Interview with designer MARCELO LOPES (ML), regarding views on design, and for the award-winning design Agraz Restaurant Corporate Identity.

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Interview with MARCELO LOPES at Monday 25th of March 2013: DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
ML : Agraz Restaurant’s brand was inspired by Brazil’s 27 states. The round symbol was inspired by the center of the Brazilian flag. The colors represent the miscegenation, diversity and the meeting of cultural globalization at the hotel. The dimensions of the stripes were inspired by the density of the population within each Brazilian state. The inspirations for the institutional campaign were the new food menu created by the chef, with of all its mixed flavors and the logo colors. Tastes meet the spice of imagination! Based on the title and on the brand, temporary and replaceable playful images were created. They can be replaced every 45 days in all the campaign pieces.

DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
ML : Behind of the new brand, the main focus was the menu creations. Menus enable a sensorial experience by means of the texture of the material and logo application in resin, which gives it a 3D effect. Another example of interaction is the difference in the color of the menus – black menus for men and white menus for women.

DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
ML : I don’t have future plans for this project because the main focus was to developed the new brand and menus just to use in the Agraz restaurant. It worked well and I’m satisfied. The future plans are only to include the project in my portfolio as one more award-winning project and maybe to get new clients. (smiles).

DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
ML : On this project I spent almost 6 months. 1 month for the creation, 3 months for the research of materials and 2 months for the final production of the menus.

DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
ML : This project was a commissioned design.

DI: Is your design being produced or used by another company, or do you plan to sell or lease the production rights or do you intent to produce your work yourself?
ML : This project is exclusively being used by the client – Agraz Restaurant – restaurant of Caesar Park Hotels & Resorts

DI: What made you design this particular type of work?
ML : The desire to elaborate pieces that touch the emotion and have a positive effect in people’s everyday life has always been the essence of my work.

DI: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?
ML : No, I didn’t have any influence about other design. I just created based in the briefing of the client.

DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
ML : The targets of this project are the customers of the restaurant and people living in the area of the restaurant.

DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
ML : The fusion of esthetics and technology that give life to a style that sells design through emotions.

DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
ML : The name of the restaurant we didn’t change. We kept the old name and concentrated on the design to develop the new logo and lettering design with based on a concept.

DI: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
ML : My work is based on playful, sensorial and interactive concept and in this special project it was possible to include this concept.

DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
ML : The concept of the logo and the sensorial and ludic design for the menu.

DI: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
ML : I didn’t work with a technical; we just researched materials and had some informational help from 3M Company.

DI: What is the role of technology in this particular design?
ML : I believe that a good creation is when the design project balances technology and design concept. It is difficult create a good design when we don’t have good a background in material and technology.

DI: Is your design influenced by data or analytical research in any way? What kind of research did you conduct for making this design?
ML : No, we made this project respecting the briefing of the client. For us, for this project it was enough.

DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
ML : The most challenging portion of the project was developing the base for the menus – in other words, finding the perfect balance between design and technology. We tested several materials to be cut: some of the materials had no resistance to laser cuts, whereas others, though they could be laser cut, were not as long-lasting. The decision to router-cut the material also resulted in additional difficulties – especially with respect to the production process, for polypropylene is not easily glued. Finding the adhesive that also had good adherence to the material took a full week’s time. Once handled, most adhesives eventually left marks on the menu, which thus would prevent the material from always looking new. Finding the appropriate materials for the project took three times longer than developing the creative project. The concept of adding a sensorial and 3D touch to the material resulted in the development of a label in resin with the restaurant’s logo, to be applied on the polyethylene base covered with polypropylene. All glues were specifically crafted and developed with the technical support of 3M.

DI: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
ML : I decided to submit to A´Design awards because I very much liked the proposal of this international design competition and I believe in my creations, with this kind of competition, will be well promoted

DI: What did you learn or how did you improve yourself during the designing of this work?
ML : I learned with this project that with good material research we can find a perfect solution to design. With all new projects we have something new to learn. We never know everything and to grow I believe that we need to create always new challenges!

DI: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
ML : The most important research conducted in this project involved the materials used – it was very important for the menus to be produced with resistant material for durability, and for the menus to always to seem new. The purpose of adding a sensorial experience to the menu increased our pursuit for innovative solutions. Another relevant issue was finding a solution for a menu with long-term use, whose content would nevertheless undergo constant changes. For this reason, we researched several materials to be applied on the base of the menu with an adhesive including the relevant content – in the event of any change, it is only necessary to replace the stick-on portion. For the production of pieces for the institutional campaign we used conventional materials. We didn’t need to research it.