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Interview with Francisco Elias

Home > Designer Interviews > Francisco Elias

Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Francisco Elias (FE) for A’ Design Awards and Competition. You can access the full profile of Francisco Elias by clicking here.

Interview with Francisco Elias at Monday 14th of April 2014
Francisco Elias
FS: Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
FE: Francisco Elias: I was born in a small town called Fundão (Portugal). During my teenage years I was fortunate to meet three important people who have been influencing me throughout my professional life. They are João Alves Marrucho (graphic designer, teacher, social agitator, musician, among others things), Nelson Fernandes and Rodolfo Pimenta, both visual artists. After leaving Fundão I moved for Coimbra where I graduated in Communication Design at the University School of Arts of Coimbra (Portugal). After completing this five-year degree, I completed an Intensive Master study in Graphic Design at the European Institute of Design in Madrid, Spain. After the Master’s I worked for six months as an intern at Erretres Studio, Madrid, Spain. Now I currently work mainly as a freelance designer, but I also develop projects together with other designers and collaborate with a few studios. Nelson Fernandes: I was born in Marvão (Portugal). Between 2002 and 2009, I collaborated in the International Festival of Young Cinema - IMAGO, in Fundão, Portugal, as a production assistant, programmer and film selector. After 2002, I worked as co-director in animation cinema workshops with children and youngsters in schools all over the country. After eight years of intense activity and professional development, I decided to extend his knowledge by taking an Integral Animation Techniques course (2D, 3D, Stop-Motion) and a Stop-Motion Master’s during which I directed the film: El Castigo (The Punishment). In 2013, among other works, I developed my latest animation, “Paths of Light”.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
FE: Francisco Elias: Since 2011 I run my own studio (www.franciscoelias.com) as a freelance graphic designer. Nelson Fernandes: I am a visual artist specialized in the animation area. Since 2000, I have been developing my work in different fields such as video, animated cinema, photography, painting and illustrationFrancisco Elias: Since 2011 I run my own studio (www.franciscoelias.com) as an independent graphic designer. Nelson Fernandes: I am a visual artist skilled in animation. Since 2000, I have been developing his work in a series of fields such as video, cinema of animation, photography, painting and illustration.

FS: What is "design" for you?
FE: Design is about detail.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
FE: Francico Elias: As a graphic designer I like to develop printed, such as brands, identities, posters, but also digital works, like interactive magazines. Occasionally I also like to work in the illustration area. Nelson Fernandes: I work in a rather broad field of action. I like to paint, draw and mostly design short animations using different techniques and aesthetics.

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
FE: Francisco Elias: My favourite designs are: Paths of Light DVD Box, Apart Architecture Brand ( http://www.franciscoelias.com/project/ap-art-architecture/ ) , P28 Book ( http://www.franciscoelias.com/project/hdka-hong-kong-design-award-p28-book-excellence-award-2011/ ), Odd Silkscreen ( http://www.franciscoelias.com/project/odd-silkscreen/ ) and Nelson Fernandes/Zina Caramelo brand ( http://www.franciscoelias.com/project/nelso-zina/ ) Nelson Fernandes: My favourite works are: El Castigo ( http://nelson-zina.com/work/el-castigo/) and Paths of Light ( http://nelson-zina.com/work/paths-of-light/ ), two short animations.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
FE: Francisco Elias: It was a catalogue for the Spanish Pavilion at the 2010 Singapore Food & Hotel Asia Fair. This work was made at Erretres Studio.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
FE: Our hands, computers, photography cameras, pens, papers, walls (...)

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
FE: The purpose of the work, the best method to develop it, and putting ourselves in the target audience’s shoes. However, the first premise is convincing ourselves that the work is good enough to be presented to the client and the general public.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
FE: There are many pleasures that result from different design stages. The first one is the satisfaction of having a good idea; the second one is the challenge of putting an idea into practice; the third one is achieving an end product that is able to gain life; the fourth one is the emotional impact of the work on customers and consumers.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
FE: If the work is successful, we simply feel we accomplished our mission. Plus, the possibility of contributing to design history in a positive way is a very rewarding feeling.

FS: What makes a design successful?
FE: Detail and hard work, we guess.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
FE: We try to understand if the

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
FE: If a work is placed on large scale it will also reach a wide audience. So, we have to be careful with what we do. From a certain point of view, a designer can have a pedagogical role.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
FE: Design is evolving as science and technology evolve. The more tools they provide us with, the farther design may reach. The future may hold two possibilities: one, which is highly creative, where man explores the full artistic potential of technological tools; the other may lead designer to fall into a creative inertia because everything is automated. We believe in the first one.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
FE: Probably the same as for all other designers and artists: cinema, books, photography, people, travelling (...)

FS: How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
FE: We try to develop strong rhetoric, conceptual and poetic components. This approach gives us more creative freedom and an individuality that makes each designer or artist stand out among the others. Basing our work on these parameters can make it more unique, giving it a sense of authorship.

FS: Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
FE: At this moment I live in Lisbon and Nelson Fernandes in Fundão. In terms of design, the Portuguese heritage may not be as rich the Swiss or Dutch heritage, but we strive to absorb the country’s living heritage: people (designers, thinkers, artists...).

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
FE: As creative individuals we can do lots of different jobs. We can be "thieves", because we steal ideas - good ones and bad ones. We can be butchers, because we try to dissect other designers’ works or explore our issues from inside out. We can also be tailors, when we try to get several parts together and create a story - our story. Finally, we can be lawyers, when we debate our ideas sustaining them with a consistent rhetoric.

FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
FE: Backpack, books, Dvd/cd boxes, pens and water bootle.

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
FE: Seeking the detail.

FS: Who are some of your clients?
FE: Francisco Elias: Regularly work and have worked with, National Theater D. Maria II [NTDM II], Lisbon – Portugal; Arte Institute, New York – EUA, Catholic University of Portugal [UCP], Lisbon – Portugal; P28 Association, Lisbon – Portugal; AP.ART Architects, Lisbon – Portugal; High Contents, Lisbon, among others. Nelson Fernandes: Mostly I work to myself on my own creations.

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
FE: Francisco Elias: Actually I work mainly as an independent designer but I also develop projects with other designers and collaborations with some studios. Nelson Fernandes: Mostly I worked for myself.

FS: How can people contact you?
FE: Francisco Elias: site: www.franciscoelias.com email: info@franciscoelias.com phone: 00351 967 275 944 Nelson Fernandes email: nz@nelson-zina.com site: www.nelson-zina.com phone: 00351 965 846 115

FS: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
FE: How to be a designer and artist in your country (Portugal)? Our work is mostly appreciated outside our country - Portugal. It is not easy to live and work as designers or artists in Portugal. Art and culture are seen as poor relatives in a country that only feels the need to feed people with ignorance and banality. While countries are run by politicians, nothing will change.


FS: Thank you for providing us with this opportunity to interview you.

A’ Design Award and Competitions grants rights to press members and bloggers to use parts of this interview. This interview is provided as it is; DesignPRWire and A' Design Award and Competitions cannot be held responsible for the answers given by participating designers.


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