happens of course and can be fun, but other times it seems like a circle of hell.
What was the last digital effort you saw (or were a part of) that used social media in a way that really made sense. Why?
The craziest and most impressive campaign I’ve seen in the last few years has been the USA awareness campaign against weapons.
Here’s the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1nAfWfF4TjM
Observing the people behaving so naive when they enter the shop, getting excited for the purchase of their first gun and then seeing them realise that, actually, what they were so sure they wanted to buy is more dangerous than really useful, it’s just brilliant.
The web is getting out of the web. Do you find that thinking in digital solutions alone hinders you? Do you feel the urge to solve the problem using all mediums necessary?
The Internet has changed our way of seeing things, making us more connected. Right now we are witnesses of the digitalisation of all the instruments that accompany us in our everyday life.
Thanks to that there are no limits to the creativity, we can always push ourselves beyond, mixing digital and analog in order to simplify the experience and bring an older audience to new technologies without frightening them.
Looking 10 years in to the future, how far can websites go?
10 years are a lot, it’s almost impossible to me to think about.
I am fully convinced that everyone can take the road of design, even if what they did previously was completely different. I haven’t done any design or graphic school in the past and yet I’m in this field. I think that changing your path, if you’re not happy with that, can only bring more value to your life. If a person studied architecture for example, not necessarily he/she has to be an architect.
If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring FWA award submitter, what advice would you give them?
I would suggest to surround him/herself of sincere people, who know how to help you and tell you if your work is not great, if necessary; people not afraid of discussion or cooperation. The final result and the good quality of a project is always a matter of team work, we must never forget that.
What would be your ultimate vehicle to travel in?
A Delorean, of course, to travel back to the future.
How do you keep your finger on the pulse of the latest web trends?
I alternate between newsletters, blogs and newspapers. The search of the latest trends is always dynamic, there is no place where the trend is defined, you have to be capable to see if what you're watching is a potential trend or only a meteor.
It has been a privilege, thanks very much
Thank you Rob has been funny and a pleasure to do this interview.