rejane dal bello is a brazilian graphic designer and illustrator currently based in the UK. rejane previously worked at studio dumbar in the netherlands and is now a senior design at wolff olins‘ london office.



DB: please could you tell us briefly about how you came to be a graphic designer?
RDB: it’s hard to know what made me want to become a designer. I’m from a family of doctors and dentists, and I don’t think I ever went to a gallery or museum growing up – it was more common to listen in on conversations about a disease or something along those lines. I didn’t even know that design existed as a profession until a friend saw my illustrations and collages and gave me some encouragement to pursue it further, so I decided to study at university…


I did my bachelor degree in rio de janeiro and six months into the course I started to do internships with some local graphic design studios, which is the best way to really learn about design and secure a job in brazil because the design education can be quite relaxed. in 1998, before finishing university, I was employed by a web development company and there I learned HTML, flash, CSS, java script. but it wasn’t really for me.


so, in 2000 I went to new york and did a course with milton glaser and richard wild at the school of visual arts. after six months in new york I moved back to brazil and got a job at the largest branding company in rio de janiero, ana couto branding & design. the most important work I did at that time though was outside of the office, in my personal time, on the sundays I would do social work together with various other young people – helping out kids from the slums around my neighborhood in rio. it was during this period that I learned the real meaning of charity and value of understanding the needs of the society you live in.


after a few years in brazil I went to study in rotterdam, to do a masters degree in graphic design with a focus on social causes and I ended up working at studio dumbar in 2005. in 2012 I got an offer to work at wolff olins in the UK, which I accepted – it was very hard to leave the life I had built in holland but at the same time exciting to take on this new challenge. alongside my work for wolff olins I give talks and workshops on graphic design. I also donate my design services to a children’s hospital in peru.






dutch alzheimer foundation identity (while at studio dumbar)




dutch alzheimer foundation booklets (while at studio dumbar)





DB: how would you describe your work to someone who hasn’t seen it before?
RDB: for each client my work changes in some way but it always has some strong visual characteristics; bold, colorful, dense, illustrative and typographic.



DB: what would you say is your strongest skill?
RDB: conceptualizing complex meanings into a simple iconic image – whether that’s a corporate identity or a single image.





dutch alzheimer foundation pamphlets (while at studio dumbar)





dutch alzheimer foundation poster (while at studio dumbar)





DB: what attracted you to designing corporate identities?
RDB: creating a personality from scratch. in the beginning a brand has no name, no personality, no tone of voice, no clothing and no real core. the challenge is to manifest these qualities and give form to something from nothing. you select and combine all of the ingredients that you think will give the brand the flavor it needs to succeed and then you present it to the world. from there it takes on a life of its own.


the last project I worked on at studio dumbar was for the alzheimer foundation in holland. that project gave me immense pride and honor since I saw how the foundation became stronger and able to attract more attention as a result of its new identity, which referenced how the sufferers feel, ‘as if they are disappearing’. that honesty is communicated in the final solution and is what gives it its impact.





DVG identity and applications (while at dumbar studio)





DVG identity and applications (while at dumbar studio)





DB: what mistakes or ‘traps’ should a designer avoid when working on an identity system?
RDB: remember that every job is different. what worked for one job won’t always work for another. embrace new challenges and try to highlight the truth in an interesting and poetic way. first see what is at the core of the client’s needs, what they need to communicate and that should give you most of the answers you’ll need to start designing something strong.





foco identity





foco identity






DB: what are your thoughts on specialization vs generalization?
RDB: I’m quite puzzled by this still. I love learning things but not necessarily mastering them. I originally learned all of the programming languages for web but it did not keep me interested enough to continue putting my energy into it. we should be curious and always learning lots of things, but in the end be honest of what you are really capable of doing best and promote that as your specialty.





AG2R la mondiale identity and applications (while at dumbar studio)





AG2R la mondiale identity and applications (while at dumbar studio)





AG2R la mondiale identity and applications (while at dumbar studio)





DB: do you draw very much and do you think it’s important for a graphic designer to be able to draw?
RDB: the most interesting graphic designers for me are the ones that illustrate, but are not necessarily illustrators in a traditional way. they make new shapes and find new ways of doing things visually. for example paul rand, milton glaser, alan fletcher and wim crowel are all rooted in illustration for me. that said, I don’t think you need to be a illustrator to be a graphic designer. there are different ways to create amazing work. visualizing will only have meaning when it is related perfectly to the content / concept that it needs to communicate. that is the real reason why the people I just mentioned were / are successful.





rotterdam festival identity and applications (while at dumbar studio)





rotterdam festival identity and applications (while at dumbar studio)





rotterdam festival identity and applications (while at dumbar studio)




DB: how do you think online design resources have influenced the design that’s being produced today?
RDB: the internet is certainly the main influence on design now. it is crazy the amount of design you see everyday and it is quite hard to keep focused on where you stand among it all. on one hand it gives you easy access and a more democratized way of discovering new people. on the other hand it makes this a frantic time for the designer where they can convince themselves that they are not producing enough or getting enough attention. we live in a time of nameless projects whose creators are lost in the ether of daily updates. still, I do love to pin.





identity and posters for brasilia 50 years





DB: what fascinates you at the moment?
RDB: sustainable business. the balance of doing what you love and getting paid fairly for it is still a mystery to me in many ways. it seems to earn more is to compromise more and even if you are able to do what you love, the bigger your operation gets the more bureaucracy does its best to obstruct you. studying how people get around this and achieve a sustainable business is something that interests me very much.





poster for cancer research symposium





identity and posters for amsterdam symphony (while at studio dumbar)





DB: do you have any superstitious beliefs or rules that you live by?
RDB: I believe we [as designers] play an important role in shaping culture, helping economies and most of all helping companies to be seen, to be recognized and therefore helping the economy grow and jobs to be fulfilled. I take this role in society very seriously.





PAZ holandesa hospital visual identity by rejane dal bello – read our article on this project 




DB: what do you want to do in 2014 that you have never done before?
RDB: let things go.