Hello guys, how’s everything going?. On this occasion we’d like to show you the process behind the design and illustration for commercial products, and for that purpose we have appealed to Juan Pablo Corredor, better known as Agafito Pelaes, a great guy whom we had the chance to meet and discuss about many things such as the origin of his nickname, his current work with Totto and his upcoming plans. We’d like to share with you some of the things he shared with us, in case you want to know more about his work or just say hello you can reach him via Flickr.
Agafito is a graphic designer from Colombia, he went to Los Libertadores University and is one of the guys in charge of making most of the illustrations for Totto during the next 2 years, so every time you see a Totto accessory (bags, t-shirts, pouches…), it’s probably Agafito the one behind the design process of that piece. Well, after telling us a little bit about the funny story behind Agafito Pelaes, which came out more by coincidence that by brand choosing, he talked with us about the different stages that he follows when making a new product as well as all the different things that he has learned during these years.
Mishës: How’s designing for products like?.
Agafito: Well, at first it was a little bit odd because we’re not taught in college about designing and illustrating for specific products, the process has many differences in comparison to 2D surfaces (now most of my work goes to 3D products), for example, designing for a bag means that you need to control what’s going on in all the different sides of the product.
Mishës: And what’s been the hardest thing of the process?.
Agafito: Oh man, one of the most complicated things has to be designing for girls … that was really hard at first because it was something that I’ve never done before!. I’ve designed for both genres in the past, usually following my own style, but creating something for girls-only is something quite different that still gives me some trouble occasionally.
Mishës: And what’s the process you follow when you need to release one of these artworks for a new collection?.
Agafito: Let’s see, the whole process begins by digging about the latest tendencies around the world, that allow us to know what are the colors that will be trending next season and many more “crazy” things, so then what we do is breaking down this information and isolate the information that we’re actually interested about, such as the colors we’re going to use.
Once this part is done, we make a “street vision”, which means that all designers that are involved in the process have to watch lots of TV shows, so we do a lot of zapping and spend some time watching Cartoon Network, Disney XD, Nickelodeon, etc. We also make some online research to find out what’s currently capturing kids’ attention, we also talk directly with some of them to find out a little more about their tastes and preferences. Then we set up a meeting in which we socialize about the different things that we found during the “street vision”. That’s how the latest Robot-Rock collection was born, thanks to all the things we analyzed regarding tastes and current tendencies amongst children.
The next thing to do is making the initial sketches, then I start working on the illustration and pass it to the approval committee to see what changes they propose. Once the illustration is finally approved, we choose the technique we’re going to work with and send it to production.
Mishës: And what additional considerations you need to take at the time of making the illustration?.
Agafito: All illustrations have to be very “generic” in the good sense of word, I mean that we cannot inject too much of our personal taste towards certain things but on the opposite, we have to be really careful in picking a graphic that will attract as many kids as possible.
Mishës:It must be awesome to walk down the street and see a kid wearing a bag that you designed, or walk into a store filled with products that you helped to create, right?.
Agafito: It’s something really exciting indeed, at first when I saw a kid wearing one of my bags I got so excited that it made me want to run and say “hey!, I made that character in your bag”, then you start to get used to it and you lose the excitement, specially when you see those products that you’ve designed but then were manipulated by tons of people, making me feel as if I’m staring at an unknown work though.
Mishës: And with all the knowledge you have acquired, have you ever considered going solo with your designs?.
Agafito: Of course I have!, that was a very recurrent theme every time I went out with some of my coworkers, “we should start our own company”, but then the idea was soon forgotten and it remained as a beer’s conversation, therefore we never did anything till last year when we decided to make things work and now we’re super excited with this new project!.
Mishës: Well congratulations!, thanks a lot for spending some time with us and good luck with your future projects, we will stay in touch to share with our fans the launch of your new brand, please let us know so we can make the corresponding coverage!.
Agafito: Thanks guys, sure I’ll let you know!, thanks a lot for your support and granting me this space in your blog.
If you want to know more about Agafito, don’t forget to check his portfolio to see more of his work, also leave us your questions and comments about the interview, see you around!.