Luca Barcellona Artist Biography
Luca Barcellona is an incredibly talented freelance graphic designer, calligrapher and typographic artist, who prefers to be known as a craftsman. Letters are in the ingredients of his creations and in his work the ancient art of language and writing coexist with the instruments of the digital era. His fascination with lettering has led to experiments with graffiti art, classic calligraphy, typography and letterpress printing. Luca Barcellona's fascination with the art of letters began at an early age. He remembers being very young and playing a game with his mother in the car which involved recognising and reading the shop signs. He noticed the typography used for the intros of cartoons, "and then there was the type on the packaging of supermarket candy and junk-food. I was always trying to copy". His first encounter with graffiti in the late 90s was a fundamental stepping stone for him. Apparently he would "drool" for hours over the graphics on skateboards. At the time he didn't think drawing letters could be a career but he felt compelled to create them because it made him feel good and was like a meditation for him. Now he has his own studio in Milan. He teaches calligraphy with the Associazione Calligrafica Italiana and runs calligraphy workshops in cities across Europe.In 2003 he founded the Rebel Ink collective with Rae Martini and Marco Klefisch, which exhibits calligraphy, writing and illustration. In 2010 he produced his own clothing brand called "Luca Barcellona Gold Series". Recently he published his first monographic book, "Take Your Pleasure Seriously". Lettering coincides with every field and Barcellona has worked with clothing graphics, logotypes, magazine illustrations, book and album covers, and publishing in general. Barcellona always begins his work with a handwritten layout, "I write; I try different tools and different kinds of paper; I draw rough shapes of the letters in pencil." He makes some of his calligraphy pens by hand himself. Sometimes he uses the computer to speed up the process of trying different colours and layouts. In a recent interview he said "for now, I'm trying to avoid using graphic tablets. I know that I would become terribly lazy with one of those things! I prefer to use paper and ink, to get my hands dirty, even if it might take more time. Among the brands who have commissioned Luca Barcellona's lettering are Carhartt, Nike, Dolceand Gabbana, Sony BMG, Volvo and Universal. His work has been published in the American magazine "Letter Arts Review", "Calligraphy and Graphic Design" by Marco Campedelli, and the books "Playful Type 2", "Los Logos 5" and "Arabesque 2", published by Gestalten. His artwork has also been exhibited in Milan, Melbourne and Sidney."As far as appearances go, it might seem like a minor discipline that most people ignore, but everyone benefits from it somehow or another. In a society founded on the image and on communication, letters are fundamental" (Luca Barcellona)Read our editorial featuring Luca Barcelona: Luca Barcellona Amore.