Luísa Gomes is a Graphic Designer from Porto, Portugal focusing on brand identity, editorial design and typography.
(All artists have to answer the same 10 questions.)
1. First and Last Name
Luísa Silva Gomes
2. Where are you from? And where are you currently living?
I am from Portugal and I am currently living in Porto.
3. What’s your main influences?
Sheila Levrant de Bretteville, Muriel Cooper and Paula Scher. They are three genius female designers who stood up for their talent and persistence in a world full of misogynist pressures. Sheila Levrant de Bretteville founded the first design program for women at the California Institute of the Arts and co-founded the Woman’s Building, a public center dedicated to women’s education and culture, both in the 70’s. In the 90’s she became the director of the Yale University Graduate Program in Graphic Design and the first woman to receive tenure at the Yale University School of Art.
Muriel Cooper was a pioneering book designer, digital designer, researcher and educator. She was the long-time art director of MIT Press where she designed more than 500 books and publications with a Bauhaus and modernist influence in the 70’s. Muriel also founded MIT’s Visible Language Workshop and co-founded MIT Media Lab, both in 1985. In the MIT Media Lab she developed a pioneer work in adapting graphic design to computers. Before Muriel passed away, in 1994, she was the only female teacher in the department.
Paula Scher was the first female principal at Pentagram which she joined in 1991. Her versatile approach to typography and its connection to urban landscapes was highly-influential, giving an unexpected dynamism and dimension to graphic design. Paula’s work has been exhibited all over the world and her teaching career includes over twenty years at the School of Visual Arts along with positions at the Copper Union, Yale University and the Tyler School of Art.
These influences, their stories and the gender inequality panorama in graphic design lead me to create a blog about women in graphic design called Graphic Fearless Women (graphicfearlesswomen.tumblr.com) which has now 14,5k followers.
4. How was your path until this moment? How did you start?
I started by taking a BA in Social Communication and Multimedia but my fascination with graphic design grew day by day. I wanted to learn more and, by this way, I decided to do my curricular internship in a place of the given list which was closest to a design studio — it was an advertising agency called Modal. There, I found wonderful people especially the senior graphic designer that taught me the graphic design basics.
After that, I decided to take a Communication Design BA in the Faculty of Fine Arts of University of Porto. Since that moment I had several working experiences: I did a 4 months internship at Colönia Studio, which was absolutely amazing once I had the opportunity to work for Portugal Fashion and to participate in “On and Around Time”, an exhibition at the Palacete Viscondes de Balsemão which the aim was to celebrate the 6 years of the studio. At the end of my BA I did my curricular internship at id:D Design Lab in which I designed the visual identity and all the graphic materials for xCoAx 2017, a conference about Computation, Communication and Aesthetics; I also had the opportunity to design the conference exhibition at MNAC (Museu Nacional de Arte Contemporânea do Chiado).
(…) my fascination with graphic design grew day by day. I wanted to learn more …
Three months after I finished my BA I started to work at Lugar do Desenho — Fundação Júlio Resende, a private institution with the aim to preserve and to disseminate the collection of drawings by the Portuguese painter Júlio Resende. This year it is being celebrated the centenary of the birth of the painter which means a lot of work has to be done. It’s being quite an adventure, once it’s my first job as a full-time graphic designer. The collaboration between the institution and esad—idea is teaching me a lot about branding and design process which is being really cool. I feel lucky to have the opportunity to work in a place like this where I could met beautiful people and evolve as a professional.
5. Where do you see yourself next?
In the future, I want to have the opportunity to work in a studio where I could manage different projects and clients at the same time, since I think it would professionally prepare me for everything. I also wanted to experience to work abroad for maybe one year and to have the opportunity to teach. In a very distant time I would like to have my own studio and to make design which could socially make the difference in people’s daily life — design can truly have that power if we are willing to.
(…) design can truly have that power if we are willing to.
6. Knowing what you know now, what would be your advice for people in the same area?
Talent and skills come from persistence and visual culture. Never give up on what you truly want because of your anxiety, insecurity or low self-esteem. Just take the risk and do your best because good things will come. You have nothing to lose.
7. Is there something you are terrible at :)?
8. Tell us 3 things you like
- Freedom in every possible sense of the word
- Summertime (the sea, the sunset, the warm breeze and long days)
9. And 3 things you don’t
- All kinds of prejudice
- Animal cruelty
10. Last question, what are you listening at the moment (band, specific music or album)
Measurements — James Blake. It reminds me of the most special concert of my life till now: James Blake in the beautiful nature set of the Festival Paredes de Coura in August 2014.
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