I recently published a list of people in the creative world who I admire. Among these people there are two that stand out: Ellen Lupton and Pablo Iturralde. Now, why these two?
In a world were graphic design is seen by most as a discipline that focuses only on the aesthetic, Ellen Lupton stands out. Not only she is a brilliant designer, but she also formulates theory about it. With books like “Design Thinking” or “Graphic Design: the new basics” she proves that design can be more than just something that “looks good”, and that there is a theoretical component behind every design process and project.
With her insights on theory about graphic design, she gives future (and current) generations of designers something that not many others do: she provides them with the tools and knowledge to tackle design projects with a theoretical support behind their backs.
Pablo Iturralde is one of the most recognized graphic designers in Ecuador (my hometown). Thanks to his vision of design, he has changed the way visual communication is seen in my country. This effort can be seen in the design projects he has created throughout the years and the way he has managed them. Each one of these projects has being resolved efficiently and visually stunning, and in some cases even recognized internationally. In a way, he has lived up to his quote “Design generates identity”, empowering each one of his works with a unique personality that has put Ecuador in the design map. He aims is to build an national graphic culture and to eradicate copy as a source of inspiration.
The world of graphic design, however, is not the only place where he is leaving his footprints. He has participated in several projects (magazines, books, movies) that are changing the way that graphic communication is done and perceived in Ecuador, making him a key character in the future of the local visual identity and culture.
To conclude, I can say that the designers that I admire the most are the ones who are not only good at what they do, but also care about design, and want to take it towards a future were visual communication is seen as an tool for social and cultural change.