Design & Fly : meeting with an artist from Bilbao

Design & Fly : meeting with an artist from Bilbao

The Design & Fly competition, organized in collaboration with Show Us Your Type has landed in its second destination- Bilbao!

This time, participants are asked to submit a poster, and the chosen winner will receive free return flights for two to the incredible city of Bilbao from anywhere with direct Volotea flights.

For this round, we’ve selected “Txaber” to create the first poster to serve as inspiration for our entrants.

Don’t miss our interview with this amazing creative!

1: Tell us a bit about you, Txaber.

I was born, studied and still live in Bilbao. After studying graphic design I started from the bottom, working in a few companies, doing things like putting together texts for printing houses, print layouts and pre-press. The idea was to eventually work for an ad agency or studio, designing, which is what I really liked. I see those beginnings as a strong foundation because it gave me a solid grounding and a good idea of the processes, limits and technical possibilities involved in projects. I now work in a design studio that’s focused on packaging, and I combine that with personal projects, which I find really rewarding. I’m constantly experimenting when I’m doing those projects, especially with 3D fonts.

2. Where do you get inspiration for your work?

I think that inspiration is something that’s very abstract, a combination of factors. I think it’s thought processes, associations between ideas, one-off moments that are almost a reflex. For me, it’s not something that’s automated. What I try to do is be really receptive to everything I see, whether it’s art, design, nature or anything else, because ideas can come to you from the most unusual places. Some things don’t seem interesting, but when you look at them they give you the basis for your next project. I see things and try to use them as a launch pad to turn them into results, applying the concepts or qualities of one object to another, playing around and trying things during the creative process. I really like experimenting, I think that’s the basis of my work. Other times, ideas just come to me and I try to capture them and see how they work.

3. Which designers are inspiring you most at the moment?

 The ones I like best are the ones that don’t get swept up in trends- a lot of the time they’re the ones who set them. Their projects are original and surprising, and they don’t get carried away with fashion. Rather than current designers, the ones I’m inspired by and admire come from any era. I was, and still am, strongly influenced by Neville Brody, who broke away from received wisdom and created his own language, just like Saul Bass and Herb Lubalin, for example. Currently, I’d include Stefan Sagmeister, Jessica Walsh, Paula Scher, Alex Trochut, Lo Siento and Sawdust in that group, for example, and I really like seeing their projects. I also have to say that there are lots of designers who don’t get recognition and who are really inspiring with what they have to offer. I really like looking at blogs, I’m a huge image consumer.

4. What was the last thing that made you think “wow, that’s cool”?

Honestly, there’s a lot of talent, and today everything’s accessible and it’s easy to stumble across things. One of the most recent projects that I really liked was a series of photographs taken by Miguel Goñi Aguinaga, called “Architecture of Death”. They’re photos taken at Auschwitz.

5. What drives you as a designer?

 For me, design is self-fulfillment. Being able to transmit, excite, communicate through design is magic to me. It’s something I’m hooked on and that I need to do, whether through my job or personal projects, which is where I most let myself go and enjoy myself. Those projects are closer to art because most of them don’t stem from a specific commission, and they’re the ones that motivate me the most.

6. How does Bilbao inspire your work?

Bilbao is a city that’s undergone a radical transformation. From being a totally industrial, grey city, it’s had to fight to reinvent itself as a city that focuses more on services, and turn to tourism to move forward. I think that it’s moving in the right direction, and good things have been done. For example, the Estuary of Bilbao’s really been cleaned up; it used to be totally polluted by industry and urban waste. The Guggenheim was built, and that really put the city on the map, and the metro line was constructed with Frank Gehry as architect, as was the Alhóndiga with Philippe Starck. A lot’s been done to make this modernization possible and to make the city more attractive. So seeing that transformation and ability to adapt is really inspiring, it makes you aware of what can be achieved when decisions are made in relation to things like design, architecture and services. The process has been like a big redesign of the city, and experiencing it has been inspiring.

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