Finding your niche as a graphic designer is tricky. But if you are successful, a career filled with possibilities of becoming an expert in a certain field while building a distinctive body of work opens up to you. It was just after Emma Dragovic moved to Bristol in 2016 that she discovered her specialty. Struggling to find design work in her new town, she found a job at a natural wine bar, ended up designing a few posters for them and “then fell down the rabbit hole,” she tells It’s Nice. That. “Bristol has a vibrant food scene, so I quickly started meeting people from the industry, especially the natural wine scene, and designing for their events. Six years later, she’s made a name for herself designing everything from identities and packaging to magazines in the food, beverage and hospitality industry.
Emma is now based in London, having grown up in Rotherham, South Yorkshire. She left school with the intention of becoming an architect and studied the subject at the Glasgow School of Art. “It wasn’t until I reached the end of this long, arduous degree and started working in the industry that I realized I didn’t want to pursue a career in architecture,” she explains. “I much preferred the graphic processes of storytelling and creating visuals to the structural and technical emphasis of architecture. And it is not surprising that Emma found solace in graphic design procedures, for it is a medium in which she has indulged herself, albeit unconsciously, since childhood: “As a child, I I was obsessed with making my own books, stapling scraps of paper. together and filling them with drawings and cutouts from magazines and catalogs.
A major cause of Emma’s progression in the world of graphic design – and food and drink – has been her work with Pipette. When she was designing posters for Bristol’s natural wine bar, Rachel Signer, editor-in-chief of Pipette, an independent magazine devoted to natural wines, contacted Emma and asked her to design her new business. The magazine shines a light on small natural wine producers and the communities around them from a contemporary perspective, and the visual language Emma has developed reflects this. It’s precise sometimes, but leaves room for idiosyncrasies, almost mimicking the wine-making process which has been proven, but which favors experimentation and the injection of personality where it is needed. “Stories are always so unique, and I think it’s important to capture the right tone of voice for each room, which is why I tend to add hand-drawn elements and organize them individually,” Emma explains. “I am honored to have worked with her on Pipette until October 2021, when we published the last issue.