Duration: I began freelancing two years ago and opened Caracter a year ago.
Location: After a few years in New York City, I moved back to Mexico and currently live in Monterrey.
Education: I started my studies at the University of Monterrey in Mexico and then transferred to the School of Visual Arts in New York, where I stayed for my last three years of college and received my BFA in graphic design.
Career path: When I was younger, I loved photography and wanted to be a professional photographer. Going to university in Monterrey limited my options, as there were no photography majors at the time. This led me to study graphic design, which I considered the next best option. Eventually, I forgot about my camera and fell in love with new tools and ways to visually communicate.
Artistic influences: Mexican and Latin culture. We love the vibrancy, richness and history that it has to offer. By creating new perspectives on this culture, we can revive it in different ways. There are also many designers we admire, like Stefan Kanchev for his timeless style, Lance Wyman for his intricate systems, Natasha Jen for her unique approaches, and Massimo Vignelli for his ability to apply design and creativity to every aspect of his life.
Favorite projects: Our identity for Cala was challenging because we had to redefine what “Mexican” looks like and how a typeface could accompany this look. I developed a typeface that gave the brand a subtle artisanal feel. I collaborated with my mom, Adriana Quintanilla, who took beautiful photographs of Cala’s interior design products and made them feel like pieces of art. To quote a tweet about the project from creative director Rodrigo Maycotte, it’s a “beautiful example of how to design with Mexican roots in mind, while avoiding ‘must feel mexican’ design tropes.”
Work environment: In our workspace, teamwork is encouraged. Our studio has a comfortable culture where good energy is spread; we enjoy each other’s company as much as we enjoy the work being created. Our office space is small, and we share it with other businesses, but we keep it creative by filling it with plants and artsy stuff.
Approach: We are very driven by type. I have some experience with type design, so when it comes to designing a logo or wordmark and its accompanying elements, we delve deep into the details to make sure these marks belong with each other and won’t seem generic or end up looking like the neighboring businesses. We try to avoid trends and think of how our projects will constantly evolve and maintain their usage without feeling dated.
Aspirations: I hope that Caracter will continue being a boutique design studio dedicated to helping small businesses and startups create their identities. We want to collaborate with architects, interior designers, illustrators, photographers and programmers to create unique experiences for brands. I see the studio working with clients that want to leave lasting impressions and create memorable experiences.
Philosophy: Approach projects from their roots before creating visuals. This helps the results stray from popular fads. When I’m too focused on the visual result, I ask myself why these projects are worth creating and how they will affect the business’s communication with its users and clients.