“I would say never lose the restlessness of wanting to know and reach further. Stay curious. Time, practice, and knowledge will bring their rewards.”
Eduardo Aires lives and works in Porto, Portugal. He graduated with a degree in graphic design from Porto University’s Faculty of Fine Arts in 1987, where he is associate professor, and was awarded his Ph.D in 2006 with a thesis on editorial design. While at FBAUP, he would later create the MA Graphic Design and Editorial Projects program. He is the artistic director of Studio Eduardo Aires, a multidisciplinary design agency focusing on communication. Among the studio’s many internationally awarded projects is the identity of the city of Porto (2014). In addition to commissioned projects, he is dedicated to the creation of unique objects.
Eduardo Aires calls almost all graphic design disciplines his home. He is a brilliant designer of packaging, especially in the field of beverages. He and his team have a great sense for beauty between contemporary and classic design.
Here’s a snippet from Eduardo Aires’ interview:
Who is or was your greatest mentor?
I was strongly influenced by some of my professors from college, and I must emphasize Dario Alves and the late Jorge Afonso. Some of them, like the painter Rolando Sá Nogueira, I would only acknowledge as having a strong influence in my work later on. On a different level, I deeply admire Kenya Hara’s design philosophy and curatorial projects. I saw Subtle when it was exhibited at Milan’s Triennale and it still resonates as an influence.
Who were some of your greatest influences?
My past references are rooted in the generation that influenced my college years—designers like Herb Lubalin, Alan Fletcher, Wim Crouwel, Milton Glaser, Alvaro Sotillo, or David Hillman. Their discourse, commitment, and coherence are still a strong influence. As a student, my environment crossed over between painting, sculpture, architecture, and design, and I was always fascinated by artists from these different areas. Aldo Rossi, Gio Ponti, and Achille Castiglioni in architecture and product design, as well as Calder, Brancusi, and Chillida in sculpture were also strong references.
Studio Eduardo Aires does design work in branding, editorial, packaging, posters, and more. Which area is your favorite to work in, and which is the most challenging?
Editorial design is both my favorite and most challenging area to work in. The complexity involved in book design and production, care, attention, and investment that books demand make them an intense, rewarding subject.
What professional goals do you still have for yourself?
Designing personal objects for daily use that stimulate thought, reflection, and improve both our daily lives and ourselves.
What advice would you give to students starting out today?
I wouldn’t like to prescribe, but I would say never lose the restlessness of wanting to know and reach further. Stay curious. Time, practice, and knowledge will bring their rewards.
Read more of Eduardo Aires’ interview and discover other great artists and educators in Graphis Journal #374, which you can purchase online at graphis.com.