About Cleo's graduation project 'Off Course'
"I displayed a few books that I had edited, designed and published under the imprint Off Course. It's a category of work in which I try to communicate (visually and textually) my wider interest in relational and topological patterns (as opposed to prosaic language). I also designed the Rietveld's graduation show campaign alongside my friends Loup Lopez and Thibault Froissant."
Hi Cleo, congrats with your graduation! For starters, where does your love for graphic design come from?
I think that it's rooted from a basic desire to communicate. Especially when prosaic language doesn't seem good enough (often times words don't come easy for me), knowing how to get a point across through other means of signage and symbolism becomes essential.
Why did you choose Graphic Design at the Rietveld Academy?
I had been working as a graphic/editorial designer before the Rietveld. I enjoyed some of it, but was also burnt out in many ways, so I wanted to be somewhere else to re-evaluate what I was doing. I had a few friends at the Sandberg Institute at that time—I really liked the work they were doing, and so I initially thought to apply there, but I ultimately felt that I wasn't ready for it. Rietveld seemed to be a better fit at the time (I also didn't have a BA yet!).
What's your best memory about your study?
I liked my writing classes best. I also joined a bunch of reading groups over my three years in school, which I got a lot from.
What's the most valuable lesson you learnt during your study?
The values of reading well, reading badly, reading fast, reading slow, reading alone, reading together... etc. etc.
How does your workspace look like?
What are your 3 favourite places in The Netherlands?
What have you recently seen that you think is great creative work?
"Guest Book" by Leanne Shapton. I came across it in Amstelland Library a few months back, I eventually bought it and I'm really enjoying reading it at the moment. It's just really clever and expertly orchestrated, and it looks gorgeous. It's difficult to say more—I honestly think it just needs to be picked up and it will perform for itself.
What are your plans in the near future?
At the minute I'm designing the third issue of Mynah magazine, working on some new prints, and prepping for the Rietveld exhibition 'Selected' at Looiersgracht 60. I'm staying focused on what's on my plate at the moment, whilst keeping an open mind and crossing my fingers that I can get a momentum going with new projects in the upcoming year.
Can you give one piece of advice to future students?
I know too many people that struggle with their mental health whilst in school—I think it's important to keep these things in check, and realise how some of that anxiety could be situational.