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Cindy Ianniciello, graphic designer, and founder of ‘Superwise’, frequently works alongside Kotmo bringing to life innovative, sophisticated and eco-friendly products. In this interview, she explains in a little more detail the type of projects she undertakes, and furthermore, she share with us her stance on the current situation regarding gender imbalance, and female positioning within the workplace.
What type of client do you regularly work with?
Currently I work with a lot of clients who are placed within the hospitality and tourism sector. I have previously worked with several different hotels in fact. I work, primarily, via the medium of word of mouth. Often it is the case that a new client will come to me after hearing feedback from previous clients, which is beneficial for me, because it shows that my clients are appreciative of my work.
Could you explain the production process you take on with a project from start to finish?
I work with Kotmo, offering my skills in vinyl cutting, which is a service I provide alongside the work I do for my own clients. Due to the fact that I work with a large range of different clients, the process I go through is very much dependant on the type of company I am dealing with. The majority of the time, the client will have a clear idea of the type of idea that they would like me to bring to life, therefore normally, I will ask them to send me images that I can use for reference or inspiration, which will help me fully understand the wishes of the client. Sometimes however, the client will be less specific with the type of product that they would like me to create for them. In this case, it’s important that I ask the right questions to guide me through the production process. After this conversation has been had, I will be in a good position to present the client with 2 or 3 possible options, before they can make their final decision.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
In 10 years time I’d love to have to my own graphic design and visual strategy studio, working with a team of 7 or8 qualified individuals. I hope the studio to be involved significantly in the advertising industry, as I have already worked with these types of businesses. It is an extensive field of work which requires large teams. Therefore, for this reason I would use graphic design as my door of opportunity, because it is my speciality.
Is there a field of work that you would have explored had you not entered the world of graphic design?
In fact, I did not actually start out in graphic design. I started out studying art at university, and my course was exclusively focused on contemporary art, which steered me towards graphic design. So I think, in a way, I have already explored the avenue of work that I would have liked to. That is not to say that one day, I may not go back to it, because I am still very much interested in art.
Do you think that your field of work is as accessible to women as it is to men?
Nowadays, I think it is, yes. There are many graphic design studios which are run by women. Obviously, there are still more studios run by men, and one can never say the situation is completely ideal, but I think we can say there is definitely easy accessibility for women. Evidently, we will always want to achieve equality, but I believe that the situation in my field of work is much better than in others.
What do you think are the key characteristics for a successful leader?
I think that it is very important to be fearless, and to not shy away from taking risks. Moreover, I think that it is important, in leading a team, that you are able to unite a group of people, so that they are all equally as passionate about achieving the end goal. You have to be like a mentor. It isn’t so much about being especially skilled in one specific area, rather being able to encourage people to reach their full potential.
Who are you role models, in terms of strong, independent women in business?
I particularly admire Paula Scher, a well-known graphic designer. She evolved in the graphic design industry, when it was predominantly led by men, and she is now a partner at Pentagram, which I why I believe she is particularly resilient. Also, I very much look up to Phyllis Lambert, a well-regarded architecte. She, too, developed her ideas in a time when her field of work was dominated by men. She fought very hard for her voice and plan to be heard, and has very much driven her career in encouraging the development of social housing.