You know I love their shoes. They’re also celebrated for their beaches, music, wildlife, beautiful people—and, more recently, design. Brazil is increasingly drawing attention to their design scene, with a booming fashion industry known for their mix of European design sophistication and South American sexiness.
I’d like to think that much of Brazil’s artistic style and flair comes from the trail mix that is the heritage of Brazilians—besides the obvious Portuguese influence, there’s also large doses of other European, African, Japanese, and Arab culture (did you know that Brazil is home to more Lebanese than Lebanon?) in addition to many indigenous tribes. Then you’ve got biological diversity thanks to the rainforest, home to more than half of the planet’s plant and animal species. All that is bound to make for an interesting take on visual aesthetics and ideas.
Maybe those colorful rainforest creatures are part inspiration for 5-person Estudio MOPA, whose work vibes with a colorful energy that makes the work feel like it’s dancing. This bright, happy theme is reinforced by their company slogan, “MOPA believes in the good side of things, optimism is a part of its everyday.” (O estúdio Mopa acredita no lado positivo das coisas, o otimismo faz parte de seu dia-a-dia.)
This is the front of a t-shirt designed for Owl Movement, a clothing company based out of Miami, FL:
This is a cover for Monoblock where MOPA designed each character for the title:
For an equally playful, but less polished Brazilian, I recommend checking out Eduardo Recife’s typographical playground Misprinted Type. While it looks like it’s been a year since the last update, it’s still an interesting area to explore—he’s made a very subtle layer of interaction by dropping little words and links among the content. The navigation isn’t obvious, which sort of forces the user to explore a little. The work reflects similar qualities, and reminds me a bit of Frida Kahlo.
With the third most advanced industrial sector of the Americas (and the largest textile manufacturing sector in Latin America), you can bet Brazil is also home to a solid force of industrial designers. IDEA/Brazil (endorsed by the Industrial Designers Society of America) showcases some great examples of the best Brazil has to offer, and while it’s entirely in Portugese the pictures need no translation. They hold an annual design awards competition, and this is one of this year’s winners: People Bench by Quadrante Design:
And here’s a concept Fiat by the South American branch of Fiat Automotive:
Rafael Morgan Studio is another Industrial/Product design studio based in Brazil but has done client work all over the world. I like the sense of humor hidden in the clean, respectable designs, such as this cleverly themed trash can:
And a similar cleverness to this clock:
So if Brazil continues its growth and lives up to predictions that its exploding manufacturing and tourism industries will make it an increasingly valuable global player in the coming years, keep an eye on them as there’s sure to be some amazing artwork coming out of that part of the world. Até logo!