AndréBurnier (Freelance Graphic Designer & Creative Coder)

André Burnier works as a freelancer graphic designer and creative coder. In 2016, he graduated with a Master in Graphic Design at AKV | St. Joost. Since then, Burnier has been exploring the intersection between graphic design and coding.

São Paulo, Brazil • May 14, 2024

What led you into design?

Before I got into design, I wanted to study physics. Luckily, I did not get into any good university and this gave me a bit more time to figure things out. At the same time, I was really into graffiti and started to draw some vector images inspired by 123KLAN. I remember that in a couple of weeks, I switched from physics to graphic design. Soon I got accepted into the graphic design bachelour at FAAP, without really understanding what was design. And I never looked back, from that point I knew design was my fit. I fell in love with typography at first, I like to joke about being a frustrated type designer – thus expressing my frustration by destroying other type designers' work.

What does a typical day look like?

I work from my place, this leaves me free to adapt my routine depending on the projects I'm working on. Nowadays I like to wake up and get all the bureaucratic work done first thing in the morning – emails, meetings, paperwork etc. Afternoons are my most energetic time so I like saving this period for creative work. After work I'll cook some dinner and spend my free time with my wife, browsing the internet, watching series or playing games.

What's your workstation setup?

Where do you go to get inspired?

Nowadays, social media – mainly Instagram. But inspiration comes from everything I consume, from movies, music, gatherings with friends and family, museums, bike rides and vacation travels. São Paulo is a thriving cultural city and I feel a lot of my inspiration comes from living here.

What product have you recently seen that made you think this is great design?

Schultzschultz recently released some custom-made online tools that are truly inspiring. It gives some insights into the creative possibilities of custom-designed tools. I especially like the Touchtype tool – the user interface pushes the use of multi-gesture to something I had never seen before. Although these tools have no functional purpose, it is a fun, democratic way to display the power creative codding holds.

What pieces of work are you most proud of?

I recently worked on the Rio Carnaval brand with Tátil. This was a huge project, but Tátil assembled an awesome team to design the identity for the biggest event in Brazil.

I was responsible for designing the system that designs the brand. In other words, I coded a custom program that draws the logo. Designing a logo with code is quite challenging and it comes with some risks and compromises, but it also opens up a whole universe of creative possibilities. Code allowed me to give life to the Rio Carnaval logo – it reacts to the user's mouse/touch and dances to the carnival drums. It also gives the user the ability to customize the logo to their needs – shape, colours, movements etc.

This was not my first generative logo but certainly was the most complex, and I'm proud of how my coding expertise helped to shape the final result. Hopefully, the visibility of this project will help to eco the message: there is a lot of untapped potential at the intersection between graphic design and coding.

You can experience the logo by yourself here

What design challenges do you face at your company?

Since I'm the designer, the boss, the financial, the manager, HR, and any other role my company needs, I face a lot of design challenges. I believe my biggest challenge is selling and collaborating with my expertise – creative coding is still relatively new and experimental for designers, so most of us still do not understand how code can be introduced in our design processes. Each new project is a new iteration of how to collaborate with other designers and clients. And during this process, I've been successful at exploring new graphic design possibilities, not accessible with traditional design tools.

What music do you listen to while designing?

Any advice for ambitious designers?

Understand that it takes time to be good at anything, be patient. Don't be afraid to break some rules and make ugly designs sometimes.

And finally, design a portfolio aiming at what you want to be hired for.

Anything you want to promote or plug?

Follow me on Instagram if you like to see some typefaces being bullied: @burnier