2 + 3 D: April #7, 2003
Article: pages 2833, “Works of Scott Santoro"
Below is a condensed English translation of the text and
interview by Jacek Mrowczyk of 2 + 3 D.
Scott Santoro is a graduate of two prestigious American schools: Brooklyn’s Pratt Institute, which has a solid, traditional reputation, and one of the most forward-thinking graduate schools, the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan. At Pratt, I wanted my work to look beautiful and be readily understood. At Cranbrook, I wanted it to look ugly and provoke thought. I am a product of both schools.
After graduating from Pratt Institute, where he received his B.A., Santoro worked for 5 years, carrying out designs for firms like Mobil Oil Corporation and Landor Associates.
I got to the point where I needed to break out of the box, so I applied to Cranbrook.
Cranbrook’s program departs from the standard form of studio classes, and the chairs of each department are considered resident-artists. Design explorations going on there were of a kind I never knew existed. And the chance to see design through the eyes of people like chairwoman Kathy McCoy, or students like Ed Fella, added more to my knowledge than studying and honing what I already knew.
Santoro’s work is personal in character. Pipes and plumbing tools are recurring motifs in his graphic work. It started as a joke but it quickly made sense. I'm from a family of plumbers; they direct the flow of water, I direct the flow of information. That's why I called my design studio Worksight.
Scott created a vision for Worksight. The studio is in a loft building on Great Jones Street. I love old New Yorkdowntown, East Side, the Village...I like finding well-worn diners and 100-year-old shopsthey have the most atmosphere and feel genuine and authentic. That gestalt is what I strive to bring to my design work.
Scott Santoro doesn't pursue fame, though his works seem much more interesting than many celebrities' who give presentations and seminars around the world. His clients include Blue Note Records, The Brooklyn Business Library, Gilbert Paper, HarperCollins Publishers and the Museum of Modern Art. My portfolio is made up of jobs that I've enjoyed doing. If the potential client likes it, then there's a good chance that they'll want the same from me.
Each of Santoro’s works has its own architecture. The text and illustrations are organized according to an overriding structure. this masterfully controlled play with form accompanies an intellectual game of meanings. I'm always trying to uncover some structure or perspective...discovery is part of the process.
Scott Santoro is admired for his graphic achievements, but he's also known for his activities at the American Institute of Graphic Arts. He served as vice-president there from 19992001. He has also been a professor at Pratt Institute since 1997. I encourage my students to expand their visual vocabulary and their individuality. Understanding why the mark they just made looks the way it looks, and reads the way it reads, is a good way of preparing someone for years of future learning.