Diego Quintana is an extraordinary designer with a wide variety of styles. Diego creates typefaces and abstract work. In this interview, Diego will tell us how he made one of his typefaces, and describe what draws him to simple shapes in his art. Let's jump into this interview!
1. Welcome to Psdtuts+, please introduce yourself. Could you tell us where you're from and how you got started in the field?
My name is Diego Quintana. I'm a 20 year old graphic design student from Santiago, Chile. I first started getting involved with image-making around 6 years ago, in high school. I used to do some vector-based images of random girls, some friends and stuff like that.
After that I was going to become an Engineer, but at the last minute I just decided to go with my gut and applied to study graphic design. I've been happily doing that for 4 years now.
2. When looking at your portfolio I notice that you are a multidimensional designer because not only do you do abstract and vector art but you also create your own typefaces. Why do you feel you need to work on so many different types of art instead of just mastering one style?
Well actually it isn't about not wanting to master a certain style, it's just that I'm trying to find the style I want to master! I simply think I'm just trying to find myself creatively. I love the wide range of areas design has to offer, so I'd really like to explore as many as I can, and then choose one to dedicate my time to obsessively. I just like to have fun, so when things tend to get a bit dull, I just move on.
As much as I truly respect those who have mastered certain styles, I'm not one that likes people to know you for one thing or one style you have. I just want to be a well rounded designer one day, so basically I just like to experiment a lot. That's why you see me one day doing vectors, then some Photoshop mixes and then some type treatments as well. It's all just a part of my continuous search for graphic design happiness.
3. A lot of your work like the "Summer Solstice" designs mainly consist of one constant shape. What made you decide to create such abstract pieces with simple shapes?
I've always loved math and geometry. I really enjoy mathematical perfection, so for a while now I've been fairly obsessed with Arabic patterns, Islamic tiles and anything that has to do with mathematical beauty. And when the Summer Solstice was in the making, this obsession was getting some serious momentum, so there you go. Plus I just love grids and triangles!
4. "The Halfway Font" is a font available for downloadable on your website. Walk us through how you created this font and how it fits with your experimental designs.
Well first off I really don't consider my type works "fonts." They really are just very personal experiments. I'd never even think of putting myself in the same category as a type artists. Typography is a delicate art that I respect enormously and I'm just starting to explore.
The Halfway font was actually just some random ideas that I developed at college. I've never been one to pay much attention in class, so I doodle a lot. One time I had a notepad with gridded pages, and just started writing my name on it and it kind of rolled on from there. Soon as I got home, I went digital with it and decided to give it away because it really is just a small experiment. Nothing too serious.
5. Where do you plan to take your designing career in the future? And what do you hope to accomplish in the next couple of years?
I really want to start exploring the world of motion graphics. I've grown really fond of animated design, so that's next in the to-do list. Professionally, I'd like to go freelance for a while, trying to get some A-list commissions and who knows, maybe work at a well respected agency somewhere. But I guess I really haven't thought of it much. As I said before, I'm always exploring, so whatever the design life throws at me is always welcome.
6. What was the most important lesson you have learned since you started designing that might help the newer designers.
Be humble. I'm not one with a long career, but I do know that you have to be respectful in this game. There's a bunch of designers talking about their accomplishments and whatever, but really don't take the time to keep improving, they just like to showboat a bit too much on a few good works they've done. So keep it humble, and respect those who've been in the game longer than you. Karma does exist.
7. Since you create your own fonts, please give us a look into your top 5 favorite fonts, and also explain what makes them so special.
Oh! As I said I'm not a font expert, but I'd definitely start off with Avant Garde. I got to admit it's getting a bit boring since like everyone uses it. But I just love its boldness while being so delicate and modern. Plus it's made by Herb Lubalin, probably my favorite designer ever. True genius.
Secondly of course Helvetica. You can use it for practically everything and come out winning. Third, Rockwell. Just love it. Really open, yet strong. Fourth, Trajan. Just elegant. And come on, how cool is it that Romans made such lovely characters? And fifth, Clarendon. Beautifully bold yet a bit playful and laid back.
8. Thanks again for providing Psdtuts+ with this opportunity to interview you. Any final thoughts for our readers?
Well just a big thank you to you guys for the interview. Really enjoyed it. And some advice to readers? Just do your thing. Don't try to live up to someone else's expectations or accomplish what others accomplish. Go for what you want, practice and observe the work of others. Just feed your eyes constantly - 24/7.