Tristan Ceddia

Words and photographs: Cory White

Publisher, designer, soon to be father, art director, non-cooking husband and passionate Melbournian; Tristan Ceddia walks the invisible line of art and commerce with ease. Seemingly non-affected, and one of those “really good guys with a lotta talent” Ceddia has carved a very nice Aussie-centric niche for himself.

I’ve been trying to tick this feature off the list for a good while now and as usual I squeezed it in just in the nick of time. As this is being written, Tristan and his wife are waiting eagerly for the imminent birth of their first child. In actual fact they are overdue, yet Tristan seems remarkably calm. Perhaps he doesn’t drink enough coffee.

During the shoot, we chat about growing up on the southern bayside suburbs of Melbourne, the romance of the Australian dream, home renovations and the like.  We debate Sydney vs. Melbourne and watch the world go by through the windows of his homely shared studio space in the iconic Mitchell House . Located in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD , Tristan’s space offers an oasis from the chaos in the streets below.

These days I am all about switching the devices off , which leads me to mentioning more specifically  Tristan’s  project “ The Blackmail Offline”,  which I reckon deserves some proper attention. A collection of selected features from its online offering,  the second print issue of “The Blackmail Offline” is due soon so get on board. In the meantime try sitting in the sun with a beer and consuming print issue one. Even the paper smells good. Enjoy.

Explain the following in less than 10 words each:

1: Never Now:
A one man studio I started when I finished Uni.

2: The Serps:
A multi man multi talented group I started with Brendan.

3: The Blackmail:
An evolving independent Australia-centric publication I started with Gabe.

4: The Liberal National coalition:
I steer clear of politics.

Where did you grow up and would you ever move back?
I grew up in the Bayside region of Melbourne, and I moved back there at the end of last year. It’s the best.

What was the first alcoholic beverage you consumed?
Red wine or beer with my Nonno.

Which 3 magazines do you hope never go out of print?
Doingbird, The Journal, Apartamento.

Dream wheels?
I don’t know a lot bout cars… but there were some good ones in that movie Ronin.

As a designer, what’s your specialty?

For the record my shame show is Big Brother (before you judge, I am intrigued by low level human interaction). What’s yours?
Maybe Modern Family? But I don’t feel like thats too shameful.

For you, what makes Melbourne city an inspiring place to go to work every day.
Definitely my studio. I love getting to work every morning. It’s filled with great people and it has a great view. You can drift away above the stress of the streets.

Favorite record of 2013?
I mostly listen to mixes and old music, but I did enjoy the Queens of The Stone Age album Like Clockwork… that came out in June (despite its terrible cover art…).

What performance enhancing drug would you take and why?
My favourite drug is sleep. I would probably take more of that.

Do you still believe in Apple?
Of course. No other company comes close.

Signature dish?
I don’t cook.

Melbourne or Sydney and why?
Melbourne because my family is here, and Sydney because Gabe is there, and the beaches are super good.

Complete this sentence: My wife hates it when I………..
Leave cupboards open.

As a freelance designer/ art director is it possible to avoid your style being compromised in the ad world?
I don’t feel like I have a particular style to compromise. Different questions require different answers.

You’re about to become a dad which is in my opinion, awesome! What are you fearing?
Waiting… we were due last Monday…

Why do you love the medium of print?
It allows me to lay on the couch and relax.

What’s your morning brew and whats your technique?
Usually just water, but if I do drink coffee, I will have an espresso. A small glass of sparkling water on the side is nice too.

If the Serps held a music festival, what would it be called and who would headline?
Couldn’t say. It would probably be a secret…

Worst habit?
Pulling on my t-shirt and squinting.

You’ve had some pretty great clients thus far, what are you yearning for?
More publication and editorial design. I love books and magazines.

Explain your Italian connection and its importance?
My fathers family is Italian, as is my wife’s family. My family took me to visit my cousins there when I was 16. Its the best. My wife and I would love to live there one day.

How did the Blackmail begin?
Gabe asked me to design a logo for him, and subsequently conned me into starting The Blackmail with him. I haven’t look back since.

With an impending birth of your first child, what’s gunna be your legacy?
Probably my book collection.

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