Meet the campaign team of the Graduation Show 2024

3 juli 2024

Caterina Santullo (Type and Media, 2021) & Alessandro Lucarini (Graphic Design, 2023) designed the campaign for the Graduation Show (27 June – 2 July). “With this campaign we want to celebrate the people of KABK. They gave us a lot.”

Like previous years, alums were able to apply for an open call to design the campaign for the show. In this article they tell more about the process, concept and about themselves.

Can you tell more about your practice?

Alessandro: I have always liked to draw, make collages, and experiment with different mediums. I have a BA in scenography from the Academy of Fine Arts in Urbino, Italy. It’s funny because before applying to KABK, I didn’t even know what graphic design was; I had never heard of it before. I think all of my studies and passions are now converging naturally in what I’m creating and in my style.

My approach centers on embracing the beauty in visual mistakes; I love visual mistakes and am particularly interested in the power of visual storytelling. In recent months, I had an internship at Worm in Rotterdam as a graphic designer, and I was invited to present my graduation work, a short movie, at two film festivals: the Bellaria Film Festival in Italy and the Fuse Film Festival in Croatia. I am also still collaborating a lot with friends from KABK. Cate and I are part of the Sketch Club along with other friends and alumni. Right now, I’m working as a freelance graphic designer and visual artist, which is exciting but can also be stressful.

Caterina: Before KABK, I studied fashion and knitwear design in Milan and worked there for a while. I wanted to study the visual and conceptual bridges between letters, typography, and fashion, that’s how I got to attend to Type & Media. Now, I freelance in these fields, as well as art direction, and I am expanding my practice to poetry and performances. For me, writing had always been the matrix and the main source. A month ago I brought on FutureFonts (where I am currently selling my typefaces) a spoken word called “My Pillow Book” about what we, type designers, write with our award-winning letters. There I hacked the software we use to create fonts, to create visual landscapes. I try to blur the margins between disciplines and I search for like-minded environments. I recently collaborated with the collective Crafting Resistance in Utrecht for the upcoming textile exhibition at the Centraal Museum, "Spuiten en Stikken." We collectively scripted poetic audio guides, and I designed a custom Variable Font inspired by the museum's embroidered pieces in its depot.

Why did you apply for the open call?

Caterina: During my one-year master course and Grad Show, there was Covid, so I barely met people. That was hard, I feel we were all craving company and life as we knew it. The year after I still continued going to KABK to work in the canteen and to use the workshops; in between all these I met wholesome people. I didn’t feel like saying goodbye yet.

Designing the campaign was a great way to say goodbye to KABK. With this campaign, we want to celebrate the KABK community. It gave us a lot, and we wanted to give something back in return.

Alessandro: Yeah, it’s an ode to the people of KABK.

Click on the questions listed below to find out more about the process and the concept!

Caterina: For the pitch presentation we experimented a lot with materials—leftovers of our time together with other alumni; things from the Sketch Club, brunches, and projects brought outside of KABK’s walls. We used items from past memories, like yarns and pattern cards for my knitting machines. We also searched for scrap materials in the workshops’ leftover sections. The goal was to collect textures and tactile sensations guided by nostalgia.

Alessandro: We did a lot of hunting around. After collecting, we went through everything that we gathered and made different compositions with all the stuff we found.

Caterina: We worked with a scanner, and from there, I experimented with letters.

I started making material-based types: I baked bread letters, hot glue letters, yarn letters, and pixel letters. I created letters with olive oil, by pouring it onto transparent sheets and scanning them. I knew I eventually wanted to animate and intertwine them to better share that feeling of entangling.

Alessandro: I agree, we had a lot of fun with the scanner! Even with all the material collected we tried to make compositions by playing around with the shapes, the textures and the consistencies of the objects we found. It was quite a smooth process; every time we were surprised to see the outcome!

Caterina: I had an enormous amount of material for the pitch presentation of our concept, a lot of things were quite funny and crafty. It had a real KABK vibe. My house was a mess, there was flour, yarns, and olive oil all around. We pushed ourselves with the process.

Alessandro: After the presentation, we continued with the material and tried to understand it, but it was difficult to be satisfied. We wanted to have something artsy and crafty, but we also needed to communicate the Graduation Show, so that was a difficult part. We tried to find the perfect edge between commercial and art. In the end, a teacher asked for your typeface, that was a real compliment!

Caterina: For the typefaces (Nymfe System), I designed 5 different fonts.

The whole family borrows surrounds around scripta and pointed-nib pen tradition and includes two Variable Fonts. One VF plays in between the skeleton and the actual form of the letters, while the second one is a pixel script which I originally drew with my knitting machine cards and later digitized. I used Variable Font technology to animate the typefaces, trying to catch the duality of analog and digital. Further on, I proposed Ale pick up a pen plotter to hack thicknesses both in the letters and in the rest of the campaign.

Alessandro: Using the pen plotter added more excitement to the process. We used different tools to draw, like heavy markers, oil pastels, charcoal. Every tool gave us a different way of representing our drawing base on the thickness of the tip, or the color. It was quite fun to let the machine make mistakes, or at least a job far from perfect. The final drawings felt less flat and alive.

Caterina: After all the process we had to work close with the communication department and redirect all the experimentation towards something more functional for a visual identity of this kind. We liked the idea to have different frames made by different materials, almost like a scenography or a cave. That worked well.

Alessandro: We even involved others who gave us feedback and other points of view. It was a long, stressful but also a fun process.

Caterina: We really want to give a shout-out to Simonida Savić (Graphic Design, 2023, who gave us instructions about proper dealing with After Effects for the animations, and Einar Viðar G. Thoroddsen (Graphic Design, 2023, @evgt_design), who gave us a massive help at the end of the process with the production of graphic contents. Without the two of them, the process would have been much more complicated.

Caterina: Experimentation! That’s what we want to convey, but we also want to convey a dreamy and cozy feeling, like a cloud of memories. A friend of ours, Stefano Cattani (studying Non Linear Narrative at KABK) told us: “I see in it the little notes we leave for our roommates, the nervous scribbles of when we are distressed, the longing for life before this. The joy of finding community. The melancholy of winter here and also the happiness of sunny days. And there's also some techno, some partying.”

Alessandro: I think we cannot say it better ourselves.


Caterina Santullo:, @caterinasantullo
Alessandro Lucarini:, @alessandro.lucarini,