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Natasha Polyviou

Meet the Team: Federica, Visual Designer

Federica Orlati

One of the creative forces behind the wider world of Cubetto, Federica Orlati can be relied upon to produce outstanding work for the design team. The multi-talented designer can turn her hand to everything from photography to illustration, and makes it all look easy. The office would descend into chaos without Federica gracefully keeping us ship-shape. 

I’m responsible for…

Everything visual, from the graphic design of packaging, flyers and merchandise to photography, video editing and digital assets. I am the guardian of the Brand Guidelines!

On a typical day…

I usually do some photography, I always do it in the morning because there is a very nice and soft light in the office at that time of the day. I’ll probably lay in some documents in InDesign or put together some nice illustrations of Cubetto. Sometimes you might find me colour-checking samples of packaging and product with my best friend: the Pantone colour guide! I also design all the avatars for Primo staff.

I got here…

By following a passion I’ve had since I was little. When I was a little kid I used to cut pictures from magazines and newspapers, glue them into a book and  and – through the sequence of pictures created – try to invent a story. I think I never stopped trying to create stories through images. I went on to study cinema and media design, and I graduated in game design after that. With that degree I started working in the field of apps for kids. I loved my job but I wanted to work on something more tangible and less digital, so I landed at Primo Toys.

In my past life…

I tried to develop a video game in stop-motion about Vincent Van Gogh, mentored game design classes, worked a bartender, and for a short period I worked for the famous Danish photographer Søren Solkær.

My most memorable work moment…

Was probably any night as bartender – there was always something hilarious happening, mostly because of drunk customers!

personalised story book

The best part of my job…

Is making things that make parents and children happy. One of my favourite projects was the personalised storybooks I made from individual children’s pictures. [Get them now exclusively on Kickstarter for a very limited time!]

The most challenging part of my job…

Is understanding and trying to visualise everyone’s ideas when I’m asked to create something. It is always very challenging to translate into images a very abstract idea that comes to you in text/speech form.

In order to be creative you have to get inspiration from as many fields as possible.

I’m inspired by…

Storytellers of all kinds, in particular I love the visionary stories of Italo Calvino and José Saramago. When it comes to telling stories with images, I admire how Werner Herzog encourages deep thinking in his documentaries, and love David O’Reilly for his versatility and ability to use different media. In order to be creative you have to get inspiration from as many fields as possible.

My design philosophy…

The first aim of a designer should be to communicate something. No matter how beautiful and detailed a design is, if it doesn’t succeed in communicating its message it is not much use. Never forget to play, and don’t be afraid of making mistakes. It’s the only way to grow.

Federica

My great ambition…

Is to continue being curious and never stop using my critical thinking. It seems an easy task, but it’s actually quite difficult to do in everyday life!

My special talent…

Is keeping the office tidy and organised. I cannot concentrate when I am in a messy place, so every now and then I re-establish order on everyone’s desk!

Outside of work…

I like to play video games, especially old adventure point-and-clicks like The Secret of Monkey Island, or new games that try to deal with storytelling in unusual ways. Some of my recent favourites are: Journey, Firewatch, Oxenfree, The Stanley Parable, The Dream Machine (and so on!).

Creativity is a skill that you can develop only if you feed it continuously.

My signature dish…

I didn’t have one when I joined Primo, but during the summer my salmon with mustard honey sauce and peanuts crust definitely became a hit in the office!

If I wasn’t a designer…

I would be an archaeologist. Ancient history has always fascinated and intrigued me. I’m also incredibly passionate about dinosaurs and rocks, so I’d probably love to go digging in the middle of the desert to find the bones of our extinct friends.

When I retire…

I’ll go to a warm place and grow vegetables in the countryside while reading books, listening to good music and of course playing games.

My advice to someone who wants to get into design…

Is to always look at the world around us, as much as possible, in as many different ways as possible. It is important to never focus only on a single subject or take inspiration only from your own field. You should always write, take notes, draw, assimilate. Creativity is a skill that you can develop only if you feed it continuously.

On social media you can find me…

On Instagram @lastellablu

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