PRESIDENT, RODRIGO CORRAL DESIGN
CREATIVE DIRECTOR, FARRAR, STRAUS & GIROUX NEW YORK NY
Rodrigo Corral creates conceptual design and art for print, brands, interior spaces and film. In addition to running the Rodrigo Corral Studio, Rodrigo is the Creative Director for Farrar, Straus & Giroux and Creative Director at Large for New Directions. Known for delivering some of the most iconic visuals in publishing, he has designed covers for the Pulitzer Prize winning author Junot Díaz and bestselling authors Jonathan Franzen, Chuck Palahniuk and John Green, among many others. He also designed the New York Times bestselling books Decoded by Jay-Z, Classy by Derek Blasberg, and Influence by Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen. Rodrigo has taught at SVA in New York City and lectured around the country.
WHERE OR HOW DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION FOR YOUR DESIGN WORK?
Lately I get a lot of inspiration from playing with my kids. They’re all about figuring things out, and it’s such a pleasure to watch them. In a way, there’s something analogous in what I do in my design work and personal projects. I’m continually trying to solve these visual riddles. I don’t think of it as work, but about figuring out the next puzzle, playing the next game, imagining another world.
HOW DOES WHERE YOU WERE BORN, GREW UP OR LIVE NOW AFFECT YOUR DESIGN SENSIBILITY OR STYLE?
The kids I grew up around in Long Island pretty much had their lives set up for them. I didn’t have that and the fear of uncertainty impacted me greatly. The ground beneath me always felt unsteady. I spent my life trying to get away from this anxiety by working as hard as I could to be successful, but I never really escape the the feeling. I’ve learned to live with that feeling and let it drive me. Today I live off Wall Street, in the heart of what was once New York’s financial center. The stockbrokers are mostly gone because so many financial companies have left the area. Even the New York Stock Exchange is slowly giving up its lease. So the city’s Financial District is imaginary now, invented, just like the value of money always has been. This inspires me greatly. Everything in our commercial lives has been invented and this idea gives me freedom to create and invent at work.
Don’t have one
FAVORITE TV SHOW?
2001 Space Odyssey
FAVORITE Musicians or Band?
FAVORITE SOCIAL MEDIA?
FAVORITE FINE ARTISTS?
Felix Gonzales Torres
GREATEST STRENGTH/WEAKNESS AS A DESIGNER?
My greatest strength and weakness is that I’m not an expert at Photoshop. It hurts when I need to create something quickly, but it helps because it allows me space from my designs. It allows me to look at them from a distance on someone else’s computer, instead of concentrating on pixel by pixel.
TALENT YOU WISHED YOU POSSESSED?
Play the drums ADVICE TO A YOUNG DESIGNER JUST STARTING OUT?
Be honest with yourself and find what you love. It will just get harder later on.
IF NOT A DESIGNER, WHAT WOULD YOU BE?
A professional sports psychologist
A MANTRA OR SAYING YOU LIVE BY?
Make art, don’t design