• Below my interview for the “Design Magazine” (January/February 2015 edition)
• Abaixo minha entrevista para a “Design Magazine” (edição de Janeiro/Fevereiro 2015) (em inglês, ainda não traduzi para o português)
– The magazine can be read here: http://issuu.com/revistadesignmagazine/docs/designmagazine21
– The project can be seen here: http://pablocabistani.com/61905/4110360/brand-identity/brazilian-design-biennial-2015
He won the national competition for visual identity for the Brazilian Design Biennial Floripa 2015. Believing that design works as a cultural tool, Pablo Cabistani works as a professional graphic designer for more than a decade. By asking about his “Oba” winning project we went a little bit further and tried to sense the feel that someone in the field nas about the idea Brazilian have towards design and the designer role. For him this biennial will be a memorable one.
Interview by Tiago Krusse
– What is the essence of the whole graphic concept for the Brazilian Design Biennial Florianopolis 2015?
Pablo Cabistani: The theme of this edition, chosen by the organizing committee of the Biennal, was “Oba, design for all”, a celebration of the concept created by the Design for All Foundation (designforall.org), which aims to disseminate the design for all diversity of society. “Oba”, in Brazil, is an expression of joy and celebration, like WOW.
I sought to create a joyful identity, using colors and patterns to represent the human variety and diversity, and to celebrate the “design for all” theme.
The identity is composed of a set of visual elements that interact with each other: (1) a thematic version of the traditional Biennial logo, which receives a colorful detail in symbol, (2) the OBA graphic (a geometric and colorful OBA word), which is complemented by the phrase “design for all”, and has a modernist touch (one of the most infuential creative movements in Brazil was the modernist school, with proeminent and well-known graphic designers, like Alexandre Wollner and Aloísio Magalhães), (3) the OBA faces, a set of colored faces of people of various ethnicities and ages – that gives a human touch, and (4) a set of specific colors and patterns.
– Did you developed the concept alone or it was a team work?
PC: I developed all the concept alone.
– When did you start working for this project?
PC: Around july 2013. I worked three months on the project, until october/2013, when the project had to be sent to the contest staff.
– How many designers were competing for the prize?
PC: There were about 1.300 pre-registered designers or teams, with 90 validated works.
– What were the reasons that lead the jurors to award your concept?
PC: l don’t know exactly – it’s not easy to say why a group of experts prefer a concept to another. I talked informally with some of the jurors after the choice and read a few statements and interviews, and I think my concept was chosen mainly because of its relevance and for its “human” look.
The thematic version of the traditional Biennial logo, which receives a colorful detail in symbol, was also considered a smart solution – I created a specific version of the logo for this edition without changing the traditional Biennial logo, used since the first edition.
– Which orientations do you believe are important to consider when dealing with a visual product?
PC: I believe the orientations are the same for any design project: focus on solving the problem presented, creating something unique and – like the well known Massimo Vignelli expression – “visually powerful”.
– What do you feel about this evolution on Brazilian society towards the importance of the designer?
PC: I think there is still a huge confusion throughout Brazilian society about the role of the designer. If most people don’t know exactly the designer role, is very difficulty that they know its importance. Ten years ago, when I was a beginner, I have the impression the confusion was the same, or very similar. Since then, with the Internet and all the branding “speeches”, the design became more commercially viable, but his incorporation to the brazilian culture and to the society as a whole, still seems to me very far.
– You run a fulltime designer business or you have to do other works to cope with your needs?
PC: l work as a senior graphic designer in a traditional design office in São Paulo. It’s my only work.
– Who makes part of the list of your references?
PC: I developed my language already at the time where design offices were replacing the big stars graphic designers, like Paul Rand, Saul Bass, etc. Then, in my “reference list” there are designers and also design offices and studios.
There are so many, that I’ll mention the people and design offices that I always remember to see what they are doing. Wolff Olins, Red Antler and Duffy & Partners always do great stuff. Everything Michael Bierut and his team do at Pentagram is extremely good, too. Talking about the new generation: Jason Little and Jessica Walsh are brilliant. In Brazil, Gustavo Piqueira of Casa Rex is probably one of the best brazilian graphic designers alive. But, you know, I could do a large list here. Sites like Behance show how is impossible to know all talented designers in the world. My Pinterest has almost 10.000 pins, and I use it a lot as a place to search for references.
What sort of expectations you have for the biennial?
PC: Biennial is one of the greatest brazilian design events.
I was born and raised in Rio Grande do Sul, a neighbour state of Santa Catarina, where the Biennial will take place. Many people in my state go to the beaches of Florianópolis and other Santa Catarina cities on vacation. Then, I have a special affection for the state and I’m very proud of my identity being chosen to represent this edition.
Santa Catarina is a extremely beautiful and well-developed state in Brazil. I’ve been lecturing on two occasions in the state in recent months and I see that all design market is engaged and with a lot of expectations for the event. I’m pretty sure Roseli Lemos (director of this edition) and her biennial staff team will do a great and memorable biennial.
And I’ll be there, off course.