Email: mtsimonetti at gmail

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Matteo Simonetti

It was October 1999, when I first met Alberto, Tommy and Cristiana. They were three friends that founded a small advertising company in my hometown and who gave me my first part-time job as a data entry temp for their website. It was a time when Adobe Illustrator was still a work in progress, way behind his more powerful and reliable CorelDRAW; where the websites in Italy were still rich in animated gifs, fluorescent banners, loading bars, and notepad was a more than sufficient software to create a webpage, and that was the place where I started to learn.

It didn’t take me too much time to realise that I liked what I was doing and so I worked in advertising as a freelance for almost 10 years, doing a bunch of other stuff as well, until I found myself working for the Biology department at the University of Padua as a technician in the imaging facility of the department. Before starting my job at the university I had worked mostly for cultural events; flyers, booklets, invitations, and art catalogues were my usual stuff and I wasn’t really into scientific illustration or data visualisation, I probably never even thought about that. So, I found myself a little bit juggling between the acquisition of images from biological samples through a microscope and the designing of scientific images I could barely comprehend, but this is the best thing of moving outside the comfort zone: new challenges and new things to learn.

After ten years I was on the move again, not to a totally different job this time, but to another country, and thanks to all the things I learned in the Department of Biology, and the passion for scientific communication, I joined the production team at the Lancet (an, a weekly peer-reviewed medical journal) in London. Being inside the newsroom is something I've always dreamt about, one of those busy offices that you see in the movies, where all of a sudden somebody could run through the office shouting: “hold the presses” because a piece of new extraordinary news came out to be published… and even if I’m not a journalist, and it might not be like the Washington Post newsroom in All the President's Men (and I might not look like Robert Redford), It’s still great contentment to see my work published and help the spreading of scientific research.

I don’t know how long I will be doing this, if for another 10 years or more, but I can definitely see myself working in scientific graphic design and data visualisation and I’m quite excited to see which will be the future challenges in science communication.

Work experience

The Lancet
November, 2017 – Present
London, UK

Imaging Facility coordinator
Department of Biology - Universitá di Padova
December, 2007 to November, 2017
Padova, Italy

Comune di Padova-Freelance
April, 2003 to August, 2006
Padova, Italy

Junior designer
COMPACT comunicazione
October, 1999 to March, 2003
Padova, Italy