I remember my aunt doing these intricate, cute letters that were all joined together and I was in awe of her ability. Later, during business school I would always doodle letters on the sides of the notebooks. Little did I know that would be my passion and profession just a couple of years later.
My first internship was as a business school student. Somehow I ended up in the design department, having to learn Flash in order to make business presentations. After learning the software, I realised I needed to know about design (layout, composition, typography) to make them look better. I read loads of books and every new a-ha was key to my falling in love with design.
I use branding as an excuse to design letters. We design letters as an excuse to build brands.
Great clients are knowledgable about the business they are into, generous enough to teach us all about it. They understand that design has a specific power that enables their already excellent product/service to be shown in the best light possible to the world and enjoy the creation process as much as you do. Find a client like this and stick to them as long as you can!
I look for people who are project agnostic, i.e. they will look at every project as an opportunity to learn something new. If they look at it this way, it’s almost certain they’ll deliver something that nails the brief with a twist of their own.
I teach design at Miami Ad School in Rio and do workshops every now and then. Watching the students think through the challenges we set in class is inspiring for me. Also, challenging myself to come up with exercises that inspire them to do good work is probably more fulfilling than doing good work myself.
Can I share a dream job for the (hopefully near) future? Would love to design a custom typeface for a Tennis Brand and or personality (Hello Nike, hello Federer). And designing the “Seleção” Brazilian National Soccer Team typeface would be really cool too (Hello Nike again).
Ana Laura Ferraz, Carlos Mignot, Felipe Casaprima and Gabriel Menezes are all designers, but each of them bring a special something to what we do at the studio. My role today is very much keeping them happy and inspired to make the best work. I love them because they are great people to be around that happen to love design as much as I do. Also, I owe an enormous thank you to Lucas Campoi, my first hire at Plau who stayed on my side for five years and just recently left the studio for a big adventure.
Learn all you can about type. It is a tool that’s exclusive to our profession. And it’s probably the most important aspect of visual communication.