Design a Volotea city
Several cities

Design a Volotea city

For 4 years now, Volotea has been holding its “Design and Fly” competition in partnership with Show Us Your Type. European designers, and designers from all over the world, take part in a competition to represent a Volotea city through a typographic creation.

This year, our competition is a bit different. To celebrate Volotea’s 10-year anniversary, we decided to give free rein to artists, so that they can choose the Volotea city that they find most inspiring. And so they can display the diversity and cultural wealth of Volotea cities.

After several weeks and many entries, we are delighted to present the 10 winners of the “DesignVolotea10years” competition, and the winner of the international prize:

We spoke with two of the winners, Hernán Raffo (Bilbao poster – 1st prize) and Andres Nava H. (Barcelona poster – international price).

Hi, Hernan, Andrés. Congratulations on your prizes and thank you for these beautiful posters! Could you tell us a little about you?

Hernan: I’m Hernán Raffo, and I’m a graphic designer. I was born and raised in Buenos Aires, playing football and drawing. I made my relationship with design official at the University of Buenos Aires. I ended up in Barcelona and then Ibiza, where I currently live. I love typography and playing football – I’m a Racing Club de Avellaneda follower.

Andres: I’m Andrés, from Mexico City. I’m a visual artist and maybe now also a designer. I currently live in the UK and am in the final year of the Photography BA at Coventry University.

Where did you get the inspiration for your respective posters, Bilbao and Barcelona?

Hernan: I was inspired by its shapes, the way in which the Nervión river flows into the old city, its modern architecture. And it’s a symbol for the Basque Country.

Andres: I spent some time researching the city and its landmarks—not just the geographical, but also historical one. In the end, the piece of history that I was left most excited about is another piece of design, one that impacts the city’s inhabitants on a daily basis and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future: the revolutionary work in the Eixample district and the iconic city grid that resulted from it.

I based my poster on what I imagined one of Ildefons Cerdà’s city-planning blueprints would have looked like whilet he was still working out the final details of his radical ideas for the future of the city, the scribbles and annotations he would have made. It went on from there. That strong conceptual foundation was the basis for all the other aesthetic decisions: the grid, the custom-made typography, the colours and textures, the hand-written notes and marks, everything.  

Where do you find your inspiration in everyday life?

Hernan: My inspiration depends on the time and the project. Lately, I’ve been very inspired by calmness.

Andres: It’s a matter of hours and labour for me. “Inspiration” doesn’t just come, I find, you have to consciously work towards it, set deadlines. For me, work can involve going to exhibitions with a pencil and notepad, making notes; reading essays, books, articles; talking to friends about their work, helping them with their work, asking for help; trying out what seem to be useless ideas in isolation and experimenting with materials; and also, creatively solving small annoying problems within your everyday life—I need to design and make a new handle for my parents’ espresso machine, and glue together a mug that a good friend gifted me, using the kintsugi technique, for instance.

What is the most recent project, work, artist, or exhibition that you fell in love with?

Hernan: I have been working for some time with a beer project called Mosquito Brewing, In addition to making a beer I love, they are equally dedicated to design. I am absolutely in love with them. I also adore ses12naus in Ibiza.

Andres: It’s difficult to say… I spent the last six months in Berlin and saw a lot of great things. A few venues of the Berlin Biennial were great. I can think of the works by Lawrence Abu Hamadan, Forensic Architecture and Elske Rosenfeld within that. I was also introduced to the work of Dayanita Singh via her Gropius Bau exhibit. And met by chance an artist working out of the Berlin Treptow Ateliers, Elena Karakitsou, whose work I felt I “got”. Strangely, it’s actually a couple of re-encounters that have made the largest impact on me recently, perhaps because I’m simply at a different stage and they feel particularly relevant to the development of my practice right now—I cannot stop thinking about Tehching Hsieh’s ‘Time Clock Piece’ and Francis Alÿs’ ‘Paradox of Praxis I’, aka, ‘Sometimes Making Something Leads to Nothing’.

Finally, if you had to recommend a Volotea city to go on holiday, or if you had to choose a Volotea city for your next holiday, which one would you pick and why? 

Hernan: Porto! Its contrasts, its colours, its textures. It’s a city that is full of life and visually glorious.

Andres: Well, I’m not very well-travelled, so I can’t be trusted with recommendations. That said, I’d love to go to Paris. I’ve never been, and I have a good friend there that I would love to visit soon.

Thank you both!

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