All Posts in Graphic Design

14th April 2016 - No Comments!

Gore by Deftones

It's with great enthusiasm that I put my headphones on while listening to this album. It has that perfect calm and storm contrast that is often characteristic of this band.

Start with their first tune, Prayers/Triangles, and you know what I mean. I think the album cover captures what I feel when I listen to Gore; a beautiful and elegant flamboyance of flamingos that transmits as much energy as a perfect storm and as much wonder as when you're watching National Geographic's instagram feed.

31st March 2016 - 2 comments

Outliers by Malcolm Galdwell


Outliers is one of those books that you will probably stumble upon every now and then when looking for "books that I've read" or "books that everyone should read" and don't be afraid of going with the flow because there's a big chance that Gladwell will turn into one of your favourite writers.

With great and useful insights that will help you to understand what makes someone successful, it will demystify every preconception that you have ever had about this theme.

In a very personal note, this book made me look at my life with a different and fresh perspective. We are taught to think about our future, and what we want to do, to be, to visit, etc. Malcolm analysis how the year, the day and the place you were born and where you lived in your early years of life will define most of your personality and, most likely, your achievements. It's a book that made me embrace my past experiences, while understanding how people like Bill Gates, The Beatles and Bill Joy were/are so successful.

Gladwell, points out the connection between sense of opportunity, risk and motivation in one of the most brilliant books that I've recently read.

In case you're still wondering, this book is not about the need to be intelligent to be successful and on this note I will finish this with one of many brilliant metaphores that you will find in this book:

[...] IQ is a lot like height in basketball. Does someone who is five foot six have realistic chance of playing professional basketball? Not really. You need to be at least six foot or six one to play at that level, and, all things being equal, it's probably better to be six two than six one, and better to be six three than six two. But past a certain point, height stops mattering so much. A player who is six foot eight is not automatically better than someone two inches shorter. (Michael Jordan, the greatest player ever, was six six after all.) A basketball player only has to be tall enough — and the same is true of intelligence. Intelligence has a threshold.

Malcolm Gladwell

28th March 2016 - No Comments!

Untitled Unmastered by Kendrick Lamar

From a design perspective, it's great that once in a while we see such powerful content absolutely unbranded and unnamed. What you hear is what you get. Untitled Unmastered gives you no reason to ignore it until you give it a go and hear it for the very first time. After his highly awarded and powerful To Pimp A Butterfly, Kendrick shares with the world what, apparently, was not good enough to be in TPAP. In this post I will not talk about is music, because as a big fan of his writing, anything I would write wouldn't be good enough to describe it. Now, about the album cover, it's great to see someone so humble and so successful that doesn't feel the need to hide behind appealing visuals to send his message.

In a culture where everything you share is highly curated, sometimes it's great to step back and just give room to the content.

27th February 2016 - No Comments!

Masala by Jibóia

Lisbon is all trendy and cool nowadays but on the very edge of it, the freshest tunes will be played by Jibóia. The guitar of Óscar and the drums by Ricardo Martins will definitely keep you going on these hypnotic and vibrant oriental rhythms. It will make you feel like travelling in a midnight train where everyone's body is asleep while their minds are dancing to this groovy album.
Design and Art Direction by my lovely friend Margarida Borges and Photography by Luís Martins.

12th February 2016 - No Comments!

The Language of Things by Deyan Sudjic

I bought this book and the Design as Art I went to The World of Charles and Ray Eames exhibition at the Barbican. I would like to read these two books because they reflect on a quite specific theme: design and culture. The Language of Things turned out to be a great book to understand how design is able to influence and take part of someone's opinion or choices. This book is great because it makes you reflect on very specific matter with great examples that most of the times we applaud and nod our heads without questioning.
I highly recommend this book because it helps to define the language of the world we live in and what we can do (or ask) to better understand it and, as a designer, to produce better work. Which doesn't need to be necessarily useful.

If I had to elaborate a question based on this book I would ask: Why does design need to be useful? And if it's not necessary is it still design?

Most of you know Starck's citrus-squeezer is not highly functional but that was not his point:

"It's not meant to squeeze lemons, it is meant to start conversations." Philippe Starck

It's great to know the how but it's also important to know the why. And sometimes the why can be something greater than what we are designing at that moment.

27th January 2016 - No Comments!

Blackstar by David Bowie

Farewell Space boy. In this month, the world lost a genius. And this album as everyone know is his tribute to his fans. But what I find really interesting in his story is the lesson that he gave us. In a world where everything is apparently meant to be shared (online), Bowie, as a huge superstar that he was, managed to cover is life from the limelight. We live in a world where a celebrity makes huge buzz when something very personal happens to him or her. We've read a lot of celebs with cancer that did this and that. It must be horrible to acknowledge a disease that will change your whole perspective on life but, what about your family? Do they want to be over exposed to this? I've recently read an interview with Grimes on The Happy Reader where she mentioned why Lauryn Hill "disappeared". She reached a point where some magazine would publish some photos of her, judging her look while she went to shop some groceries without makeup. Isn't that horrible? To be judged by such a tinny thing as that one?

I've never been a David Bowie aficionado, but it's never too late to learn and to appreciate something, right? Otherwise we would never listen to Richard Wagner, read Fernando Pessoa or even use Helvetica. Might be a long first post, but this isn't just an album, it's the last and great message from our Brixton boy.

27th January 2016 - No Comments!

Design as Art by Bruno Munari

Finally, I've read this masterpiece by Bruno Munari. There's not much more that I can write about this book that someone else hasn't written better than me. This is an absolute classic with timeless thoughts. Quite interesting book if you're keen into behaviour towards design. Munari throughout this book is able to get you wondering why certain day-to-day objects are the way they are and look the way they are. Makes question what's useful through unbelievably simple insights. Questioning art and the artists position towards what's happening in the society comparing the designer as the artist of our times. Where art is no longer something just for the 1% but for the masses. This book was written 40+ years ago and this thought is still relevant. A book that it's worth your time and that you will probably revisit again and again.