about me

raffaella isidori
Senior, multidisciplinary design expert (brand, comms, digital, experience, event); Creative Polymath; Creative Director. Bi-cultural, bilingual, outspoken, non-linear thinker. Mindfulness practitioner, HSP, Empath, and INFJ.

Currently busy designing at Thesign, building Humanise - a social startup dedicated to “fostering systems that care” by raising awareness and promoting education about human skills & qualities - and hatching Design Culture Collective, a non-profit cultural association promoting the culture and value of the design practice. Dabbing at podcasting.

Passionate about diversity, inclusivity, human behaviour, neurosciences, and emotional intelligence. Working to leave this place a bit better than I found it.​​​​​​​

■ executive summary 

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

From strategy to implementation; from designing brands to designing events; from creative direction to the design of the experience; from art direction to copywriting.
My skill set encompasses senior experience at many trades: experience design; information architecture; digital & UI design; graphic & print design and production; strategy, ownership & management of products and projects; marketing & advertising; writing, translating & trans-creating; photography, motion media & video editing; social media strategy; content design & curation.
My approach is simple: research, analysis, creativity, ethics, efficiency, care, and sustainability. My motto: design is the path to a solution.

I think laterally, keep a holistic approach, love details, and 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 multidisciplinary senior designer - regardless of context - 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 project/product owner or manager, I keep a close eye to the details never losing sight of the global vision, working closely with all members of the team as well as all stakeholders in the project;  
■ 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 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;
■ 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 social entrepreneur, my goal is to harness the power of technology to foster better, more inclusive and more meaningful and valuable organisations.
■ as a non-profit founder, I work to promote the culture of the practice I love and its value.
■ as a student, I nourish my curiosity and I expand my vision, striving to grow continuously, both as a professional as well as a human being;
 what I do:
strategy, & project/product management
pre-project research and analysis strategy development objectives definition project management timing & budgeting quality monitoring team building and management

branding & communications
research & strategy naming  brand design: personal, corporate & product  logo design & identity systems   integrated communication design  corporate communications.

digital, EXPERIENCE, print & VISUAL design | creative direction
print & digital design  UX design ■ art direction  graphic design  web design  infographics & dataviz  presentation design  editorial, financial, & catalogue design (print & digital) packaging design  signage and environmental design 

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

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

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

event design (concept, production, management) exhibit design
[see past event design work]

coaching, & training
executive coaching (individual and small groups) seminars & workshops (design & delivery) university contract professor subjects: design (print & digital), communications, branding, digital competencies, public speaking.
 professional experience

■ Since 2019 ■ humanise srl - founder, CEO & creative director
A startup with a social vocation that operates for social impact by facilitating conversations, promoting awareness, advocating, and providing training and education for: inclusivity, ethics & sustainability, human skills, digital culture, and mental health & wellness in organizations.

■ 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 my latest clients/projects:

■ European Commission, TRIMIS, JRC, Ispra (2019- ongoing)- UX, design, art direction & data viz.
Contract to redesign the TRIMIS website UX, to create a visually engaging system for the project, and to redefine and design the data visualization experience.

The Transport Research and Innovation Monitoring and Information System (TRIMIS) supports the implementation and monitoring of STRIA and its seven roadmaps. TRIMIS is the analytical support tool for the establishment and implementation of the Strategic Transport Research and Innovation Agenda (STRIA), and the Commission’s instrument for mapping technology trends and research and innovation capacities in the transport field, as well as monitoring progress against the targets set for all the transport sectors.
TRIMIS is an open-access information system to map and analyse technology trends, research and innovation capacities, as well as monitor progress in the transport sector.
goals: redesign the TRIMIS website, to create a cohesive experience and a visually engaging system for the project, and to reshape and design the online data visualization integration.
value provided: successfully redesigned the UX, UI, and DataViz  integration for the website within the EUC established parameters, mindful of accessibility, responsiveness, and performance. Also provided managing support of team and production.
results: the new website was launched in fall 2021. We are currently working on an optimised update.

EURSPA, Roma (April/Nov 2021) Information Architecture, Experience design, UI, Creative Direction, Personalised Drupal theme for the publicly participated company that manages the EUR quarter in Rome.
goals: create and effective, noticeable and opportune online presence, organize and offer a great variety of different content, serve the different divisions of the company.
value provided: designed a stylish, accessible, recognizable, and appealing theme for Drupal, technically advanced and mindful of accessibility, responsiveness, and performance
results: created and organised a solid structure for content-heavy and diverse information; delivered full digital design and specs for Drupal-based personalized theme.

Human Technopole Foundation (Feb/Nov 2020) website design: information architecture, UX design, UI design, creative direction. 
Human Technopole is a private foundation, founded by the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance, the Italian Ministry of Health and the Italian Ministry for Education, University and Research, committed to promoting the development of human technologies and long life, increasing public and private investments in research fields addressing prevention and health, in line with the National Research Program and developing a multidisciplinary and integrated approach to the disciplines of health, genomics, nutrition and data science and decisions, with particular regard to Human Technopole’s scientific and research project, in connection with universities and research institutions.
goals: design a new website for Human Technopole to help launch and sustain its activities.
value provided: design the information architecture, the structure, the User Experience, and the visual look&feel of the new website, along  with the necessary UI assets; creatively direct the project.
results: website launched in November 2020.

■ Speaking Of: Design - Vitaly Friedman (Aug/Nov 2019) project & event design, creative direction, UX, UI, brand, web, digital & marketing design, copywriting, project management. 
Speaking of... is a cycle of events dedicated to topics that are relevant to design, tech, and digital culture.
goals: design and organise a series of events dedicated to various aspects of design and digital culture 
value provided: conceptualised, created, designed, planned, and organised event. Managed all aspects of the
organization and the communication (content, website, communication)
results: organised a successful first event, which received excellent feedback. The project will continue in 2020.

■ UNDP - Business Call to Action Annual Forum (Aug/Oct 2019) Branding, website, print & digital comms 
Business Call to Action is the largest global inclusive business platform supporting core business solutions for development and providing public recognition for the private sector’s contribution to development. The BCtA Annual Forum is a side event of the UN General Assembly.
goals: designing an engaging, cohesive, and appealing look for the BCTA Annual Forum 2019; providing a turn-key digital project; managing the website content and the technical aspects.
value provided: designed a brand for event and a visual language; built, and managed a WordPress-based website; designed UX, UI, and all visual assents; created printed, digital comms, and social media material.
results: a cohesive and appealing brand image and online presence for the event, with a strong, declinable and potentially recurring brand, visual, and digital structure.

WordPress Translation Day 4  (Mar/May 2019) - event design, communication design, webdesign.
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.
results: further increased engagement from WPTD3; successfully shifted focus from translating to training and on-boarding; improved visibility and brand recognition of both event and Polyglots team.

■ Il senso della strada (June 18/Jan 19) 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. Also created website, printed material, and all multi-medial visual material for four of the five segments.
results: reached directly over 1000 students and was granted an overall satisfaction score of 78%.
 other professional experiences 
since 2022 - Design Culture Collective APS (non profit), Founder and President
since 2021 - United Nations Development Program ExpRes Roster
2018-2021 - UNDP: Selected Expert Roster - Digital Comm & Web Design
2006/2009 - Ratio Consulta Spa, Milano - image & communication manager
2001-2002 - With love from Umbria, USA/Canada - event, comms & assets: 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
 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

since 2021 - Coached and trained many professionals individually or in small groups on subjects that include: design, design thinking, effective communications, branding & brand building, digital communication and  competencies, English for business, public speaking.

 SPEAKING & training
20/05/2023 - WordCamp Lisboa - speaker (design culture)
20/05/2023 - WordCamp Lisboa - speaker, panel (empowerment, public speaking)
15/04/2023 - WordCamp Torino - speaker (design culture)

24/09/2022 - BIG - Brief in Genova - speaker (design culture)
30/05/2022 - Women in WordPress, podcast - interview (design)

23/04/2021 - IA Roundtable - speaker (mindful design)

15/04/2020 - Architecta's Lockdown Webinars - speaker (emotional intelligence &mindfulness)
■ 15/02/2020 - Università Cattolica, Milano, Italy - seminar (event design)

■ 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
27/05/2018 - WordCamp Belfast, Ireland - speaker (brand design)
■ 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
professional associations
IWA Italia, International Web Association Italia - https://www.iwa.it/soci/
IxDF, Interaction Design Foundation - https://www.interaction-design.org/raffaella-isidori
Smashing Community - https://www.smashingmagazine.com/
Assipod - https://www.assipod.org/
■ Design Culture Collective APS - https://designculturecollective.org/
former member of:
AIGA, the professional association for design - https://aiga.ccnsite.com/
Architecta, società italiana di Architettura dell'Informazione - https://www.architecta.it
AIAP, associazione italiana design della comunicazione visiva - http://www.aiap.it
Art Directors Club of New York - https://www.oneclub.org
■ 2023 - Prompt Design - Qubigames
■ 2023 - Fondi europei 2021-2027, tecniche di progettazione e budget - Obiettivo Europa
2022 Jan/July - Diventare un Podcaster - Genius Scuola di Scrittura, Roma
■ 2022 - Ethical Design -Smashing Conf Online Workshops
■ 2021 - Learning Experience Design - NovoEd
2020-2021 (Nov/March) - DICA Europa - professional course, Europrogettazione
■ 2020 - Susan and Guthrie Weinschenk - Behavioural Design Workshop - Smashing Conf Online Workshops
■ 2020 - Aarron Walter - Designing for Emotion Masterclass -Smashing Conf Online Workshops
■ 2020 - Brad Frost - Creating and Maintaining Successful Design Systems -Smashing Conf Online Workshops
■ 2020 - The path to moral leadership - Acumen Academy
■ 2020 - Rachel Andrew's The CSS Layout Masterclass -Smashing Conf Online Workshops
■ 2020 - Vitaly Friedman's Smart Interface Design Patterns -Smashing Conf Online Workshops
■ 2019 - Feminism and Social Justice - Coursera - University of California, Santa Cruz
■ 2016 - Interaction Design Specialization - in progress -Coursera - University of California, San Diego
■ 2008 > 2013 - Master of Arts: Motion Media Design - SCAD - Savannah College Of Art And Design
   awards & recognitions: Honour Scholarship recipient
■ 1988 > 1991 - B.F.A. - Advertising Design, Summa Cum Laude -FIT - Fashion Institute Of Technology, NY, NY
    awards & recognitions: Medal of Honour recipient, Dean's List
■ 1986 > 1988 - AAA - Photography, Magna Cum Laude -FIT - Fashion Institute Of Technology, NY, NY
    awards & recognitions: Dean's List

Certificates are viewable here: https://raffaellaisidori.com/certificates

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

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

 software & platforms
Adobe Creative Suite (Ps, Ai, Id, Xd, Acrobat) ■ ■ ■
Adobe Creative Suite (Pr, Ae, Dw) ■ ■ 
Wire framing (Xd) ■ ■ ■
Presentation design tools ■ ■ ■ 
Microsoft office suite ■ ■ ■ 
Remote work tools + practices ■ ■ ■  
HTML + CSS + WordPress ■ ■ 

 soft skills
Communication: active listening clarity ■ effective communicationopen-mindedness ■ persuasion ■ presentation ■ public speaking ■ storytelling ■ verbal communication ■ writing ■ writing reports and proposals
Mindsets and approaches: adaptability aesthetics artistic attitude creativity ■ critical thinking critical observation design aptitude desire to learn flexibility innovation logical thinking ■ problem solving ■ research ■ resourcefulness ■ thinking outside the box ■ tolerance of change and uncertainty ■ troubleshooting ■ willingness to learn
Leadership: decision making coaching delegation facilitation giving clear feedback inspiring people leadership management managing remote/virtual teams mentoring motivating project management resilience resolving issuesupervising talent management
Positive attitude: confidence cooperation courtesy energy enthusiasm emotion management friendliness honesty humour patience respectability respectfulness
Teamwork: collaboration dealing with difficult situations disability awareness diversity awareness emotional intelligence empathy establishing interpersonal relationships giving and receiving feedback ■ intercultural competence interpersonal skills influence networking persuasion self-awareness selling skills social skills team building teamwork
Work & Business: attentiveness business ethics ■ business trend awareness ■ commitment dedication dependability efficiency independence motivation multitasking organization perseverance persistence planning problem solving punctuality reliability resilience resourcefulness result-orientation scheduling self-direction self-monitoring self-supervising social issues awareness strategic planning technology savviness technology trend awareness time management troubleshooting working well under pressure
Personality: assertiveness common-sense courage creativity ■ curiosity dependability integrity intelligence kindness life-long learningquick-wit lateral-thinking maturitymindfulness pragmatism responsibility ■ trustworthiness ■ sensitivity ■ sympathy warm

 interests & objectives
My interests and objectives for the future span beyond the design of the experience and into the fields of education and learning experience design, product design, research, data visualization, and linguistics, as in academics and in the study of behavioural, cognitive, and learning sciences.

My passion for learning and teaching fuels ambitions of a future in the exploration (and in the exploitation) of the interactions between creativity, design, ethics, 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
Founder and President of non-profit association Design Culture Collective, dedicated to promoting and divulging the culture and value of the design practice.
 Organizer and Design Lead (digital, web, communication, motion media and data visualisation) of the WordPress Translation Day 4 and WordPress Translation Day 3 global events.
 WordPress Polyglot and localisation volunteer for Ted and Coursera.
Practitioner, supporter, and vocal advocate for mental health and well being through mindfulness.
 Supporter of open source and active contributor in both the International and the Italian WordPress Communities
 Believer in collaborative work and in the need to protect the weak and empower women worldwide.
 Pastor of a large furred family, I do all I can to help and sustain animal shelters.

hire me!
Currently, I am fully booked until end of 2023 and evaluating projects for 2024. If you want to get in touch head over to the Contacts page or drop me a note at: work [at] raffaellaisidori [dot]com

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

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