“I’m always looking for visual surprises,” says Swiss graphic designer Emmanuel Crivelli, when we quiz him about the output of his Bienne-based studio Dual Room. “Like many musicians working with synths that try to find new sounds, often from accidents, I try to find new aesthetics based on strong, clear and simple ideas.”
Hailing from Ticino (the Italian part of Switzerland), Emmanuel studied at ECAL in Lausanne, before moving to Berlin for five years where he started Dual Room. “Berlin was perfect to start such a business, because life was cheap and I met so many people in the cultural field with whom I worked on many projects.” But feeling the desire to return to Switzerland, Emmanuel moved the studio to Bienne, continuing to work with a variety of clients in the cultural and creative sphere.
The Swiss graphic tradition plays an important role in Emmanuel’s work, especially its precise approach to typography. Early experiences working alongside Swiss luminaries like Wolfgang Weingart and Ludovic Balland have helped shape his exacting approach to balance and composition. “You can feel this background in the way I build the visual structure of every project,” Emmanuel tells It’s Nice That. Collaborations with photographers like Erwan Frotin and Philippe Jarrigeon have helped enrich his approach beyond aesthetics, he explains, embedding these “visual surprises” within his work.
Recent projects of Emmanuel’s include an identity for the Swiss Design Awards (the second time Emmanuel has worked on the project), campaign materials for La Fete du Slip (a festival about sexualities), art direction and graphic design for quarterly “mindfuck” magazine POV Papers and a series of shockingly contemporary posters for the Opera de Lausanne. Working on a wide range of outputs, projects that particularly fire up Emmanuel’s imagination are those that span a wide variety of media, from print to screen. “I like every kind of media: posters because it has to contain all the elements and work as one thing, magazines because I love to tell stories and build graphic systems and websites because they need to work on many sizes of screens, with many technical challenges.”