Volunteer Spotlight: Marc Leardi, Graphic Designer

We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.


– Winston Churchill

Make Music Matter was built on the dedication of a team of volunteers. Our work continues to be made possible by individuals who go above and beyond to make a positive difference in the lives of others. We are grateful every day for their contributions.

This is the first of a series of blog posts putting the spotlight on members of Make Music Matter’s volunteer team.

Meet Marc Leardi, graphic designer. He’s been volunteering with Make Music Matter for about three and a half years, helping to produce a variety of content including album art, presentations, and marketing material.

What motivated you to become a volunteer?

It was a time when I was beginning a new career as a graphic designer, and I was looking for work to expand my portfolio and experience. It was also the beginning of the very first Covid-19 lockdown so opportunities were very few and far between. Specifically, the idea of music as therapy and the amazing work that MMM was doing in that space is what ultimately sold me on volunteering for MMM.

What has been the most interesting project you’ve worked on for MMM?

It’s tough to pick just one, but I would say to date my favourite project was designing the posters to represent each MMM artist that are sold in the A4A webstore. The posters combine three of my favourite aspects of design all in one place: graphics, creative typography, and editorial design/layout.

What inspires you in your design work for Make Music Matter?

In general, each album cover is inspired by photos from the Healing in Harmony site. I guess the first thing I look for is an interesting composition. Sometimes the perfect moment just gets caught by whoever is snapping the pic, other times I have to hunt within the photo for my final composition.

The subjects also need to reflect the mood and themes of the music, but that just seems to happen organically as they are often photographed while performing their songs. Two of my favourites are Mushamuka and Najitegemea, both by Cohorte Héroique.

What I like about them most is that they each have a separation between the foreground subject and background subjects which kind of sets up the whole space in 3D, and almost makes you feel like you’re in the room with them. There’s also a moodiness to them which I think further draws you in as a viewer and listener.

Tell us more about your company Null & Void.

Null & Void was my response to job-hunting during the pandemic lockdowns. I had just decided to start a new career and was not finding many opportunities for companies that were hiring, so I decided to start my own business. I used my volunteer work with MMM to build out my portfolio, which led to me being hired on a contract basis by my first clients, which ultimately led to me being hired full time by one of those clients.

In a big way, I owe my career as a graphic designer to MMM, and I’ll always be grateful for the chance they took on me at what was a very challenging time for all of us.

What is one professional goal you’d like to achieve within the next year?

Marc Leardi, Make Music Matter volunteer graphic designer

I’d love to do more work in brand building from scratch, ideally working with small to medium sized businesses to create their brand, from the ground up.

Do you have any advice or tips for individuals who are interested in getting involved as a volunteer with MMM?

Prepare to be touched and amazed by the strength and resilience of the people that MMM works for and with, and for a sense of pride and accomplishment in your work you don’t normally find at a typical 9 to 5.

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