Designing packaging is more than just dressing a product. Good design informs, seduces, creates an experience and even saves the planet.

Branderman Podcast Hernán Braberman

Episode 8

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Javier Mariscal | Design without a Surname

July 14th 2020

Episode notes

What is design without a surname? Javier Mariscal is undoubtedly one of the Spanish creators with the most international projection.

Valencian by birth, Barcelonian by adoption and citizen of the world. Mariscal’s life is a love story with drawing.

Painter, designer, cartoonist… he works in all kinds of media and disciplines: graphic design, landscape architecture, painting, sculpture, illustration, animation, product design, packaging design, multimedia; without ever ceasing to betray his identity as a cartoonist.

In this episode we talk about how his design process is based on intuition and chaos. He told me how he relied on drawing to understand life and what was the precise moment when his relationship with packaging was born. We also talked about the role of designers in society and why the vast majority of designers love to play.

From a young age he imagines shapes, stories and characters that escape any label and stereotype, always showing his particular vital universe, full of stories, characters, funny calligraphies and his distorted lines that break limits.

His audacity goes hand in hand with the great challenges he has taken on, from Cobi, the mascot of the Barcelona Olympic Games, to the global design of a luxury hotel, the illustration of the covers of the New Yorker and the creation of the animated film Chico & Rita with Fernando Trueba, winner of a Goya and nominated for the Oscars as best animated film.

Designing the mascot for the Barcelona ’92 Olympic Games, “that dog crushed by a truck on the highway” named Cobi, will be the starting point for creating his Estudio Mariscal in an old tannery five minutes from the sea.

National Design Prize (1999), he exhibits at the Georges Pompidou Centre in Paris and takes part in the Documenta in Kassel, in addition to retrospectives such as Mariscal Drawing Life at the London Design Museum, Mariscal at La Pedrera and The Art Player in Korea. Illustrations and vignettes are on the cover and on the pages of the New Yorker, El País and the Japanese newspaper Apo.

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