Graphic design is not limited to only digital compositions. Many of the pioneers of graphic design were fine artists in the 60’s and 70’s. One such designer was Javier Mariscal. Mariscal is a Spanish artist and designer who was born in February 1950 in the city of Valencia, Spain. His rich and diverse work spans quorky cartoon characters to unique interior designs, from furniture to graphic design and corporate identities. Since the 1970’s, with the wave of technology grabbing hold of many young artists, Mariscal has been creating graphic design work with heavy influence of fine arts.
According to the Design Museum in London, “Mariscal’s intense relationship with drawing and illustration is central to his career and is the basis for his designs over the last 30 years.” Mariscals unique vision and signature design style has established him as one of the worlds most innovated and original designers of our time.
In my opinion, Mariscal’s use of bold color and simplistic—yet Picasso inspired illustrations grabs the viewer’s attention in a different way, as oppose to the explosion of shapes, colors, spliced images and predictable text that is commonly on display. Although there is simplistic and direct element to his work, everything is thought out. He is never with out a purpose. This unique mixture of fine art and design creates an originality and strong presence to his work that is lost among a large portion of the graphic design generation of today.
A great example that demonstrates the range of Mariscals’ work and the unique character that defines it was his commission by Swedish multinational company, H&M. He was asked to design the interior architecture, image and communication, integral projects, packaging, posters, merchandising and audio visuals for the first shop in Barcelona. According to Estudio Mariscal, to stand out in such a competitive environment, he designed a spectacular entrance, with an explosion of color and movement through LED screens with powerful attraction component; the obvious task of harmoniously combining what is historical with what is contemporary. Mariscal’s hand drawn illustrations, later compiled with innovated and bold colors and typography arrangements makes this project the perfect example of the right kind of balance between design and fine art.