Creative directors are like the chefs behind that Michelin rated meal that you’re craving. They are the ones directing your creative team to help bring your brand’s visions to life.
They can take spaghetti and turn it into the best carbonara you’ve ever tasted. They are the composers, the chefs, and the captains responsible for carving out a memorable visual identity.
In this highlight, we’ll get to know Ruggero Vittorini. A jack of all trades and a true artist to the core.
This is Ruggero!
Q: What is your origin story?
A: As far back as I know, I come from a bloodline of artists, from movie directors and writers to musicians and painters. So, I never thought of any other route, really, other than picking a medium and running with it. No one ever expected for me to become a doctor or lawyer, so I got to indulge in creativity, free of guilt.
Q: Was that your first passion?
A: I remember spending afternoons figuring out how to make beats in my father’s home studio as soon as I knew how to use a computer, but actually video may be the first avenue I really pursued.
I used to make short splatter horror films with friends and skateboarding videos in my teen years. I wanted to become a movie director, like Lynch or Carpenter. I loved the idea of using various mediums to produce one piece of art.
Sure, I had an 8mm handy cam and a bottle of fake blood, but a boy can dream, right?
Q: Were music and video production your main creative outlets?
A: I would write (horror) stories, and spend summers painting in my grandfather’s studio, or carving rudimental sculptures with my aunt’s tools. However, video and music always seemed to reel me back in, for one reason or another. By the time I graduated high school, I was a full blown music producer, having studied piano, trombone, and composition.
This is when things got interesting. I knew that I could make a career doing something I love. When I dropped out of college, my music was being played on the radio, and I was performing at shows every week. Music was the real, solid foundation for me as a creative.
Q: When did you start designing?
A: For some reason, my grandfather used Corel Draw, so that was my first introduction to any sort of graphic design program. After downloading a cracked version of photoshop from LimeWire, I started creating visuals to accompany anything I did.
In retrospect, I was building visual identities, without even considering the existence of a design career. I taught myself how to use the tools, and made what I needed. At some point, other musicians started asking me to do it for them, so I made a hustle out of it, and eventually elevated myself as a designer.
Q: How did you become a creative director?
A: I found myself managing projects across different mediums. I sort of grew into this creative director role rather than really choosing to do it. Whether for video or for music projects, I always found ways to bring them to completion, and package them nicely.
Over time, I defined what I do, and eventually realized that creative direction is what I was doing all along.
Q: Was graphic design your first career?
A: Actually, no! I can’t say I ever earned enough money as a musician or graphic designer before my twenties, so I can’t say that was a career. When I moved to New York City, and couldn’t find a stable job as a graphic designer or doing anything with music, I needed to pay the bills, so I got into restaurants.
I was a horrible server, and on the verge of being fired, I asked the chef if he needed any help in the kitchen. Making food was a creative thing that I always liked.
So, I started working in the kitchen. One thing led to another, and before I knew it, I found myself running kitchens in NYC, and eventually in Miami.
Managing a kitchen is actually really similar to managing a design team in many ways.
Q: How is it similar?
A: The chef de cuisine is the creative director and the designer is the cook, and really, the dynamics are kind of the same. You know, you’re creating a dish and that dish needs to stay consistent, just like a brand, and I sort of find the same patterns and creative process in many different mediums.
It’s the same idea with an orchestra. Like, if you’re an orchestra director, you have to make sure that all of the musicians are working together in harmony and have a consistent sound. You have to be the pulse, the North Star, you have to help your team get to the finish line.
I see all mediums traveling parallel and in the same direction. They’re all expressing something in different ways. And so, that’s my approach. This is why I feel like I can tackle any project, because I really believe and trust in the creative process.
I understand the unknown that is in front of the creative process, and I’m really not afraid to go towards it.
Q: Would you ever work in an in-house position as a CD or do you think that remote is the way to go?
A: I have to say that after working remotely for so long, it would be really hard to go back to being in an office. Being remote gives you so much flexibility and for me in particular, I was able to move to Europe and I’m really maximizing that flexibility as much as possible.
I think it gives you a chance to have that work life balance that everyone is always trying to achieve.
<div class="c-blog_comp-cta cc-component-2"><div class="c-blog_comp-cta-left"><div class="c-blog_comp-cta-left-wrap"><img src="https://global-uploads.webflow.com/61cdf3c5e0b8155f19e0105b/6369519c2ccf5cbe678f6ba9_Current-Creative.png" loading="lazy" alt="" class="c-blog_comp-cta-left-img"></div></div><div class="c-blog_comp-cta-right cc-dark"><div class="c-blog_comp-content"><div class="c-text-wrapper cc-mb-32"><div class="c-title-4 cc-bold"><strong>Grow with a community that is exclusively inclusive!</strong></div></div><div class="c-text-wrapper"><div class="c-text-2">Get inspiration from creative directors and level up from emerging creative to Chief of Design by collaborating on projects.<br><br></div></div></div><div class="c-blog_comp-wrapper"><a href="http://designity.com/creatives" target="_blank" class="c-button w-button"><strong>Discover Your Growth Path</strong></a></div></div></div>
Q: Is it very common to find remote creative directors or is that not so common?
A: I don’t really know because I don’t look at statistics. I have to say that by the conversations that I have with people, it seems like it’s more and more normalized to have a remote job. After 2020 and the pandemic, it seems like a lot of companies saw the benefit of being remote and dropped the idea of having a physical workplace because it just didn’t make sense.
It seems like for many industries, it’s totally fine to be remote, as long as the employees can deliver results. I think my generation, and the following ones, we’re really valuing work life balance and smart employers are really understanding that as well, that they have to develop that work environment where everything is functional remotely.
It’s more about the results than having someone sitting in an office for eight hours. It’s a different mentality that we’re bringing into the workforce, where possible.
Q: Why did you choose to become a creative director at Designity over other avenues?
A: It’s the culture, one hundred percent. While I was job searching, Designity’s application process really caught my attention. I applied to several agencies, but something about that application was unique and really spoke to me.
I wanted a good environment to work in, and after my first meetings with the team, I knew that this was the gig for me. It allows me to be my own boss, yet challenges me in all the right ways, and I’m constantly amazed by all the talented creatives I get to work with. So far it has been a dream, and I'm stoked to be on board!
Q: What is your favorite thing about being a creative director?
A: Being able to work on so many creative projects with different outputs. I feel like it’s kind of serendipitous for me since I jumped around so many different mediums in my life. One project can have many moving pieces, and it’s just so fulfilling to see them all come together in harmony.
Q: What is your favorite type of project?
A: I’m really passionate about branding. It can sound strange and boring to some people but I just really like to see that kind of thing come together.
I love working with the food and beverage industry because I know it, I can relate to their needs, and the conversations with the clients are always so fluent.
Same with music industry projects. I also love working with the movie industry because it’s exciting and fun and you never really know what’s around the corner. Maybe not everyone likes that, but I love that surprise element.
When I lived in Los Angeles, I worked on many TV & film projects, on and off sets, and there’s something undeniably rewarding about seeing your work on the big (or small) screen.