For German graphic designer, Lino Santo, the attraction of his chosen medium lies in its ability to morph and change. Perhaps less prescriptive in its output compared to other creative outlets, graphic design fascinates Lino as an “intermediate between different media”. Embodying this philosophy to the full, Lino’s portfolio is one packed full to brim with everything from print and web design, to film.
Lino studied at Staatliche Hochschule für Gestaltung in Karlsruhe, where he has now been based for several years. Despite not having a specialism within graphic design, Lino’s work is held together by his love of taking circumstances and relationships and turning them into something visual. This is particularly true of the community of graphic designers he is involved with in Karlsruhe and beyond.
“The most inspiring thing for me is actually the contact and exchange with my friends,” he tells It’s Nice That. “Many are incredibly good designers and it’s so much easier in daily work when you can synchronise things from time to time. Everyone has different things, states or feelings that can be stimulating – I’ve really learned a lot from them.”
This manifested while Lino was studying when he was asked – along with fellow students Sascia Reibel and Anna Cairns – to design the annual report for their university. “It was nice that we were able to intervene widely in the editorial work and conduct long interviews between the individual departments in order to better illuminate the university’s interdisciplinary way of working to an outside audience,” he recalls. Over 700 pages long, the report showcases a multitude of student work, including self-initiated projects undertaken outside of university classes.
No matter what the project, however, Lino has developed a process and a visual language which allows him to handle large amounts of information in this manner and translate it into something digestible. “As a signature, I would say that I like clarity very much,” he explains. This propensity for coherence has seen him produce publications which outline the creation process of varying objects, travel documentaries of several European countries, as well as several invitations, publications and websites for artists.
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