Interview: Meet Designer Raissa Pardini

Raissa Pardini is perhaps the most in-demand designer in the music game today.

Based in Glasgow, her bold and colourful designs have made her the go-to for such high profile and exciting acts as Idles, The Orielles, Squid and many more.

Now, for the first time, Raissa is exhibiting her work – the launch night being this Friday at The Social in London. Joining to celebrate her work will be a variety of collaborators and artists – including performances from The Roves and, we can exclusively reveal, Squid.

We had the chance to sit down with Raissa to discuss her work and her exciting first exhibition.

Q: You have an amazing eye for typography, in particular being able to warp and fashion these fonts into even bolder and even more eye-opening illustrations. Would you say there is endless creative fun to be had with something that is traditionally more restricted to clarity and visibility like a font? 

I love taking the chance on something traditional and make it new. It’s like re-discovering an old tool or a specific taste you tried and appreciate it again. It always comes as a little surprise, there’s always something that strikes my eye in a font. I can almost have a vision of how it should be re-visited, when I pick it. There are infinite ways of design indeed. I think the vision determines the execution and the execution is always very personal. That’s why every designer has their own way of working things around and that’s how different styles are defined. There’s no new without the past and there are no rules to break without the tools. Sometimes you can get lucky by just making something visually good without a real reason, but I don’t believe it can happen too often.

Q: I love the way in which each piece of your work feels personal to it’s muse or central focus, but it’s so unquestionably your craft – possessing that sense of identity within what i imagine to be quite collaborative work must be quite important to you? 

Designers are not artists or at least not to me. We are commissioned by clients that have a vision of how they’d like us to elaborate and create something for them. I think developing your craft is a vital quality in design and through your own personal style a sense of identity and uniqueness can be seen as an art. That’s the highest point of quality you can get. I’ve never been interested in making design on repeat, I’ve worked for publishers and studios that were focused mainly on branding and I found it quite boring to do something like that Monday to Friday. I’m not interested in designing safe artworks with an average design statement. I want to push myself further and that’s the fun part of my job.

Q: From this also, I feel there is an unspoken synchronicity between yourself and the people that you have worked with –  you’re able to capture their emotion and personality with colour and shape. How do you like to attempt to capture this yourself? 

I decided to work closely within the arts and with music being such a big source of inspiration for me it was natural for me to follow this path. Music creates emotions and experiences and those are filtered into my design. The more information and experiences I gather the better I will be able to translate that journey into a visual language. I research and feed myself with inspirations and that’s a unique process I create for each project. All projects are different and it’s important that we treat them that way. That’s your unique selling point that you own as a creative.

Q: Your work has become synonymous with a lot of artists – some people become aware of the acts through the way you’ve worked with them. How does it feel that people not only are very receptive to your work but you yourself have an influence in the presentation and identity of an act?

It’s beautiful, it helps me to realise that I work hard for a good reason and that my visualisation of an artists idea is in a way helping them also achieve goals and grow.  Design is a very powerful tool but it doesn’t have a face. My face is basically my work and that’s why I put 100% of myself into it because it’s everything I feel and I am. I’m very demanding of myself and hard to please so when the work clicks it’s amazing! 


Q: Your first exhibition begins this week, were their any integral moods or a particular focus that you wanted to capture within it? 

My exhibition focuses on my latest favourite music posters. Music is a big part of my carrier and I wanted to pay homage to what has happened to me in the last 12 months. Big posters, bold colours. Connecting the noise with a visual story. Make the design sing. Let the music be illustrated.

Q: An exhibition is an all encompassing presentation of someone’s work, what would you like people to take not only from your work but from within the context  of the exhibition?

Design is something that is still hard to explain to many, even to this very day. I want to show everyone how much you can do and how far design can take you to. How powerful design could be and how much we can push it into many styles, many corners but still looking branded and familiar to one’s method of working. I want people to re-think about typography, I want people to see that letters made a big part of our visual history and they can still give so much away. 

The opening night of Musica: Raissa Pardini’s debut solo exhibition is this Friday (4th October) at The Social in London. There will be DJs and live performances from Squid and The Roves.

You can follow Raissa on Instagram – @raissa_pardini