Featured Designer & Art Director

Javier Fuentes

April 2019

Javier Fuentes is multi-disciplinary Designer and Art Director, focus on Branding and Web Design. He gives us a hilarious story of his childhood and the long process of making his first animation in PowerPoint. He talks us through how valuable internships are, and his new and exciting venture of 2019 — the creation of a coffee table book called 'Alien Food'

What's the worst design job you’ve ever had and how does that make you a better designer?

The worst design job I’ve ever had was at an office supplies corporation (I won’t name names). My biggest project was to come up with a boring pattern design for paper cups. Not long after, I started a new gig at a small firm in Boston called Breakaway. One day as I was making coffee in the office kitchen, I saw those paper cups I had designed. Seeing those paper cups in the kitchen was a reminder of how far I’d come.

Any hilarious stories about you as a kid being creative?

I remember trying to make my own South Park episode by scanning cut outs of the characters and dropping them on PowerPoint because it was the only way I knew how to “animate.” It was very time consuming for only 10 seconds worth of “animation” (respect to all animators out there).

What’s your take on internships? (do you take interns now?)

Do as many as you can!! While in school I did 3 internships. Most likely you won’t do anything super exciting, BUT, you’ll learn a lot about how a small firm, big agency, or in-house department works. Ask lots of questions and push your managers to include you in meetings and presentations so you experience the whole process. That in itself will give you a better idea of what types of jobs to apply for right after school.

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In an era oversaturated with content, we need to stand out and bring something new to the table and stay relevant. Experiment and find your own voice.

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Give us the elevator pitch on what you do.

I’m a multi-disciplinary Designer and Art Director with a focus on Branding and Web Design. My work is heavily influenced by the things I surround myself with and life experiences (80’s new wave, sci-fi & art house films, the countries I’ve lived in, etc.). Music is a huge part of my life, so whenever I start a new project I pick a different genre or album to play while I work, depending on the client (kind of like scoring a film).

Any passion projects/collabs you would like to share?

I’m currently working on my first book called Alien Food--a coffee table book about the packaged foods found in the kitchen pantries of many immigrants in the U.S. and the faded memories that accompany them. I’m in charge of the Art Direction, Design and Photography, and my girlfriend is working on the content and interviews. I’m really excited about this project. You can read more and see some of the initial photography on my website and Instagram.

What advice would you give students graduating in 2019?

Work on developing your own style. That’s something I never learned in school and I’m still working on. What kind of designer do you want to be? What type of clients you want to work with? What do you want to be known for? In an era oversaturated with content, we need to stand out and bring something new to the table and stay relevant. Experiment and find your own voice.

Website: javierfuentes.studio

Instagram: javierfuentes_studio

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