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Issue 13: Gianmarco Magnani
Visit Gianmarco’s webpages:
100 Prints
Sixty Watts
Q&A with Gianmarco magnani
Vhcle Magazine Issue 13, Design
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What is your creating process like?
I start almost all ideas on paper, taking a lot of references from books, magazines and also the internet. I first start thinking on a concept and then I start making sketches for the entire composition, combining icons, fonts, logotypes, headers and all those elements around a main character. I try to keep a square format. I always start each work using just black ink and I try to finish it that way. Sometimes it works and sometimes it needs an accent, so then I'll try adding a simple color scheme to the composition. I love to draw with pencil and ink, but right now my work is mostly digital, so I'm focused on vector illustration using a laptop and also a Wacom.
Favorite drink?
Cold water.
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Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Gianmarco Magnani, I'm an illustrator. I love books, but I'm the one who sees the text instead of reading it. I love everything about design, in every field. Since 2010, I have been working on a personal project called 100 Prints, and recently published a new project about a rock band called Sixty Watts. I love to be involved in design projects and art direction.
Have you always been interested in illustration?
I have been drawing since I was a child, so maybe in some way I have always been into illustration. But I have also been interested in traditional animation too. So maybe in the future I would like to spend some time studying it.
Can you tell us about your project Sixty Watts?
After studying graphic design at university I started working at some agencies. During those days I learned a lot of things developing projects for different clients, and also by working next to great people there. But I realized that the idea I had about design was totally different. I had many ideas about design, composition, identity and packaging, but I never found the client or the opportunity to develop a project based on my own ideas. When I was at university I thought design projects would be, for example, developing a graphic campaign for the Rolling Stones. But after many years working in the field I realized that things were different. I understood that maybe a project for the Rolling Stones would never be possible. It was 2009, a hard time in Europe and the agency I worked for had to close, and so I had to focus my attention on the next step.
I have been very influenced, since I was a child, by all manga and comics that came from Japan during the '80s, so I always had a lot of ideas about designs like those mentioned – combining texts, logotypes and icons based on a black inked illustration style. After many conversations with my wife about all these ideas without a place or a client I decided to work on a personal project about illustration, entitled 100 Prints ( I started this project in 2010 and I think it will be finished around 2016. The project is basically composed by 100 Prints, divided into 25 series, composed by 4 Prints. During late 2010, after many prints, I decided to try something in the music field, creating a series for a rock band. So I made those prints and because I didn't want to use any existing band, I chose a fictitious name and called it Sixty Watts (
At that moment it was just a series about music, nothing else beyond that. A few weeks later after posting that series, I read on a French blog some comments about my work and those specific prints. The blog comments said something like " … these are some posters for a rock band called Sixty Watts, but don't try to search their music because they don't exist ... " When I read those words I got an interesting idea. I remembered when I was a child and the affect it caused when I saw album covers of bands from the '70s and '80s in record stores. Then I remembered the project that never came for the Rolling Stones, and then I thought: If I have all these ideas for a rock band and don't have the band to work with, then I will invent my own rock band. And because it doesn't exist it would be the only rock band that has everything except music. At the very beginning and several times during the process, I thought 'how ridiculous is this idea?' But then I thought about it as "different" and I'm sure that moment was very important for me and kept me going on. So I studied and worked for a year on this project. I bought various things about music from the US, Europe and Japan. I started studying all the products that I bought and also read about history, discography and curiosities form different bands. All that gave me more ideas than the ones I had and more possibilities for design. When I looked at that album cover, and without listening to the music, my imagination started creating a complete story. And that if I want, it could be endless.