PSFK Talks to Italian Design Firm Leftloft

PSFK Talks to Italian Design Firm Leftloft
Colin Nagy
  • 18 february 2009

How do you bring a print sensibility to the Web?

Actually, we grew up as web designers. Back in 1997 when we started the company, the design scene in Milan was the property of old masters of graphic design such as Iliprandi, Noorda, and Vignelli. The new technologies were the only fields where they couldn’t compete with the new generations, so we started from there.

We never liked to be labeled as web designers; we don’t believe in single-skill design. Rather, we believe in design as a service, as a tool to solve problems, catch attention and spread knowledge through all sorts of different media.

Highlight some of your recent work with Moleskine.

Moleskine is a book to be written in, a cult object that everybody knows and recognizes but which not many people know by brand name.

When they asked us to work on this re-branding project we created a design value out of the brand’s “invisibility”, not forcing its appearance and by putting more effort into the problems related to the sales point.

We spent months in libraries, watching how people reacted to colors and shapes. In the end we came out with a few ideas. For example we decided to remove the plastic wrap, we enlarged the color strip, we chose a brighter color scheme and we designed a new icon system to coordinate the product line and to help customers understand what’s inside the book without opening it and possibly breaking the strip.

We also designed other communication material for Moleskine such as catalogs, stands, exhibition environments and a website. The icon system and the colors have became the Moleskine signature in over 50 countries, which we are very pleased about.

What trends from a design standpoint will we see in 2009?

The world is asking for change. Barack Obama knows something about that.

In communication design we have seen how the whole web 2.0 movement has influenced our perception of web design.

We believe that this movement and the recent economic disaster will make the public ask for more transparency and clarity not only on the product/service side but also in the way their communication is presented.

This will lead us in a less “designed” era, where everything will need to appear for exactly what it is meant to represent, whether on paper or on screen.

No more fancy shadows, reflection or time wasting animations: just the content.

Also with less money around for the designers, we will be working on solutions to make their clients save… and out of these financial constraints may come interesting new ideas and techniques that flourish in 2009.

Thanks, Francesco!



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