Interview with Pietro Piscitelli
- 12 May 2020
Pietro Piscitelli has created the Handwritmic logo. Of course our logo needed to convey the idea of writing, precisely writing with the Ruling pen (that was our first industrial design project in 2015).
We are therefore pleased, through this short interview, to introduce you to Pietro Piscitelli, a young graphic designer from Milan.
What made you love and dedicate yourself to calligraphy and when did you start?
I started my calligraphy course during my graphic design studies, when my interest in typography naturally led me to the essence of the letters.
Have you taken any classes or are you self-taught?
After my studies I became acquainted with ACI the Italian Calligraphic Association, with which I began studying the classic styles of calligraphy with Anna Ronchi, Giovanni De Faccio and James Clough.
Do you have any advice for young people (and not only) who want to start studying calligraphy?
I would suggest to follow ACI courses immediately, avoiding manuals, do-it-yourself courses and newly founded associations. Those who start do not have the experience to evaluate the quality of a book, an online course or the work of a specific teacher, so it’s better to proceed in a consolidated way.
Among the many possible options for those who practice calligraphy, have you chosen to take an interest in something in particular? Do you practice more calligraphy or lettering?
I am basically a graphic designer who knows the basics of calligraphy, so I don’t consider myself a real calligrapher. I am more interested in lettering, I mean drawing the letter, which does not necessarily require a written artifact. I like to tweak the letters a lot and work on the computer. In general I try to keep a fairly rigorous approach, which is why I am more comfortable with classic and elegant styles. My favourite subject is logo design, but I work mainly for book covers. In the past I have worked in the world of wines and spirits, and I would like to go back to that.
What do you like and what fascinates you most in this art? Do you see lights or shadows in the present and future of calligraphy and lettering?
What has always fascinated me from the beginning, is the relationship between calligraphy and typography. In the present I see a lot of interest in the subject, and it can only be a positive thing. However, I find that the world of calligraphy, even at very high levels, is too limited to itself. Those who work professionally in my opinion should have a better overall view. Formally impeccable and philologically correct letters are not always the right solution, and what matters is the context in which they are placed. It also matters a lot who you are addressing.
You have great talent and skills, can you live of calligraphy?
As I was saying, I’m mainly a graphic designer but I’m lucky enough to include lettering quite often in my daily work.
Comment on one of your favorite works.
One of my favorite works is the cover of “La Marchesa Colombi”, published by Solferino, the publishing house (of which I also designed the logo/monogram) of Il Corriere della Sera. It is the story of the first female journalist of Il Corriere della Sera, between the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. I chose to use copperplate, both to recall the journalist’s actual writing and also because it is suitable for the historical period discussed. Although there are many swashes, the composition is very rigorous and integrates perfectly with the painting in the background (a glimpse of the Duomo). After several sketches by hand to find the right composition, I worked directly on the computer. Drawing copperplate is certainly my favourite style of lettering. On the back cover I also designed a typical nineteenth-century monogram, which goes well with the lettering on the cover and immediately recalls the historical period covered.
To contact Pietro Piscitelli write to firstname.lastname@example.org