We’ll admit it. Going against the grain and leaving the confines of comfortability, whether that means going freelance, changing creative paths or putting out something entirely new into the world, can be daunting. It can come with downsides, including a lack of financial security and increased pressure on a creative’s process. But, the upsides can be joyful, freeing, and limitless, as founder and creative director of the renowned London-based Studio Nari Caterina Bianchini is living proof.
“I began working in studios and agencies. When I was working in the institutions, I felt like I wasn’t really getting what I wanted out of the work that we were creating,” Caterina tells our editor-in-chief Matt Alagiah in episode six of the It’s Nice That podcast. “It almost felt like there was more we could do that we weren’t doing.” Discussing her unique, highly-driven path to founding the studio she helms today, which included working freelance after a full working day (eating dinner in front of her desktop MacBook), Caterina reveals how side projects helped her develop a “freedom of expression” early on. “You don’t realise that at the time, but some of those tiny steps are so necessary.”
Turning to another fascinating aspect of her creative development, the creative director spoke about how she landed on her signature defined and bold typographic style, in particular, her knack for typographic “balance”. Viewing type as a way to create something “bespoke” for a client, Caterina talks us through the possibilities and importance of custom letterforms, reimagining type as a “neutral platform” in creative work. As if these intriguing insights into the expressive potential of type weren’t enough, the founder also breaks down Studio Nari’s approach to collaboration. As a studio that cherry-picks an incredible range of creatives for projects, she highlights the importance of multiple perspectives on a brief to avoid conforming to an “overly curated” house style.