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Responses by Adriana Longoria, creative direction/design, Caracter

Background: Cala is dedicated to creating interior design accessories in collaboration with Mexican artisans. The designers of the company work closely with the artisans, using the traditional crafts and tools to create more contemporary and unique pieces. We helped Cala with developing a new name, brand, creative copy, custom type design, art direction and photography.

Reasoning: We wanted to highlight and reflect the Mexican background that is essential to this brand. The name Cala was inspired by Diego Rivera’s paintings of artisans that show cala lilies, and the product photography was inspired by this style of art and still life paintings. The type consists of raw, calligraphic strokes to evoke the handmade details behind the artisan's process, while maintaining a contemporary, contrasted look.

Challenges: Trying to find the balance between the product’s origin and the target audience. The pieces come from Mexican artisans, who create these crafts in their homes and villages, but the end result is targeted towards a high-end consumer. We needed to emphasize the high quality and craft, and present it in a way that appeals to this type of market without abandoning the richness of the product’s culture.

Favorite details: We got to integrate type design into this project. We think it makes it a more complete experience with a unique look and feel. The display type is used throughout the material, and as a result, it makes the brand more recognizable, especially when combined with the photography style.

Anything new: This was one of our first projects that involved so many aspects of the brand’s presentation; we designed a lookbook to showcase the collection of products and developed the art direction. This process taught us to think beyond graphics and more of the brand’s personality, story and communication.

Visual influences: The great Mexican masters of painting, like Diego Rivera, with his classic paintings of artisans with flowers, and Frida Kahlo, with her paintings, Me and My Doll and Memory, the Heart. The type was influenced by painter Rufino Tamayo’s graphic style and the photography’s color scheme was inspired by painter David Alfaro Siqueiro’s earthy palette. Parisian brand Jacquemus’s SS 17 campaign also influenced us.

caracter.mx

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