Afterlife – Matt Bonaccorsi


This weeks talk was given by Matt Bonaccorsi, he gave a almost romantic account of his career as a graphic designer, talking about the serendipity of life, by making decisions to say  yes to opportunities that may take you somewhere that you never even thought about before you set out on your journey.

His journey to becoming a coin designers started at Grimsby college studying art, which had a fully equiped Jewellery studio which is were his interest in working with metal started  then Loughborough college taking a Jewellery degree. He has a passion for drawing, saying that he used to sketch anything from ideas, life to something in the street. Going through mountains of paper in the process. “All of my work is digitally produced now – although you wouldn’t know it to look at my designs. I use a ‘natural media simulator’ to draw out sketches, so they look and feel like genuine pencil or charcoal drawings. “Why not just use a pencil” is something that I get asked a lot, but I just find that the speed and flexibility of the computer works for me. I can layer up multiple variations of a design in a single file, keep track of every change, and send finished work anywhere in just a few minutes.” There are plenty of really authentic drawing simulators on computers these day, many artist have utilised these more and more over the years.

After winning a competition for British Art Medal Society, Matt found his niche designing medals which led on nicely for him to acquire a position at the Royal Mint. He went on to work for them for 15 years, learning many skills along the way. He talked about having empathy and understanding towards his clients. Trying to get inside their heads aswell as understanding the brief. During his time at the royal mint he worked for clients around the world designing coins and coming out with plenty of managing skills.

This is one of the designs that he did for the Australia, based on the film lord of the rings. “I always liked the way that The Lord of the Rings ‘One Ring’ coin came out. It was a very simple layout, but just seemed to fit together nicely, and the gold plating did wonders for it!” It was the largest series that the Royal Mint produced.  This link takes you to the coin designs for lord of the rings. Showing the sketches that were made before they were cast in metal.

After the Royal Mint, he started working freelance. He now has over 25 clients worldwide. He enjoys researching in the biographical information for his briefs, this then drives his design. Over the years he has managed to hone in on his work ethic thinking about how he is spending his time and money. To speed up his work process he looked at different industry shortcuts / machines which have allowed him to chip bits off the process time. He uses a gaming programme called marmoset tool bag.

I was quite inspired by Matt’s talk. Talking about his career which has been a series I think of fortunate events. Not to say that he is not a talented designer, far from it, his outlook and aspirations in life have given him a varied and exciting career. One that I myself look forward to in the future. – some more of his work.



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