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Layers of inspired design with Mario Di Paolo

Agency
Spazio Di Paolo
Client
Avery Dennison
Material
Fasson® Cotton White
Market
Europe, Italy

Mario Di Paolo, owner of award-winning design agency Spazio Di Paolo, is the creative mind behind some of the most captivating label designs in the industry. His work has won awards internationally from the Pentawards, Vinitaly, and San Francisco International Wine Competition.

Join us as we learn what inspires and drives Mario Di Paolo—the designer behind the Illivio and Etna Doc Bianco wine labels.

M_use: What are your keys to good design?

Mario: The secret behind our work at Spazio Di Paolo lies in knowledge and passion. At the base of the design, there must be technical knowledge, which is divided into two. There’s the productive technical knowledge that allows you to develop and shape new ideas. And there’s the product knowledge that allows you to find a brand’s hidden distinctive features to represent it to the fullest. These two concepts together are fundamental.

When I speak of “knowledge,” I speak of a total experience within the product being represented. Spazio Di Paolo is a specialized creative boutique and not the classic advertising agency. We work with passion and with the technical knowledge. We stand out in this field because we have a completely different design approach to what is normally found on the market.


M_use: How did you go about developing these ideas and where did you get your inspiration?

Mario: I’m passionate about packaging and labels, I think, because it’s a subject I’ve touched since I was a kid. Having a family photo studio always dedicated to advertising, art, and photography, I’ve always had to deal with consumer products like wine bottles, pasta packages, liqueurs, etc.

I have always kept a great deal of attention to dexterity, to gestures, and to the idea of contact. So for me, packaging is an exaltation of the product. The idea is to create and give shape—to conceive a package that is unique and remembered.

My technical knowledge is derived from the time I spent in the studio with my father. In the 1980s, everything was created manually, without a computer. You had to have a great ability to connect mind and hand to give shape to things—from the development of a photograph to a drawing. At that time, I acquired a great ability to shape things with my hands, which is why my preference is paper.


M_use: Of your wine label designs, which are you most proud of?

Mario: While there are many projects I am quite proud of, what I am most proud of is that our designs have contributed to the development of a design technique that superimposes different materials on labels. You’ll see that most clearly with Litos and Illivio.

Thanks to the professionalism and passion of printers who have followed us, Litos was born. It was the first design using this technique and was made with three superimposed materials. I tried to give more emphasis on storytelling from the creative point of view by using the superposition of several layers of paper.

After Litos, we created Prope—which came out beautifully with very strong and interesting aesthetic canons. And then Marco Ludovico, which is one of the most interesting projects. But there’s also Illivio, which unique both in terms of creation and realization. All are unique and revolutionary labels that create an experience—a different way of communicating in the world of packaging and in the world of wine.


M_use: What are your dreams for future design projects?

Mario: My passion for paper and tactility makes me imagine a future made of printing with new, combined techniques and new customizations with the current machines available. NFC and augmented reality are interesting as accessories, but I see the paper label as the future because there is still a need for visceral contact with the product. The wine needs to be drunk, and consumers need inspiring new materials; materials that make them dream and that transmit the story behind the products they’re consuming.

About Spazio di Paolo
A thousand square meters of surface, Spazio Di Paolo is not the classic traditionally established communication agency, organization and approach are completely different. Their method is based on knowledge and passion. The structure, with twenty years of experience in specialized communication in the food and beverage sector and over forty years of experience in professional photography in food, contemporary art, luxury hotels, is a real "Creative Factory" where everything is expertly curated in minimal details without ever having to leave the building.