Back Mario di Paolo - the most awarded designer in Italy
Mario Di Paolo, a designer and photographer, is the founder and CEO of the communication and marketing agency Spazio Di Paolo, which specialises in food and beverage. He has received many awards at prestigious international design competitions for his marketing strategies and for the originality of his packaging designs. He is also the biggest Italian winner in Pentawards history. Unlike other communication agency, Spazio Di Paolo constantly exchanges ideas and knowledge with people from the food and beverage industry – journalist, chefs, artist and producers. The innovative approach they use to make them stay up to date with the new market trend and offer the clients with the most innovative strategies and original creativity of packaging design, branding and communication.
Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
The artistic environment I grew up in has represented the most powerful inspiration for me. My family members are very creative, my father is a professional photographer for art and advertising and my mother is an artist. When I was very young, I used to spend time with contemporary artists, such as Joseph Beuys, Bruno Munari, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Franz West, who were my family's friends and with whom I am still in touch with. Growing up within an artistic environment allowed me to develop a strong unconventional point of view. I started taking, processing and printing out films with my father for advertisement and art works when I was 6. Back to the 80s, there was a magical world behind what looked like a simple photo. It required important dexterity to manage red lights, black and white contrasts, films, flashes, enlargers and films’ development. The total absence of computer technology helped strengthen my imagination and creation skills as I had nothing to refer to. There was a strong relationship between photography and printing. The printing house and the photographic studio were my second home. Thanks to the printing techniques I acquired, my work today is based on linking manual skills and technology in order to find new and innovative solutions. When I was 16 I used to spend most of my time with international artists and to frequent wineries. I also used to take pictures with the Sinar optical bench. My pictures have been published on magazines such as Domus, Abitare, Flash Art, NY Times and many more. I would say that during that period, I completed my training acquiring the knowledge that allowed me to open up my “Space”.
What do you see as the key change in the packaging last year?
There are too many cultural and economic differences among the global markets represented in my projects to be able to define one specific change. The packaging quality has considerably increased thanks to key elements such as innovation, creativity and strokes of genius. I noticed stronger attention to detail and a greater balance between materials. The projects presented were heterogeneous and well defined the companies and designers’ styles. The emotional and sensorial aspects will increasingly become a focus for the realisation of packagings in the next years.
What did you enjoy most about the Pentawards Gala & additional event in New York last year?
I have always been fascinated by the functionalist architecture and by Frank Lloyd Wright. The Guggenheim museum represents the icon of modern architecture and embodies the quintessence of functionality, balance, style and beauty. It is, for me, one of the most beautiful places all over the world. You can imagine what it meant to me when attending the Pentawards gala and receiving three Pentawards awards for the first time.
How does it feel to be the most awarded Pentawards Winner from Italy?
In 2018, I participated in the Pentawards for the third time. The international comparison is a great incentive and I am honoured to be the most awarded Pentawards winner from Italy. As of now, I am happy to have presented packaging projects related to the Italian oenology. We did a great job in our home country and we are exporting our designs all over the world. Our approach to design is based on knowledge, research and passion. These are all important elements that allow us to best represent a product and increase its sales. The international awards represent the culmination of all these elements of success.