Benedetta Crippa combines graphic design and ornamentation to create enchanting visual worlds

The Stockholm-based graphic designer investigates the links between visual culture, systemic power and sustainable futures through her decorative design work.

4 June 2024

Dedicating her practice to questioning ideas of beauty, form and decoration in design, Benedetta Crippa runs her studio for ‘Graphic Design and Ornamentation’ in Stockholm, focusing on sustainable forms of practice. With some of her major creative influences sitting outside of the traditional design world, she draws inspiration for her ornamental visuals from traditional folk art, for the way it brings a “beauty free of prestige into everyday life”, she tells us. Often deconstructing modernist, ‘universal’ ideas around graphic design in her work, she is known for “introducing a new visual language free of strict categorisations”, treating design as somewhat of an “applied art” that she believes, must always be “a creative intervention that serves some kind of need”.

Working on a broad range of visual identity projects, bespoke ornamental commissions and everything in between, Benedetta likes to see herself as a generalist, with a distinct focus, however, on building visual worlds within every project that are: “beautiful, well implemented, enriching to the lives of those who experience them [...] and contribute towards social progress”, she says.

In the field of sustainable design, Benedetta teaches a course at Konstfack university in Sweden and carries out practice-based research on the subject of ‘visual sustainability’, investigating post-colonial, feminist perspectives in design in order to highlight the connections between “our visual culture, systemic power and sustainable futures”, she says. As a conversation that is often limited to materiality in design, Benedetta’s interest in sustainability lies in how we can actually implement it into the visual decisions we make as designers, “not simply through the process or the story” our design work tells. This is a subject she visually explores in works such as World of Desire, an artist book and “testimony of the expansive power of decoration” in which she celebrates visual democracy through her illustrations, reacting to the established rules and false dichotomies that have dominated the field of graphic design. In all of her reflective, decorative work, she creates new places for "visual comfort and self recognition” as a graphic designer, fulfilling her desire to “create an enchanting world worth living in”.


Benedetta Crippa: gouache painting (Copyright © Studio Benedetta Crippa, 2019)


Benedetta Crippa: spread from artist’s book World of Desire (Copyright © Studio Benedetta Crippa, May 2017)


Benedetta Crippa: graphic part of the video installation The Hyperbolic Ornament (Copyright © Studio Benedetta Crippa, 2018)


Benedetta Crippa: ornamental curtain Everything Has a Name for Teaching Design (Copyright © Hans-Georg Gaul for A–Z Presents, 2020)


Benedetta Crippa: ornamental poster Things I Had no Words For (Copyright © Studio Benedetta Crippa, 2017)


Benedetta Crippa: ornamental poster Praised Be Our Rage (Copyright © Studio Benedetta Crippa, 2020)


Benedetta Crippa and Johanna Lewengard: poster design, part of the visual identity for Kin Museum of Contemporary Art (Copyright © Studio Benedetta Crippa, February 2024)


Benedetta Crippa: ornamental sculpture The Heart (Copyright © Studio Benedetta Crippa, Spring 2017)

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Benedetta Crippa: preparatory sketches for artist’s book World of Desire (Copyright © Studio Benedetta Crippa, 2017)

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About the Author

Ellis Tree

Ellis Tree (she/her) joined It’s Nice That as a junior writer in April 2024 after graduating from Kingston School of Art with a degree in Graphic Design. Across her research, writing and visual work she has a particular interest in printmaking, self-publishing and expanded approaches to photography.

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