We’re taking a trip across the Atlantic for this week’s featured designer to sunny Spain and to the workshop of designer Eduardo del Fraile.
Del Fraile’s wonderful style is characterized by a symbolic morphing of concepts, words, and shapes, which efficiently and elegantly embody and help convey the value propositions of his clients. What also makes del Fraile a great designer is that he thoughtfully listens, observes, and considers each case carefully with his small team of close collaborators, and then leads the way towards an unexpected version of the brand.
Playing with conflicting and decontextualized elements, del Fraile sprinkles them with a zest of witty irony to bring surprise and emotion to products. His style of design for clients carries into his own personal work, as he has recently undertaken a few projects in order to “push the boundaries of his design skills and test the waters of entrepreneurship”; keep an eye on these projects to see the outcome.
Here is a sneak peek of Graphis’s Q&A with Eduardo del Fraile:
Who is or was your best mentor?
During my studies in Barcelona at Escola Elisava, I had two professors who knew how to develop talent: Enric Jardi and Jordi Alumni. It was during the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona and, at that time in Spain, Mariscal was responsible for bringing design to the general population. His illustrations and his way of communicating them transmitted happiness. However, the coolest thing in those days was to have magazines like Raygun or Émigré’s typographic work. Personally, I drew more towards Scandinavian design, since it organized my mind.
At HDk Goteborg, the deceased HC Erikson made you understand the magnitude of the design profession. Both schools reflected two key positions. Escola Elisava is more oriented to the tradition of Catalan design and is represented by the researching spirit of Enric Bricall, one of the key figures in the design scene. He’s credited with putting the design teaching system on the map. HDK Goteborg is more rational, with a very specific design tradition such as the Swedish school, where I felt respect towards the material, nature, and how design had a very important role in society.
With these two approaches, I was able to understand how the various branches of design can coexist in the same building. This has also broadened my expectations by better understanding its various disciplines.
What career achievement are you most proud of?
I was very honored to be part of the packaging jury at the D&AD, and years later (2018) I was called again to be president of the same packaging jury.
I followed their annual publication every year when I was a student. I believe the work of this type of organization gives a solid base to the profession. I grew up with those yearbooks and as well as with the ones from Graphis, both were a part of the studios where I worked and later on in mine.
For the rest of this Q&A, as well as other featured designers and products, preorder Journal 370 at graphis.com.