Each week, we’ll feature a few of our New Visual Artists—15 remarkable up-and-coming artists and creatives under the age of 30. Read about Raphael Geroni below, and meet all of PRINT’s New Visual Artists in the Summer 2016 issue of PRINT Magazine.
Meet Illustrator & Designer Raphael Geroni
From: Perkasie, PA.
Current city: Brooklyn.
Education: Tyler School of Art (BFA).
Geroni’s cover for the 2016 PRINT New Visual Artists issue
Earliest creative memory: Making cut-paper portraits of Bert and Ernie from “Sesame Street” when I was 2. I insisted they be hung at my height on the refrigerator and that I be photographed between them, wearing a vest and bow tie, giving a thumbs-up.
Art Nouveau–inspired birth announcement.
Path that led you to design: When I was accepted into Tyler School of Art, I had every intention of becoming a fine artist. I hadn’t realized that many of my interests were graphic design–based or that typography was a thing I could learn more about or do for a living. Growing up, I loved music, and my favorite part of getting a new CD was reading the inserts. I read the small type and saw who designed them, then noticed their work in other places. I valued design very early, and that never went away.
The Gershwins and Me
Career in a nutshell: Growing up in the suburbs, every weekend I traveled with my family, competing as a professional drag racer from age 8 until 18. While dominating the dragstrip, I secretly wanted to become an artist, so I applied to art schools. To pay for my apartment, I worked as a background actor and started a T-shirt business with a friend where we screenprinted out-of-copyright quotes about wine on shirts that got into in Napa, CA. In my at Tyler I worked as the Heads of State’s first intern and designed an exciting typographic project about The Great Gatsby with them. After winning top portfolio and graduating from Tyler, I worked at Headcase Design as a book designer and illustrator for five years. I wanted to focus more on typography and lettering, so I applied for a position with Louise Fili in NYC, and a few short weeks after that, my husband and I packed up our 1,100-square-foot loft to move into an apartment half the size in Brooklyn, with our anxious cat and boxes of irreplaceable books.
Harry Potter: The Complete Series – book cover and package redesign proposals
The key to good design: I’m drawn to people and work that are authentic, personal and sincere.
Motto/design philosophy: “Always be a first-rate version of yourself, not a second-rate version of somebody else.” — Judy Garland to Liza Minnelli
From the official companion book of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” (designed with/art directed by Paul Kepple at Headcase Design).
Work of which you’re most proud: I’m especially proud of The Gershwins and Me. During this project I realized I wanted to do more with historically based typography and that having an interest in the nerdy or obscure could be an asset. It made me want to learn more and truly invest myself in subjects that I can’t get enough of. It also led to my recently completed film title project.
Design hero: Doyald Young. (I have a tattoo of one of my favorite pieces of his, elegant and simply says: “I fuss a lot.”)
Biggest influence: I’m always looking for undiscovered typography and ornament in vintage printed ephemera.
How you would classify your style: Typographically focused, historically inspired and never the same.
Monogram for an investment advisory firm in New York (designed with/art directed by Louise Fili).
Favorite artist: Alex Steinweiss.
Favorite typographer: Mark Simonson.
What defines you: I’m known for being a wearer of dapper hats with color-coordinated feathers, and I usually have a glass of wine in my hand—and if I don’t, I’m certainly looking for one.
Cause that means the most to you: LGBT equality.
Cookbook cover that combines the author’s passions
Your idea of happiness: I would be absolutely thrilled if someone contacted me to create something for them simply because they wanted my personal take on it. It sounds so simple, but that’s it!
What you think the future of design is: I hope it will involve more storytelling rather than the perpetuation of internet memes and “going viral.” I’m hoping things will advance like they did during the “print is dead” phase. Many outside of the print industry bought into that phrase, but those within it rose to the occasion, asserted the value of physical objects, and some of the most exciting print pieces now exist because of it.