Today we will talk with Gustavo, who is a graphic designer and acts as a mentor for our startups.
Kristýna: Hi Gustavo, thank you for your time and please, introduce yourself and tell us in which field do you work and for how long?
Gustavo: Hi Kristýna, It’s my pleasure.
I am a self-taught graphic designer and I have always had a passion for the visual arts. I started designing as a hobby, my goal was to attract the attention of Erasmus students to events we were creating for their extracurricular activities, social media design was my first playground. When I think back to what I have done and where I am today, I must have undergone a great change.
Kristýna: How did you get into this field?
Gustavo: My first real job in Italy, shortly after my university years, was for a company that gave me the opportunity to experiment, make mistakes, be progressive and learn. What struck me in those days was the high amount of disposable production: lots of design pieces at a very fast pace. Stressful and educational, that bootcamp got me where I am today.
I moved to Prague 5 years ago and started as a contractor for a giant company, with a fixed-term contract of 6 months for the rebranding of about 6000 pieces after the merger of 2 companies (medtronic + covidien) into a team of 3 people. I got the chance to broaden my knowledge of branding, corporate identity and print design. When the contract expired and the rebranding was completed, I worked for a Czech startup: Brand Embassy as a marketing designer, to raise awareness in the company and help build trust in potential new customers.
A startup requires flexibility and hands-on approach, you end up doing everything that needs to be done, and that's what I've done: from illustrating books and creating brochures and catalogs, to designing animated ads and boots for conferences and events. I also have specialized UX and UI.
Kristýna:How did the cooperation continue and what did you succeed in doing?
Gustavo: 3 years later, a new chapter began. The brand embassy was successfully acquired by an American company (mission completed!). So our paths parted and my career switched to full-time freelance. What I do now is consulting, mentoring, digital and print design, web design, video editing, branding etc.
Whether freelancing may have pros and cons, and although I miss stable interaction with colleagues / team members, I am happy overall. I love what I do and I am proud of my career path. Recognition of consolidated skills by international and local clients is the icing on the cake.
Kristýna: What does your job mean to you?
Gustavo: I consider myself lucky enough to be aware of what I do. In my opinion, a designer is much more than someone who uses graphics software. That is the reason why I like to see myself as an ambassador of harmonic visual beauty. Everything plays a key role in every project: customer requirements, technicalities (palette, font, layout, paragraph styles, etc.) and market needs / trends. My goal is to mediate between all those elements and come up with the perfect piece: a coherent snapshot of the moment.