An interview with Chris Vermiglio

Chris Vermiglio, always loved drawing ever since he was a child… Started loving graphic design when he was 15. At this age, he was mixing in «underground acid techno parties» under the DJ name Pota303. Completely amazed by the record-covers’ artwork his passion for design was born. I started making some flyers for parties and some artworks for mix tapes. Then I studied graphic design in Saint-Luc Liège….  After my study, I immediately started working for an Advertising agency and I did this during 1 year. Then I left this agency to create my own project “Magnetik” and changed my DJ name into Mr. Magnetik, to make the parallel between both my passions.

Please briefly describe the creative process behind one of your submitted works.

The Fuse Agenda: The creative process in those works is purely and simply creating something that represents the club, Electronic Minimal Techno and to promote it. Then I start drawing in my sketchbook and try to express this representation. With shapes and colours…

Chris Vermiglio

How would you describe your work style to people who first come across it?

It’s always been influenced by the music I played as a DJ or I loved listening to at home;
Music plays a big part in my way of making graphic design. For me the two are linked but if I have to describe my style. I would say…hum… funkyelectronicgroovycaothicflashyminimal style. I also like the contradiction between minimal and maximal, flashy and sober. I always play with these contradictions.

Is there anything intrinsically Belgian that you think has been a strong influence or inspiration in what you do?

I will repeat myself, but the Belgian music scene since Newbeat has a strong influence on my work. And also the city I live in (Liège), this city, with its old industrial past and the people who are living there. Liège is constantly trying to recover its glorious past so there’s a lot of positive and motivating energy here!
You have to work in various media, how do you maintain your identity throughout these media?
By making things I like and try to share with the people I work for. And I also think that if design plays a big part in your life, you automatically leave a part of you in all the things you design and then your identity.

Chris Vermiglio

Do you see any particular tendencies emerging in Belgian design? What do you think the future will bring for design in Belgium?

I think a lot of people here are beginning to become interested in design, image etc…
We can see new designers every day, making great artwork.
But in the Belgian part, I live in, there’s not enough interest in graphic design: there is not enough – I repeat: not enough budget to make an expo, to promote local graphic designers. I think things have to change here. Now I think that in the Flemish part of the country, they are more initiatives but maybe I’m wrong.

How important is experimenting with design to you?

I think it’s important for designers to experiment with new things, even for personal artwork just for fun and then try to use those experiments when they have commercial works…
But when you found your style it’s hard to go outside of it! I’m always handing-over in question my work, it’s like a battle in my head. But it’s why I love design too!

What is the big difference between commercial and non-commercial work to you?

Hmm…let’s say money… For me, there’s not a big difference between commercial and non-commercial because whether I work for a small or a big client or for myself, I will always work with the same intensity and love for the design.

Chris Vermiglio

Do you believe that Belgium provides good resources for design? Is it easy for new designers to promote themselves?

As I told you before, I think there’s not enough budget for promoting designers in general…. But it’s the same for electronic or rock group…we are a small country and the politicians are always fighting each other and don’t take care of all the rest…
And it’s a pity when I see all the good designers we have here!

Can you say that Belgium has a creative client base?

Yes, I think so, I hope so, I’m fighting for it.

What you will be doing around the same time next year?

Designing and making music!

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Timothy Helmer

Designer, curator of Let's Talk Design and founder of Creative Network.