Work for money. Design for love.
The most prestigious brands,
designers, marketing enthusiasts, visionaries and specialists in new
technologies… they’re attending DDD
Meet Ditroit studio’s Creative Director, Salvatore Giunta.
This October, Ditroit turns 10 years old. For the occasion, they are publishing a book consisting of visual and textual content that tells the story of the studio from its inception in 2009 and its growth into 2019.
Ditroit will also debut the full Digital Design Days trailer they were appointed to direct for the 5th edition this year. I’m pleased to share this exclusive interview with Ditroit’s creative director, Salvatore Giunta, on today’s #DesignWithDot post!
1. I watched the trailer for Digital Design Days 2019 and it was beyond outstanding!!! I’m in love with everything! As creative director, how did you come up with the direction and concept for this amazing piece of art?
The concept behind this project is inspired by the idea of « NETWORKING ».
DDD is home to an enormous flow and exchange of information that explore the whole spectrum of design hence serving as a synergy hub for an incredibly diverse audience. From the most historic advertising agencies to the most recent startups, the most prestigious brands, designers, marketing enthusiasts, visionaries and specialists in new technologies – they’re attending DDD.
The interaction between all these professionals specialized in different disciplines within the communication universe, brings out a network wanting to discover, share, collaborate.
In our film, the different levels of the festival audience have been represented through different shapes which coexist together. In addition, there is this element that I’d call the « intruder », a shape that in a way represents the communication as an entity, an element that is common to every single person attending the festival. Compared to the other shapes, the “intruder” has a more organic behavior that somehow stimulates the practice of the various disciplines/shapes hence creating real connections.
By the way, you’ve only seen the first part of the project. In October, we will present the full version 😃
2. “Work for money, design for love”. You mentioned this at your TedxIED talk. Can you explain to us what you mean by this?!
That phrase refers to the two major categories of clients we’ve been dealing with through our 10 year experience. On one hand, we’ve had clients who are not familiar with the 3D production process or design in general. Most often their demands are not very clear, they don’t have an understanding of our job and can’t figure exactly what to expect from us.
For us this means that besides doing the direction and production of a video, we will have to invest way more energy & resources onto making the process clearer to the client, support them with tests and rework each frame and animation over and over again (until we figure out what they wanted in the first place, right?). In these cases, we’re doing much more than we’re supposed to. Another characteristic of this type of client is that they’d want you to work under crazy deadlines which, frankly, makes us feel like we just WORK FOR MONEY.
On the other hand, when you work with someone who appreciates your work, shares your approach, really loves what you do, creates a dialogue and a relationship with you, who is interested in developing an original project, gives you the chance to do a fair amount of research and development, give you the chance to do something different from the usual, gives you the right timing, gives you the opportunity to grow professionally, well, in these cases we feel like we DESIGN FOR LOVE. Honestly, in such cases, the budget can be secondary as the real compensation comes from the joy of being able to create dope content.
3. What’s your dream? (Where do you want to see your life and the world in 10 years? Year 2029!?
I don’t know if it will happen in 2029 or in 2039 but I think that at some point I will completely abandon the fantastic universe of communication, design & motion design. I will delete Facebook & Instagram and probably I’ll go back to Sicily in my hometown. I can picture myself living in a house in the countryside near the sea, with a large garden, lots of plants, two dogs and a cat.
My favorite projects are those that keep up awake at night… the ones that are followed by a feeling of panic and angst..
4. You’ve worked with so many amazing brands and projects. What type of projects are your favorite and why?
My favorite projects are those that keep me awake at night. Also, as masochistic as it may sound, the ones that are followed by a feeling of panic and angst. I’d say I literally sleep less when we’re given the chance to explore some new territories with our work and also when we’re facing complex technical problems, when the customer’s expectations are very high, when we receive a brief that reflects our approach to design…
Years ago I used to feel ecstatic whenever we worked with more niche brands, the ones that tend to give greater creative freedom, where you have the chance to simply express your vision with few limits set and with little compromise to make.
Now, one of the aspects that excites me the most, is being able to develop a project that reflects my design approach while working with more commercial clients. I find it more challenging but also very stimulating because you have to succeed in bringing together the visions of different parties. The more institutional client has some specific needs & constraints while we are thriving to bring forward our ideas and our approach. When you succeed in bringing these aspects together, well, that’s a great feeling because you’ve managed to give the customer what he wants and at the same time be proud of that very project that maybe you spent months working on.
5. What advice would you give to your younger self 10 years ago?
Professionally speaking, I would have wanted to spend some time abroad and maybe work for some of my favorite motion or graphic design studios. Other than that, I have no regrets whatsoever.
In terms of personal life, if I could go back in time, I’d give more importance to the bonds with the most relevant people in my life. I have always spent too much time at work often putting the affections and relationships with the closest and dearest people on the back burner.
6. What are your thoughts on social media? Hate it? Can’t live without it?
Social media has certainly influenced and changed the way we live, for better or for worse. On one hand, they allow all of us to discover and learn new things, but on the other, they also lead to homologation.
I often use Instagram, of course, but if a meteorite falls on the earth tomorrow and all social networks go haywire, I wouldn’t care less.
The advice I also give to myself is to follow more pages dedicated to ‘boobs’ and fewer pages with design stuff.
Friends and colleagues were my mentors.
7. What is your philosophy about life? Or a mantra, quote or proverb you want to share with us?
Try to do as much as possible whatever you like doing, avoid compromises as much as possible, listen to the opinions of people around you, like your friends & family, analyze and evaluate their opinions but decide with your own head. Sometimes you’ll prosper, sometimes you’ll fall you but at least you won’t live with regrets.
8. What’s your dream travel destination or the next place you want to visit? #TravelWithDot
I would like to walk in a desert place for like a month, surrounded by nature, plants, animals, with a small backpack on my shoulders, a tent to sleep at night. And a GPS so that I don’t get totally lost..
9. What’s your favorite food experience you would take me to in Valencia, and what would we eat? #EatWithDot
We could go and eat at this little restaurant called « Jacopo », a small cozy place close to our old studio. We used to have lunch there all together, and we loved both he owner, a very nice guy of Milanese origins, and the few fresh dishes they serve each day. I am very fond of their cuisine because regardless of whether you chose to eat fish, meat, salads or pastas, you’re always sure you’re getting some deliciously cooked food. I go nuts over their cheeseburger. I think it’s one of the best burgers I’ve ever eaten.
10. Who has been a mentor or someone you have looked up to for advice and inspiration?
Obviously I check out many studios, designers and artists out there, the ones that reflect my vision, the ones that are always breaking boundaries. But my mentors, the ones I learned the most from, were people I crossed paths & spent some periods of my life with.
For example, during the first year of my graphics design studies, I kept observing one of my classmates. He wasn’t the most creative person in the class, but I was obsessed with how accurate & professional he was. He was mighty well-prepared when it came to using softwares so I used to bombard him with questions.
Eventually, I learned loads from him.
Then again, during my third year at university I scrutinized 2 guys from another class and their working methodology. One of two was very good at typography, he knew all the fonts, he was good at paging, he had so much taste. While the other one was always 10 steps ahead of everyone of us, and I was always in awe with how quickly he could learn stuff. I was happy to be able to work on my thesis with one of the two and as I observed his way of working in a manic way, again I learned a lot.
With the same mechanism I met people and learned from them during my first years at MTV and even after, when I went freelance and met the people whom I opened Ditroit with. These friends and colleagues were my mentors. I’ve learned something important from each and every one of them as they all shaped my way of working.
11. Dragon or Unicorn? Why?
If I have to pick one, I’d definitely choose the dragon. The unicorn is way too positive and colorful to represent me 🙂
The Fast 5
Your favorite Instagram feed right now:
instagram > rhmsuwaidi (Rashid Alsuwaidi)
instagram > dirty_sanchez_magazine
instagram > drysoapasmr (soap asmr)
instagram > ruba (Ruba Abu-Nimah)
instagram > graffiti_lobster
What is the Best Life advice (or lesson learned in business) you ever received:
The best adviCe: learn to outsource.
I followed it and I’ve realised the importance of surrounding myself with people who can understand my vision and I trust their interpretation of it.
Best website/destination you go to for inspiration:
I try to draw as little inspiration as possible from the web as I’m afraid we’re experiencing a sort of flattening in terms of creativity. There’s so much cool stuff out there but all very similar. So the less I look, the better.
I think it’s more interesting to take inspiration from the real world, from the environment that surrounds us, from life experiences, from the people we know.
The App you can’t live without?
Book we should all read?
I’d recommend “CREATIVITY, INC.”
Thank you for being part of #DesignWithDot!