about me

raffaella isidori
Creative polymath; brand, comms and design expert; bicultural, bilingual, outspoken; mindfulness practitioner. Currently busy building Humanise, a social startup dedicated to “fostering systems that care” by raising awareness and promoting education about human skills & qualities. Passionate about diversity, inclusivity, human behaviour, and emotional intelligence. Trying to leave this place a bit better than I found it.

■ executive summary 

25+ years in the field of integrated communication design for small and medium-sized companies shaped me into a “full stack” communication designer, with a wide range of experience, both generalist and specific, and with a multicultural background. 

From strategy to implementation; from designing brands to designing events, passing through graphic
& web design; print & digital design and production; marketing; advertising; writing, translating &
trans-creating; photography; motion media design and video editing; social media management; and
content design & curation–my approach is simple: research, attention, creativity, professionalism,
efficiency, care, practicality, leanness and sustainability. My motto: design is problem solving.

I think laterally, I keep an holistic approach, I love details, and I take pride in working like a craftsman.

My experience allows me, when opportune, to pointedly manage and coordinate other experts, to
extend my professional abilities to deliver sustainable and effective solutions, as well as teammates;
and to mentor junior creatives and associates.

■ as a designer, I place myself in the golden nexus between perfection and delivery, striving for the necessary balance between pushing the boundaries and finding the best solution, welcoming the challenges as opportunities and never losing sight of sustainability;  

■ as a consultant and a trainer, I work to liaise my clients to the complex world of the 
modern forms of communication and their requirements;

■ as an executive creative coachI flank top managers and decision makers in their communication needs, both internal and external, and for the companies they run; 

■ as a digital presentation designer, I create high-impact digital presentations;

■ as a teacher, I strive to endow my students with the critical thinking and curious approach that, I find, are at the base of a successful problem solver;

■ as a writer and a translator, my goal is to use words to further sustain the overall mission of the project, so they create a synergy enhancing the context and supporting the mission;

My multicultural competences, combined with the other abilities, allow me to be the “ideal” communication consultant for foreign companies aiming at the Italian market, as well as for Italian firms interested in reaching foreign countries (focus: North America) in their efforts to localize and internationalize.

Lastly, a penchant for “a job well done” along with a conscious attention to the possibilities tied to the available budget, are personal traits of which I am very proud, and which allow me to stand on the side of both large companies as well as small entrepreneurs aiming at getting the most out of their communication endeavors.
 what I do:
branding & communication design
research & strategy naming  brand design: personal, corporate & product corporate & product identity corporate communication  digital presentation design personal branding communication design

print, digital, packaging & environmental design
graphic design  web design & production (traditional, mobile, RWD) UI & UX design blog design  infographic design  editorial & catalogue design (print & digital) packaging design  POP/BTL design  signage (internal and external) vehicle & accessories customization

integrated & marketing communication
strategic consulting marketing design advertising: print, web, outdoor/large format motion media design

writing, translating & content design
copywriting specialistic translations & interpreting (Ita/Eng) cultural & linguistic localization  trancreation content design & curation

photography, video & motion media design
portrait, location and fashion photography motion media design  video editing

promotion, organization & training
event design (concept, production, management) exhibit design  educational: seminars & workshops executive coaching
[see past event design work]
 professional experience

■ since 1998■ raffaella isidori: thesign.it - founder/creative director

raffaella isidori: thesign.it is a creative laboratory for integrated communication & brand building where experience and tradition meet new technologies, new media and new forms of interaction. 

amongst the latest clients/projects:

■ 03/19-05/19 WordPress Translation Day 4 - event design and organization; UX, UI; brand, digital & marketing design; copywriting; project management; live hosting; video design & editing
Leadership, design, & communications for annual global digital event of the WordPress Polyglots Team.
goals: as lead, create and coordinate event, design interactive website for the event, create compelling content, reinforce the brand of the WordPress Polyglots, as comms co-lead strategically communicate the event in the best possible way considering all limitations.
value provided: successfully brought event online, coordinating all efforts; reinforced brand image, created compelling communications; led design and web team in producing an interactive and engaging website as well as co-lead comms team in powerful and impressive communication campaign.

■ 06/18-01/19 Ass. LaStrada: Il senso della strada event design & production; creative direction; branding; digital & print communication; content and copywriting; presentation design; public speaking; 
A 3-cities, 6-schools event dedicated to raising awareness about substance abuse and the perils of driving while intoxicated. Sponsored by the Italian Prime Minister's office and in collaboration with the Psychology of Traffic division of Milan's UniCattolica Psychology Department.
goals: designing an engaging, informational, and motivational event dedicated to students aged 17-19.
value provided: designed and creative-directed an event built like a performance. Playing with the event's title "a feel for the road", developed a multi-media storytelling presentation in 5 acts and with 5 players, that was granted an overall satisfaction score of 78%. Also created website, printed material, and all multi-medial visual material for four of the five segments.

■ Since 06/18 ■ Manafactory, Roma, Italy - on-project creative direction, branding and design. 
A skilled Italian digital communication agency, Manafactory relies on my skills and competences to integrate creative direction, branding and design to projects that call for dedicated attention. #design #consulting 
goals: support a trusted and talented partner when opportune.
value provided: full-stack creative, strategic and design skills; creative direction.

■ Since 01/17 ■ The Skill Nursery - Il Vivaio delle Competenze - service design, strategy & communication; UX, UI; brand, digital & marketing design; copywriting; project management; teaching; workshop leading;
A training and coaching project, designed specifically for a non-digital-native business target , focused primarily on branding, communication and linguistics. #training #coaching #ServiceDesign - see project
goals: designing a service aimed at a niche target, creating an appropriate image, establish a trustworthy brand.
value provided: successfully built the project, the platform and the services, designed an appealing and memorable brand image; currently developing and implementing the marketing strategy.
■ 13/11/2019 - Codemotion, Berlin, Germany - speaker (mindful design) + panel (public speaking)
23/10/2019 - SMAU Milano, IT - speaker (brand design)
19/10/2019 - WordCamp Dublin, IE - speaker (mindful design) + 2 workshops: mindfulness
06/06/2019 - SMAU Bologna, IT - speaker (brand design)
20/05/2019 - WordCamp Lisboa - side event, Lisbon, PT - workshop: Dare To Shine
18/05/2019 - WordCamp Lisboa, PT - speaker (mindful design)
■ 12/04/2019 - WordCamp Rotterdam, NL - speaker (brand design)
07/04/2019 - WordCamp London, UK - speaker (mindful design)
07/02/2019 - Yoastcon, Nijmegen, the Netherlands - speaker (brand design)
25/01/2019 - BsidesLeeds, Leeds, UK - workshop: mindfulness

■ 15/12/2018 - WordCamp Thessaloniki, Greece - speaker (design principles)
■ 20/11/2018 - Codemotion, Berlin, Germany - speaker (design principles)
■ 17/11/2018 - WordCamp Milano, Italy - speaker (design principles)
10/11/2018 - DACHFest, Munich, Germany - speaker (mindful design)
■ 15/09/2018 - WordCamp Roma, Italy - speaker (design principles)
■ 18/08/2018 - WordCamp Brighton, UK - speaker (brand design)
■ 07/07/2018 - WordCamp Sevilla, Spain - speaker (brand design)
■ 16/06/2018 - WordCamp Europe, Belgrade - workshop: branding
■ 19/05/2018 - WordCamp Porto, Portugal - speaker (design principles)
■ 12/05/2018 - WordCamp Bari, Italy - speaker (mindful design)
■ 10/05/2018 - Il vivaio delle competenze: Milano, Italy - workshop: digital competences 
■ 04/05/2018 - WordCamp Retreat Soltau, Germany - speaker (brand design)
■ 27/04/2018 - Il vivaio delle competenze: Milano, Italy - workshop: digital competences 
■ 16/04/2018 - WordCamp London, UK - speaker (brand design)

■ 16/12/2017 - WordCamp Roma, Italy - speaker (brand design)
■ 27/05/2017 - Il vivaio delle competenze: Bologna, Italy - workshop: digital competences
■ 23/04/2017 - Il vivaio delle competenze: Orvieto (Tr) Italy - workshop: digital competences  

get all details (descriptions, slides, videos, etc.) about the above in my "speaking engagements" page
 teaching experiences
As a teacher, my goal is my students' holistic growth as designers, professionals and human beings: through design thinking and problem solving, I lead them through the procedures so they can understand the process.

2014-2018 - acme, accademia di belle arti, novara - professor: brand design; integrated communication
■ 2014-2016 - polimi, politecnico di milano - dipartimento di design - lecturer 
■ 2004-2007 - ied - istituto europeo di design, milano - professor: history of scenic design for events

 other professional experiences 
■ 2018-2021 - United Nations Development Program: Selected Expert Roster - Digital Comm & Web Design
2006/2009 -
ratio consulta spa, milano - image & communication manager
Jan/Oct  02 - with love from Umbria, USA/Canada - event design & production
■ 1998/1999 - barabino & partners, milano - senior graphic designer
■ 1997/1998 - landò-nardi, milano - senior art director
■ 1995/1997 - italiana di comunicazione, milano - senior art director
■ 1993/1995 - armando testa, milano - art director
■ 1991-1992 - mccann-erickson, new york - junior art director
professional associations

AIGA, the professional association for design - https://aiga.ccnsite.com/thesign
IWA Italia, International Web Association Italia - https://www.iwa.it/soci/0313520/
Architecta, società italiana di Architettura dell'Informazione - https://www.architecta.it
former member of:
AIAP, associazione italiana design della comunicazione visiva - http://www.aiap.it
Art Directors Club of New York - https://www.oneclub.org
■ education
■ 2016 - Interaction Design Specialization - in progress 
Coursera - University of California, San Diego
■ 2008 – 2013 - Master of Arts: Motion Media Design - Broadcast Design Dept.
SCAD - Savannah College Of Art And Design - Savannah GA
awards & recognition: Honor scholarship recipient
■ 1988 – 1991 - B.F.A. - Advertising Design, Summa Cum Laudae
FIT - the Fashion Institute Of Technology, New York, NY
awards & recognition: Medal of Honor recipient, Dean's List
■ 1986 – 1988 - AAA - Photography, Magna Cum Laudae
FIT - the Fashion Institute Of Technology, New York, NY
awards & recognition: Dean's List

English (Native) ■ Italian (Native) ■ French (Intermediate)

top skills
creative direction ■ project management ■ strategy & marketing ■ art direction ■ branding ■ integrated marketing communications ■ user experience design (UX) ■ print & editorial design ■ graphic, digital & visual design design ■ motion media & photography ■ copy writing (Ita/Eng) & editing ■ translation & l10n

 software & platforms
adobe creative suite ■ ■ ■ 
wire framing ■ ■ ■
presentation design tools ■ ■ ■ 
microsoft office suite ■ ■  
remote work tools ■ ■ ■  
SMM & DEM tools ■ ■ 
WordPress ■ ■ 

 soft skills
active listening ■ aesthetics ■ commitment ■ clarity ■ confidence ■ courage ■ critical thinking ■ curiosity ■ determination ■ design thinking emotional intelligence ■ empathy ■ flexibility ■ friendliness ■ honesty ■ humor ■ intelligence leadership ■ loyalty ■ multilingual & multicultural ■ project management ■ resilience ■ research ■ respect ■ responsibility ■ trustworthiness ■ sensitivity ■ sympathy
 interests & objectives
My interests and objectives for the future span in the fields of product design, research, interaction design, data visualization, and linguistics, as in academics and in the study of behavioral science.

My passion for learning and teaching fuels ambitions of a future in Research, particularly in the exploration (and in the exploitation) of the interactions between creativity, design and technology.

 personal characteristics              
Versatile, coherent, dependable and highly organized practical, logical, analytical, and detail oriented
strategic, far-sighted and lateral thinker creative, passionate, curios and nonconformist serious,
tenacious, resilient and loyal empathetic, sensible, reasonable and direct cool under pressure
fast thinking and rapid in action excellent sense of aesthetics capable to handle complex situations
and contexts excellent verbal, written & visual communication  Virgo sun, Aquarius rising  INFJ.

I love: things done well ■ design, in all its forms, and in its principles  typography  reading & writing  learning & teaching  being funny  my furred family ■ rugby  my friends  photography  good company  misfits  cooking & eating  aromatherapy ■ cool tech stuff  discovering places, roads, and stuff I don’t know  trying to keep an holistic vision of the world, of life... and of human beings.

 volunteering, open source & personal projects
Practitioner, supporter, and vocal advocate for mental health and well being through mindfulness, I volunteer with: Mental Health Hackers (https://www.mentalhealthhackers.org)

 Supporter of open source and active contributor in both the International and the Italian WordPress

 WordPress Polyglot and localization volunteer for Ted and Coursera.

 Organizer, with the role of Lead Design (digital, web, communication, motion media and data
visualization) of the WordPress Translation Day 4 and WordPress Translation Day 3 global events.

 Believer in collaborative work and in the need to protect the weaker and empower women worldwide.

 Pastor of a large furred family, I do all I can to help and sustain animal shelters.

hire me!
I am open to valuable professional collaborations in remote contract work.
If my work and style resonates with you, just get in touch: me@raffaellaisidori.com

for latest updates and more details , please visit my LinkedIn page

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