Matteo Signorelli is an Italian graphic designer and illustrator with a penchant for the colour blue. His work is a blend of block colours, simple shapes and witty subjects seemingly inspired by the schools of traditional print aesthetics and bold graphics. Based in Pesaro, Italy where he once played in a punk rock band with a few friends, Matteo always knew he wanted to do something creative with his life. Inspired by his father, who was a great illustrator himself, Matteo focused on painting while he studied at a Fine Art Academy and then began studying Graphic Design and Cinema and Video.
Matteo admits to loving his hometown. ‘It’s a small city with many hidden creative hubs. From music to graffiti, creative festivals and a beautiful library, there’s a lot to do.’ He says, ‘All my friends live here too and most importantly, we’re by the sea. I consider myself lucky because its such a small place but has everything. I’ll probably move in search of more but for now I like it.’
Matteo also is the co-founder of a creative collective called Celeste; a group of friends who work at self-publishing, illustrated books and screen printing. He spends a lot of time meeting likeminded people and learning more about the vast array of disciplines within the creative industries and stresses the importance of blending opposing and complimentary interests to understand what really matters. Between this and accepting commissions or working on editorial projects for magazines and the like, Matteo sounds like a pretty busy person.
‘My typical day starts with emails and texting or calling my girlfriend to say good morning. Then I’ll start to plan the day. I had promised myself I’d make a daily diary, but so far I haven’t been able to keep that up. At the moment I’m working in my room usually listening music. In the past I used to love covering the wall with images and collages to inspire me, but later I discovered that it really distracted me so I started to become more of a minimalist. Now all things that surrounding me have to be set out in an orderly fashion. I’m not OCD or anything but I like to keep things clear and focused.’
A naturally curious person, Matteo’s work is inspired by a diverse mix of subjects, from magazines and cook books to contemporary art shows across Italy and the train journeys that get him there. On a good day he’ll chill at home drinking coffee while working away and on less inspiring days, a romantic approach to creative block by way of a long walk outside does the trick.
Influenced by lectures, cinema, music and illustrated children books, Matteo says, ‘I remember when I worked as a waiter in a restaurant, many years ago and being so impressed by families with children. They would use colouring pens and pencils at the restaurant and made the most wonderful drawings during dinner. These were usually forgotten and left at the table, so I took would take them home with me. I have them all in a big box at home.’
Currently working with Scrape Screen Printing, a friend and part of a friendly community of creatives, on a large illustrated silhouette crafted from wood for a music store in Pesaro, Matteo is never short of unique ideas. ‘It’s for a mini golf game over the Christmas holidays.’ He says, ‘So when someone goes to buy some music they can give it a try. I’m also working also on a video documentary with two friends from Milan. Next year i’ll be in Rotterdam for an artistic residency at Tent, a museum for contemporary art and I hope will be a great new year with many things to do and many interesting people to know. I’m looking forward to some great new collaborations and maybe a new country to move to to continue my work; any suggestions?’
We’re sure you’d feel right at home in London, although we are lacking a coast and sunshine for the most part. You can keep up with Matteo’s illustrative and graphic design work on his Instagram feed and show his projects some love over on Behance.
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Words: Emily Beeson | @younggoldteeth