Matteo Bologna: Funny Man/Type Extraordinaire

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No doubt you’re familiar with HOW Design Live speaker Matteo Bologna’s work. Under his leadership as founding partner, principal and creative director, Mucca Design has created stunningly successful projects for global heavy hitters including Shinsegae, Whole Foods, Victoria’s Secret, Barnes & Noble, Rizzoli, Adobe Systems and Target. With his team, Bologna has also designed identities for a variety of now classic New York City culinary destinations like Balthazar’s and Brooklyn Fare.


Not surprisingly, the firm’s work has been widely recognized by industry publications, competitions and exhibitions, including Print, HOW, AIGA, Communication Arts, Eye, Graphis, the Art Directors Club and the Type Directors Club, for which Bologna currently serves as president. An expert on branding and typography, he frequently lectures around the world.

Print recently reached out to find out more about Bologna’s current projects, interests and influences; what we learned was that this guy has personality in spades. And while we’re still not sure what’s up his sleeve for his HOW Design Live session in May, we’re confident he will entertain you and wow you with his work.

What are you especially excited about and/or challenged to be working on right now?

We are currently working on a rebranding of a fresh healthy takeaway chain concept, a few spirits branding and packaging projects, some custom typefaces.

Of course since the projects are under development, I cannot tell you the names of the clients, or I would have to kill you. A new project that I can mention is the Chicago Athletic Association, a hotel in Chicago in an amazing Neo-Gothic building from the late 1800s that’s being renovated by Roman & Williams. Doors will open before How Design Live, and it will be a great place for post-conference parties.

What’s your favorite part of the design process? Least favorite? Why?

Getting the check so I can cover my gambling debts.

I was joking: My favorite part is getting the check so I can gamble hoping to win big to cover my huge gambling debts.

Least favorite: Waiting at the door for the checks to come. And hiding from bookies.

Who are your design heroes or the biggest influences on your career?

Louise Fili, Chuck Anderson, Jaco Pastorious, Louis CK, John Holmes

What are the biggest lessons you’ve learned in your career thus far?

Never gamble the fee for a job with a restaurateur from Macao. I cannot really say more, but it has something to do with why I’m nicknamed three fingers.

What’s your favorite typeface?

If I translate this question from font to color I could answer pink, for instance, but pink would be the wrong color if I’m designing the brand for a funeral parlor. I can appreciate a font for the shapes of the letters, for the way it looks on a page at a particular type size and with a specific leading—and/or for all of the above. But the font that I like the most is the one that does the job right.

Your HOW Design Live keynote is titled “God is in the Kerning: Branding from a Typographer’s Point of View.” Can you expand on that? What types of takeaways can attendees expect?

To be honest, the title was chosen a long time ago, and since then, I have become an atheist. So if God does not exist, probably nothing will be in the kerning. And most likely I will have nothing to say to the audience. Maybe I’ll show some holidays picts. Bummer.

We’re confident Matteo Bologna has a healthy dose of wisdom along with his wit to impart to HOW Design Live attendees. Register before March 31 to save $200 off your registration fee!