Isabel Moranta — Locomotive
Isabel is a Spanish digital designer based in Montréal, CA. She is currently an Art Director at Locomotive.
My journey into design was pretty unspectacular. I went to secondary school and didn’t know what to do afterwards for a long time. I think that is something many young people struggle with. At that time I was very interested in graffiti and also had a good sense about form and colour. For a long time, it wasn’t clear to me what this ability would lead me to.
At some point, my mom brought the idea up that it might be a very nice thing for me to do graphic design. That sounded interesting to me, and I decided to begin an apprenticeship as a graphic designer. Again, the first 1.5 years were totally irrelevant to me. All the layout making didn’t really excite me. Later I got a teacher who created an experimental alphabet with us. That was like some kind of key moment for me.
From that moment, I was hooked and became totally passionate about typefaces and typography. I actually fell in love with experimenting. Even today, I’m still not particularly keen on the technical, correct, and detailed realization of a design. I am very impatient and impulsive with my experiments, but in return, these experiments became my greatest strength.
There is no such thing as a typical day. For me, the fear of the blank canvas is still very prominent, and I need a certain amount of pressure in order to be really productive. That’s why I do a lot of organizational work or project management during weekdays.
At quieter hours around midday, in the evening, or sometimes at the weekend, it’s easier for me to work on truly creative tasks. Then the subtle pressure disappears somehow and no one disturbs me. Nevertheless, I try to stick to regular working hours. I start at 9 a.m. or 9:30 a.m., we have lunch at 1 p.m. and I usually finish at 6:30 p.m.
A great source of inspiration for me is being bored and relaxed. When I’m relaxed, ideas pop into my head. Ironically, that’s why holiday is often the most creative time for me. This is when I experiment and think about my own projects, fonts, or other creative ideas.
And during that time, I’m usually out and about a lot, taking a look at some other things. Then I get inspired, likewise from completely different fields or in nature. Nature itself is always a great source of inspiration for me.
What definitely excites me as a nature lover are Studio Drift’s “Dandelight with home.”
I find it incredibly impressive to include elements of nature directly into design. Nature is kind of the source of everything, right?
We are certainly very proud of the exhibition design that we created for the Zeppelin Museum in Friedrichshafen. Getting your own design out there, of course makes you feel proud. When you see people enjoying your design and being excited or even inspired by it – that’s the best feeling for me as a designer. The Lake Constance is also where I grew up. That is what made this project even more personal for me. It’s a great feeling to have designed something so extensive for the region I am from. But of course, international projects are also super exciting. The variety is what makes it beautiful.
I do have a very artistic way of designing. Helping the customer understand that aesthetics and beauty is also a way to achieve a certain goal sometimes takes a bit of effort. We always have to find the balance between serving the client and staying true to ourselves, and don’t forget to having a lot of fun.
Try not to just go with the flow. Work where you really feel comfortable at, and don’t ever stop to find out what you need to feel happy and to be creative with fun. And please: Don't take it too seriously!