Photos: Esther Ro Schofield
Remember the first night? Such a long / short two weeks ago.
Saturday night was the culmination of an adventure for 11 participants from various countries — India, Egypt, South America, Australia and the US. When the program was founded, our goal was to introduce graphic designers to the roots of their chosen profession and to bring them back to where it all began.
Typography is the Lingua Franca of graphic design in Western Tradition and the Roman Letter is the beginning of it all. Over the past two weeks our students have been learning about type and typography all the while enjoying the people and culture of this incredible country. So much to absorb in two weeks — hopefully an experience that will have a lasting influence.
There have been Mauro Zennaro classes on the history and evolution of letter forms and visits to libraries with first-edition books, hands-on workshops creating letters with James Clough, a glimpse into the vernacular through Louise Fili’s beautiful work and passion for all things Italian, as well as archeological tours of Ancient Rome and Ostia Antica with Dr. Darius Ayra. We were also introduced to the work of contemporary Italian designers with Cristina Chiappini, Mario Rullo and Mario Fois and finally a visit to Paola Manfroni’s beautiful Studio Marimo in the restored Cerere pasta factory to view their award-winning work and hear about their blend of design and advertising.
We would like to thank our faculty — Zennaro, Clough, Chiappini, Mario Rullo and Mario Fois, Dr. Darius Ayra and Paola Manfroni. Of course, Louise Fili has worked throughout directing students with their final projects which we will view in a few minutes. Much gratitude goes to our very gracious and generous hosts – Carlo Martino Design Associate Professor_ Design PhD at Sapienza University of Rome. Thanks to Paola Vasilly, the education director of this grand Palazzo delle Esposizioni. and her helpful staff Guilia Franchi and Elena Fierli. And let’s not forget our program director Esther Ro Schofield, without whom we’d be a stampeeding herd of cattle.
We cannot say enough about all this year’s ‘Amazing Rome Workshop’ participants: You have dedicated yourselves to the program, absorbed everything we offered, and have produced an impressive array of projects. All the while you formed a real creative community and long-lasting bonds.
Each of these projects was conceived and executed in less than one week. They are the outcome of personal passions and observations translated through graphic design and typography into potentially marketable visual products. Some are fully formed while others are proposals for future development. Each is a distinct and individual interpretation of this amazing and indeed eternal city. (Stay tuned for the launch of the projects online.)