Andres Dominguez: Rising talent from Mexico
01.02.2020 | Share — Twitter Facebook Copy link
Andrés Domínguez is a talented Graphic Designer working at the design studio vegrande in Mexico. His self-learned design skills catapulted him on top of the game being truly remarkable and unlike other designs in the industry these truly stand out.
What led you into your current career path?
I have always been a visual person when I was younger, I was passionate about visual arts, I used to draw a lot and I loved it. For that reason, I wanted to study a career that involved that type of creativity. Initially, I thought about studying architecture, because most of my friends and family used to tell me it would be a good fit and I believed it. For some reason, architecture is one of the most “serious”, “respectable” and “viable” creative professions in Mexico. So I grew up with that perspective but at some point, I stopped caring about it.
When I was in high school, to do most of my homework I needed a computer and I didn’t have one so I had to go to a cybercafe – one of those days I accidentally opened Corel Draw. At that moment I didn’t know anything about it and also had no idea that designers hated it. But it was the starting point which got me interested in graphic design. Eventually, I learned how to use it. I researched a lot about graphic design, I started to get passionate about logotypes and typography, and suddenly I was making and selling bad logos (in my mind they were great) for a very low price. I decided to be a graphic designer.
How do you keep in touch with the creative world and community and how does the creative scene look like in your city?
Mainly through Behance, I like it because I can see a wide panorama and it’s also where I publish some of my works. When I wanna know what is the latest in branding, I take a look at underconsideration.com/brandnew, and of course, I use Instagram, where I closely follow the studios and people who I admire.
The creative scene in my city looks "promising", Mérida (Mexico) is a city in constant growth, there is more and more talent, more work areas, the entrepreneurs are finally getting to understand the value of design. This is good but at the same can also be not as good. Many of these entrepreneurs need of design don't want to invest enough or simply pay too little, so they look for inexperienced design agencies or designers who sell their work at a very low cost and therefore are devaluing the market. The good thing about it is that the studios that value design, increase their level of work, and are more competent to get attention from the outside.
Branding Holy Fish
Simón Camarón — Seafood Taco Place
What creative(s) do you admire for their work? Have you collaborated or thought of collaborating with other like-minds?
The list is long, there are many talented people with great work. The ones I admire the most are Anagrama, A Friend of Mine, Futura, Socio Design, Snask, Estudio YeYe, Grilli Type, Raul Urias, just to name a few.
I still didn’t have the opportunity to collaborate with other creatives outside the studio; in part, because I do very little freelance work and most of my work is being done for vegrande. This means that I am constantly collaborating with the whole team; we all get involved in each process and thus we complement each other and enrich each other's work.
What’s your favorite hack to get work done?
I would not say that I have a particular trick, but what works best for me is to focus on one thing at a time. Sometimes it is complicated because some stages take longer than expected, so it could be inevitable to despair and try to solve different problems at the same time, but this never works. When this happens, what I typically do is take a break, clear my mind, then set priorities and focus on them one by one.
What are your 5 favorite work tools/apps and how do use them?
Adobe Suite — Illustrator is my favorite tool, I like it more than Photoshop or Indesign. Of course, each one has a particular use case, but the one I use and enjoy the most is AI.
Apple iMac — This is where I do most of the work. I have worked both on PC and iMac, and I prefer the interface, image quality and color fidelity of the iMac.
Wacom Tablet Intuos — The pens stylus is so much more comfortable than the mouse, it is more accurate and the hand movement is more natural.
Spotify — Designing without music could feel like spending too much time alone with someone you just met; just boring and uncomfortable. Music just makes things better.
Behance — It is a good tool to get inspired and have references about what is happening in the creative world, what trends there are, what is becoming overused, and also get free and useful tutorials.
First Sketching Stage for a Packagin Set
Sketching Process for a Coffe Brand
What creative or non-creative challenges do you face at work?
Branding is a challenge by itself. The process to create ideas can be quite frustrating because it is not just about having ideas, but it’s also about giving them meaning, making them work, giving them an authenticity and ensuring that they are innovative. The process is full of creative blocks, sometimes difficult in executing ideas we have in mind and avoiding notable similarities to other brands. It’s also starting over if necessary and finally managing to convince the client to pick the right concept which can be difficult.
Some clients focus on their tastes, many of them are not even the target group of their product or business and forget about the real customer of their brand. However, challenges are to be overcome and this is what makes life more interesting.
What projects are you most proud of and excited about? Are there any side-projects you work or worked on?
Fondly — This is one of my favorite projects. I enjoyed working on this brand as the result was very satisfying. The brand was designed to convey nostalgia inspired by an old classic letter, which was written to express the affection and dedication in each dish, resulting in flavors that will make you fall in love.
Simón Camarón — We had a lot of fun designing this brand. It’s a Mexican urban relaxed brand with a daring personality that seeks to get away from perfection and the typical aesthetic conception.
Holly Fish — A bold, fresh and friendly brand. It is a personal work of mine that I just made for fun. Maybe the reason I like it so much is that I feel I own it. Sometimes the projects you enjoy the most are the ones you design for yourself.
Our office entrance to vegrande
Here is Where Magic Happens
What’s your morning or evening routine and habit after work?
My lifestyle is quite calm; I wake up barely when the alarm sounds, most of the time I ignore it and keep sleeping for five more minutes that become 30; if I’m in the mood I do some workout, but usually, I'm not in the mood. Then I have breakfast and get ready to work; I arrive at the office between 9:30h and 10h and after work, unless I have a meeting with friends, I usually go back home, sometimes I go for a walk with my dogs or just have dinner, watch something on Netflix and finally go to sleep.
What does a typical day look like?
I spend most of the day at the office and not every day is the same. It depends on the kind of project we are working on and the stage, but generally the days I deal with constant feedback and reviews. We talk a lot about the details of the projects and some days can become a bit intense. The working environment is great and it’s constantly changing; it could be quiet for a long moment and suddenly be loud, there are fun moments and super stressful moments as well. Sometimes we laugh a lot and sometimes we argue, but that’s the great thing about this team that we are like a family, I know it could sound like bullshit, but it is true.
Her name is Zoe, she likes to design
Our workspace at vegrande
Picking the right colors for the next project
Beers after work with the team
Any advice for ambitious creatives starting out?
1 — Do not wait to get real clients to work on the kind of projects you would like to and create your dream portfolio. Instead, create and design your projects. It doesn’t matter if the projects aren’t real. What matters is showing what you can achieve.
2 — Show only the type of works you wanna work on, if there’s something you don't enjoy doing, simply don't show it.
3 — Continue learning and working to become better but at the same time focus more on things you are good at; it is so much better to be exceptional doing just one thing, rather than being average doing many things.
4 — Don’t think about design all the time. Free your mind.
"…When this happens, what I typically do is take a break, clear my mind, then set priorities and focus on them one by one.."