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At Instituto Cervantes | Designers With Character

Instituto Cervantes of Chicago, 31 W. Ohio, proudly presents Designers with Character, a group show by contemporary Spanish graphic designers, on display November 14, 2017 - January 20, 2018.

Designers with Character explores publishing design in the context pages, such as their architecture, placement, and construction; lettering, the art of drawing letters; and pop artists working in commercial graphic design.


Participating Spanish artists and studios include experimental type designer Andreu Balius, illustrator and typographer Alex Trochut, Art Director's Club Young Guns winner Marta Cerdà Alimbau, brand and design consultancy Atlas, global boutique design studio Mucho, art direction studio Serial Cut™ and multidisciplinary strategic communication studio Vasava.

Designers with Character kicks off with a reception on Tuesday, November 14 at 6 p.m. There is no charge to attend the reception, but a reservation via Brown Paper Tickets is encouraged.

"Typography as a visual expression of language grows, increasing its diversity and it continually transforms in order to adapt to the word and cultural and technological innovations as they unfold, such as in the development of printing (Times New Roman), information technology (Comic Sans), press (Bodoni), publishing (Auriol) and advertising and mass communication (Cooper Black)," says curator Gloria R. Mansilla.

"The convergence between art, typography and graphic design has given rise to successive generations of designers who take on and defend the necessary conversation between typography and graphic design, such as the pioneers Paul Renner, Adrian Frutiger and Herb Lubalin, followed by Massimo Vignelli, Neville Brody, Erik Spiekermann and David Carson. Designers with Character aims to show, via some of the best studios, that this conversation is especially alive in contemporary Spanish graphic design."

About Alex Trochut
Alex Trochut's work is identified by the importance he gives to typography, making it an element of graphic expression, as well as the variety and changes in technique in each project, maintaining the fusion of geometry and fluid shapes as a common trait in each of them. His work is influenced by Mediterranean artists such as Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali and Joan Miro, as well as by the geometric art of the Hungarian Victor Vasarely, Pop Art and the contemporary artist Jonathan Zawada. In 2011, he published the book More is More which brings together all of his projects from 2006 until the book's publication. In 2015, Trochut exhibited his works in the Fine Line Exhibition at Art Basel Miami. Trochut graduated in Graphic Design from the Elisava School in Barcelona.

About Andreu Balius
Andreu Balius is a pioneer in digital typography design in Spain. He has created many typographies, such as Al Andalus, using the Arab alphabet, that combines with Pradell, a Latin alphabet. In 1992, he founded his studio, specializing in typography design. In 2003, he created Typerepublic, a digital type foundry where he publishes typefaces and corporate typographies. He is currently teaching typography at EINA, University School of Design and Art of Barcelona (UAB) and teaches at Pompeu Fabra a Digital Arts Master's program. He has received several prizes, including two Certificates of Excellence in Type Design by the TDC (2002 and 2005), a Certificate of Excellence in Type Design by the ATypI (Rome, 2001), Macromedia People's Choice Award (San Francisco, 1997) and Adobe Power of Design Award (London, 1997). He is author of the book Type at Work about the use of type in editorial design, and has published several articles in specialized books and magazines. Balius holds a PhD in Design from the University of Southampton (UK). He is a member of AGI (Alliance Graphique Internationale), TDC (Type Directors Club) and ATypI (Association Typographique Internationale).

About Atlas
Established in 2013, Atlas is run by Astrid Stavro and Pablo Martin. Together, they have more than 40 years of experience and their design agency has won the most awards in Spain. Their focus on book design is based on close attention to conceptual and tactile details. Their clients include: Phaidon Press, Camper, Hachette Rusconi, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Grupo Godo, Grupo Planeta, The National Energy Museum, IBM, Acciona, BMW, Miro La Fabrica, Santa & Cole, Metalarte, Generalitat de Catalunya, Barcelona Tourism Office, La Central and the Design Museum of Barcelona. In 2014, the agency won 14 Laus prizes, the international graphic design and visual communication prizes organized by the Asociación de Diseñadores Graficos y Directores de Arte (ADG-FAD).

About Marta Cerdà Alimbau
At the end of 2008, after working in studios and agencies in Barcelona, Düsseldorf and Munich, Marta Cerdà Alimbau won the ADC Young Guns and decided to open her own studio. Since then she has worked on projects from around the world that include art direction, design, illustration, typography adapted to art, culture and advertising. Her works have been published in: The Guardian, The Observer, The Zeit, Gramophone, El País, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Men's Hhealth, Fortune, Squire, Design Week, Business Week Magazine, GQ, Corporate Financier, Penguin Books, Uno Magazine, IG, The Marketer, Planeta, Toronto Life Magazine, What's Next, Granta, Chicken House, Little Brown, Scribe Publications, Hachette Childrens, Random House, and Mondadori.

About Mucho
Marc Catala founded Mucho along with Pablo Juncadella in 2003. They first managed the creative direction of the British newspaper The Observer, combining this with corporate ID projects, editorial design and packaging. In 2010, Tilman Sole joined the studio. Mucho's eclectic way of doing things and its interest in experimentation has led to working with small clients (Xocoa, Demano, Demasie, Boolab) and multinational clients (Carolina Herrera, BMW, Random House Mondadori, Hachette Filipacci, W Hotels, Philip Morris), participating in cultural projects (MNCARS, Monumenta and Redesearte Paz) and carrying out projects in Berlin, London, Barcelona, Paris, Milan, Mexico City and Madrid. Mucho has received numerous awards from the design world. They hold 1 Yellow Pencil from the D&AD, 12 Laus trophies, 2 Gran Laus, 3 silvers from the Art Directors Club of Europe, 1 silver and 1 bronze from the Art Directors Club Mentions (New York) and the award for best editorial supplement of the year from the Magazine Design Awards.

About Serial Cut™
Serial Cut™ define themselves as "image-makers since 1999." This Madrid studio specializes in art direction for advertising and is known for their graphic still lifes, typographic doublespeak and their organic use of 3D. This genuine style combines pop culture with a type of surrealism, giving way to iconic images that invite a second, more detailed reading, in which typography plays an important role. The studio is made up of art directors, 3D artists and photographers who contribute to the creation of images with close attention to detail, be they digital or tactile. The studio, founded by Sergio del Puerto, started 15 years ago, and has taken part in a period of graphic globalization working for international clients. In 2012, the studio published the book ExtraBold, compiling all of their work into 320 pages with extra content available via Augmented Reality.

About Vasava
Vasava has clients from around the world, but their headquarters are in an old garage in Barcelona. In 1997, there were just two partners: Bruno and his father Toni. When Enric joined them several years later, he became the third member of the studio. Hence their logo, an infinite inverted triangle by Escher: an impossible logo for a trio that moves within the irrational. Vasava was part of a new wave of independent studios that appeared in the 1990s. Today, 17 people work in Vasava and everything is done internally, from design to illustration to video to animation. Their commercial success is due in large part to the need to experiment, at work and at home. Their personal design projects and art have been shown in books and exhibits around the world. They have given conferences in Los Angeles and Stockholm, Beijing and Buenos Aires. Their strategy has gained them the loyalty and respect of clients like Nike, Hennessy, Adobe, Diesel, 55DSL, Mango, Budweiser and Red Bull. Their illustrations appear in magazines such as Billboard and Fast Company and on the covers of Variety.

About Instituto Cervantes
The Instituto Cervantes is a public not-for-profit institution founded by the government of Spain in 1991 to promote the Spanish language and the cultures of Spanish-speaking countries throughout the world. It is now the largest international Spanish teaching organization with more than 80 centers on five continents. The center in Chicago offers a wide variety of classes and cultural events throughout the year, including the annual Chicago Flamenco Festival. Its cultural department regularly organizes conferences, lectures, film screenings, concerts, and art exhibits, bringing diverse audiences together to share a common cultural experience.


Comments welcome.


Posted on November 6, 2017

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