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Featured Studio

Monumento

August 2018

Rik Bracho, Executive Creative Director and Raúl Salazar, Chief Creative Officer at Monumento caught up with us and shared some ace words on what they look for in a client, some tough lessons learned and some exciting new things happening in their studio!

Give us the elevator pitch on what you do.

Raúl: I am Raúl, Chief Creative Officer for Monumento. The means I have an eye on the present looking and directing the ongoing projects happening on the studio while I lead and share the vision I have for the company with my team by putting the other eye on the future; looking for other branches, opportunities and projects that we can get involved on in order to transcend.

Rik: I’m an entrepreneur who uses his design and creative skills and knowledge to create amazing projects.

What do you look for in a great client?

Raúl: A good client is not the one who lets you do whatever you want. A good client is someone who is immersed in the process and their project, and because of that, is able to teach you about her or his work and is open to listen about yours.

By sharing this information between each other, we are able to build a single vision; they will respect your opinion and decisions because they know you are now well informed. Now they know that them, as well as you, are looking for the best for the project.

Rik: To trust me, to be honest, to care about design and communication.

What three naughty things have you done in your career to get ahead?

Raúl: Pretended I was a designer. I’m not. I’m actually colorblind. Pretended I was a professional creative, until I became one. And I still pretend I have an idea about Art.

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A good client is not the one who lets you do whatever you want. A good client is someone who is immersed in the process and their project...

"

What are some of your earliest creative memories and what lead you into design?

Rik: I used to do lots of drawings when I was a kid, and I remember “designing” a Nike sneaker that later that year they released, obviously it was a bit different, but it was sort of the same idea that I drew on paper, I cannot express how excited, confused and impressed I was. Graffiti was the biggest influence though, the use of color, shapes, letterforms and characters, I was sketching day and night, trying to get better and better. I stopped sketching graffiti when I started my design studies.

What have been some of your biggest disasters and how have you learnt from it?

Raúl: My first job was creating the identity, branding and campaign for a nightclub located downtown Monterrey, city where I live. It was a complete disaster and ended up closing its doors like 5 months after its opening. What I learned is to follow my instinct. I detected major issues on the client’s vision. There was a complete mismatch on the client’s desire of ‘being classy and premium’ versus the actions he was making and the horrible, horrible interior design of the club. But because of my inexperience and the insecurity it brings to the table, I said yes to everything I was told to do, and ended up with something completely out of sync to the true nature of the club. I also learned not to work with people who have no idea of what they're doing.

When did you fall in love with design and how did you get started?

Rik: Easy, when I saw Nike’s advertising during the early 90s, Bo Jackson, MJ, designs by Neville Brody. I fell in love.

  1. What is the design landscape like on your city and where do you fit in?

Raúl: Since 15 years or more, my very industrial-focused city has weirdly placed itself among the top design cities of Latin America, and since that, top design countries around the world have been putting an eye or two on what is happening here. This happened because of a number of reasons that are too long to explain and would completely redirect my answer to another topic. The position I look for Monumento in this landscape is to be the top boutique design studio in America. To be recognized by our work philosophy and top quality on everything we work on. To be recognized because of our happy clients. To be less recognised as a graphic design studio and more as a creative and collaboration-focused powerhouse. Right now I think we are on the top boutique design firms on the country.

What qualities and skills to you look for in a graduate?

Rik: Passion for what they do, to care about every detail.

Whats on the cards professionally and personally in the next 12 months?

Raúl: Keep pushing. We just opened an interior design and architecture department for Monumento, called Spaces. I aim to continue to grow and nurture this project in order to become as important as the branding department. The same goes for a couple of art projects we have in our hands that are very special to me.

What career advice would you give your 16yr old self?

Rik: Never stop working, but enjoy every minute of your personal life. Become better by working hard, be patient, but be disciplined.

What role does digital design play in your studio in 2018, and how to you apply traditional graphic design skills in a digital age?

Rik: Well, everything used to be analog, now everything is digital. If you think of the digital world, as the evolution of the “real” world, it will be easier to understand and to use your (maybe) outdated skills, design is not only about execution, it has a lot to do with problem solving with creativity.

Webstie: monumento.co

Instagram: @monumento.co

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