Client Series—Rob Nicoletti

 

  

WHAT IS YOUR NAME, TITLE AND PLACE OF EMPLOYMENT?
Rob Nicoletti, Principal & Creative Director at WHYFOR.

WHEN DID YOU DECIDE TO BECOME A GRAPHIC DESIGNER?
Good question—I knew I really wanted to be a “designer” when I applied to the Design program (Viscom) at University of Arizona and was rejected. I was told to find a different career because I didn’t have the skills needed to make it as a designer. That rejection was a kick in the stomach, but ended up fueling the fire for me. A year after graduating I was nominated as one of the top 100 designers under 30 by Print magazine. I didn’t make the final cut, but just being considered was enough for me. I’m tremendously proud of that failure.

HOW DID YOU START WORKING WITH O'NEIL PRINTING AND WHAT HAS YOUR EXPERIENCE BEEN LIKE?
I found O’Neil through a connection at the Scottsdale CVB. We needed a printer to help us tackle this massive 300-page book for Sundt Construction's 125th anniversary. As with most projects, the timeline to print and bind was outrageously tight but after meeting with Connie, I had every ounce of trust in her and her team to execute. Despite numerous rounds of edits, photo changes, and color corrections, O’Neil never missed a beat. We all did whatever was needed to get the job done. I sat on press for 34 hours straight with two different printing crews to complete the book for deadline. Every check was perfect, every color was perfect, every pressman acted as if it was their own personal work of art. Flawless. Tiring, but flawless. Here is the link

IF YOU COULD BE A SUPERHERO, WHO WOULD YOU BE?
Iron Man. Simply because of the cars and the gadgets. He’s a “real” guy who gets to fly around in a suit and has a fleet of supercars? Sign me up.

WHAT CHANGES HAVE YOU WITNESSED IN THE PRINT DESIGN WORLD?
The digital invasion has completely changed the print world for better and for worse. Print on-demand and online printers make it easier and cheaper than ever to print and publish (which is great) but it also means that there is an art with traditional printing that is being lost. I hear people say “print is dead” and it makes me cringe. Traditional 4-color printing is such an imperfect art, it really takes talent and skill…I don’t think people really appreciate that skill. I’ve seen a lot of printers go under as a result of cheaper digital but the cream does rise to the top…which is a testament to O’Neil’s level of quality and experience.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVORITE PROJECT YOU'VE WORKED ON TO DATE?
My favorite project to date was WHYFOR’s very FIRST project for a photographer in 2008 who wanted to get the attention of the larger creative agencies in Arizona. Stock photography, once expensive, was now being sold at value menu prices which was hurting professional photographers. We created a micro marketing piece disguised as a value meal from Burger King called “Photo King,” and delivered to the creative directors during lunch hours. The entire package looked (and even smelled) like something from McDonalds or Burger King. We hid his portfolio of work between a fake hamburger bun and created a custom Url so we could track the success. We won a national advertising award which I was told had never been done before for an agency less than a year old out of the Southwest. I ran into a creative director from an agency a year ago who said he still has the package in his office. Here is a link if you want to see the project. 

OUT-OF-TOWN VISITOR IS COMING, WHAT RESTAURANT DO YOU TAKE THEM TO?
Breakfast at Ranch House Grille. The chicken fried steak is incredible. Lunch at Palatte (Phoenix Art Museum). It’s healthy, fresh, and delicious. Dinner at the House Brasserie. The menu is a work of art.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT LIVING/WORKING IN PHOENIX?
Aside from the weather? The weather. Kidding. No seriously, the weather. Phoenix is great city. I’m from New York (born and raised) and loved having everything at my fingertips while I was there. Phoenix has a lot to love - amazing art, professional sports, great dining, beautiful resorts…plus the weather if I didn’t mention it previously. Oh, and the airport is like a “Best of Phoenix” culinary walk which is fantastic. Eating a salted chocolate cookie from LGO on a short flight to LA, Vegas, San Francisco, or Denver = Happy place. I get two for the flights to NY.


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