Image of the day: Quemada by Ernesto Gonzalo

Computer Arts: Tell us about Quemada ...
Ernesto Gonzalo: When I graduated in graphic design advertising, I needed to start a project that reflected everything I had learned, and all of the leaflets, photos and brochures I'd collected over three years. I decided to print a magazine in three stages of design: research (opens in new tab), collection (opens in new tab) and design (opens in new tab). AD1OZ Revista was an open project, where I could work with freedom while looking for new graphic ideas.

The first step was creating a typography for headlines and page numbers with fax paper and solvents. Quemada [burned] typography was inspired by the manifesto of design anarchy, in magazines such as Adbusters. Baseline, Dot Dot Dot and Emigre.

CA: What is the creative process like, for you?
Every time I start designing a typeface, I draw its parts very large. I usually start with the details of the letter G: the neck, the tail, the ear. I'm usually very excited to see the typographic curves, the joins and the gigantic borders draw with pencil.

CA: Was there anything particularly challenging about this project?
Fax paper doesn't really get burned, but when you heat it you get a very dirty black colour. With the help of stencils and solvents, you can get a surface close in colour to a starry sky, with white dots and violet tones. The process of digitalising those elements is in no way less fun: you convert analogue shapes in vectorial numbers. That, somehow, has poetry in it, and it has to go through a process called dither (opens in new tab). This is the origin of my nickname, Dithern (opens in new tab). Once the typography is vectorised, I use Fontographer to adjust kerning and tracking.

I researched and collected fanzines with high-quality artistic content. Following their designers was really hard. I spent three weeks in this initial stage. The stage of prototyping, design, layout and printing of AD10Z Revista took 2 months of work. Quemada was one of my first typography projects and it was really fulfilling for me. I met many interesting people.

CA: How did you get into design?
When I was a child, what I liked most was drawing. I always got into trouble at school for the caricatures of my teachers I made, and I was always carrying thousands of drawings in the books. One day they called me to be part of the school newspaper, and, at 17, I was working for the local newspaper.

I don't really think I have my own style, and if I have it I'd rather lose it. It'd be a mistake to remain tied to some aesthetic branch. I think design is a tool to change the world, to make it more beautiful, more usable, editable and even responsible.

Check out more from Ernesto Gonzalo on his website (opens in new tab), Vimeo (opens in new tab), Twitter (opens in new tab) and Facebook (opens in new tab).

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