Opinion

Inside FutureBrand: Insights from Mariana, Design Director - New York

14 January, 2020 Share socially

Tell us about your background, why did you want to be a designer?

    I don’t remember a moment in my life where I didn’t have some kind of connection with art or creativity. I was an introverted and rebellious kid, so I think through art I could express my thoughts. I dabbled in a lot of creative ventures and was always looking for outlets to express myself. I tried graffiti. I played drums in a nu metal girl band. I created protest posters. I did nine long years of ballet and learned coding. Being a designer to me is the product of different interests and is an ongoing process. I think the reason why changes every day. Today, I’d say that I became a designer because I like to question everything.

    What are your design influences?

      There are influences everywhere. Design comes from imagination and real life moments - anything from the noise of a commute to a weird poster in the back of a bar. I like to think that my design is connected with something that will make people think and that can come from all different places. But if I could name one important inspiration, it would be Saul Bass.

      What do you enjoy most about being a designer?

        We have the chance to work in so many different markets and to connect with so many different people and cultures. One day, we can work with an innovative tech startup and the next we are helping a traditional family company to change. When I go into work, I’m always wondering what challenges will come up or what new industries we’ll be involved with.

        What work are you most proud of and why?

          Telltale. We had the opportunity to create a brand from scratch: naming, strategy, visuals, messaging, the digital experience, motion, concepts…. Every aspect was created through a very collaborative process internally but also with the client. It’s a project that truly resonated with me.

          The role of designers is evolving all the time in the brand world, where do you think it is heading?

            I think more than ever, design is becoming essential to inspire real-world change. I imagine it becoming more socially and environmentally responsible. We, as designers, are also rethinking brands beyond just the visual aspect but as something more holistic sensory-wise. With technology constantly increasing its role in our lives, I think design will have to break the visual “wall” and create a more engaging experience.

            You’ve worked in two FutureBrand offices – how did that move to New York come about?

              I worked at the office in S?o Paulo for six years. In 2015, Cesar Hirata (one of the partners in Brazil) asked me if wanted to work temporarily in the New York office. I was supposed to stay for three months and come back, but after my second month I got an offer to stay as Senior Designer. A big change like that can be overwhelming, but both offices supported me a lot so the process was actually very exciting.

              Having the opportunity to work here allows me to learn new design techniques and approaches. It also lets me create projects that connect with a more diverse group of people.

              And as a company, this kind of exchange, makes FutureBrand more relevant for the future : Always in transformation.

              Is there a difference in culture between the two offices and what have you learnt as a result?

                Definitely. S?o Paulo is huge and the team is bigger, but our work there is much more localized compared to New York. I think I got a more global perspective of branding when I moved here.

                The fact that the branding industry in Brazil is pretty young makes the office there more dynamic and open, and gives Futurebrand the opportunity to really shape the future of branding in the country. And that to me was a big mindset shift. New York is more competitive and challenging.

                What is the influence of globalisation on design?

                  When I was in college (2009), I would study all these amazing artists/designers from Germany, France, US, etc., and only a few of them were Latinos. And I can see a lot of change since then. I think technology and the Internet has allowed for a world that’s way more diverse in design. It made it possible for different people to connect and create.

                  What about the approach to design, how does it compare between Brazil and North America?

                  I think Brazilians’ approach to design is a reflection of our country’s personality: powerful, bright, and mixed. Most importantly, there’s no right “box” to check or the correct style to have - everything is possible.

                  What do you like most about living in NY and has living there influenced your work?

                    What I like most is the contradiction of feelings. New York is a city of excitement but it’s also a place with lots of darkness. It’s loud. It’s real.

                    It’s a city that changes everyday, and that to me is essential for a creative mind.