Throwback Thursday: Past Efforts Positioning Brazil as a Future Leader in Graphic Design

As a multicultural agency, we put a lot of stock in alternative perspectives on the world, especially in advertising. That’s why we were especially interested to hear the buzz around Brazil’s burgeoning graphic design industry, which is shaping up to be an influencer around the world.

Shutterstock published an infographic on design trends in 2013 that hinted Brazil could soon be a design giant based on their “abstract and cubic images.” The move has been a long time coming. Back in 2010, Fast Company reported that the graphic design work coming out of Brazil had its own unique style that could be profoundly influential. As part of the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) nations that are rising in power and economic viability, Brazil is taking its place as a force to be reckoned with in many areas.

The advertising culture in Brazil remains distinct from that in the United States. São Paulo, Brazil has banned billboards since 2007 in order to prevent advertising from impacting the aesthetic appearance of the city. In the U.S., Vermont, Alaska, Hawaii and Maine have laws prohibiting billboards, but they remain a consistent presence in American culture at large, specifically as integral pieces of the iconic Times Square in New York City.

The writing has been on the wall for the rise of award-winning work out of Brazil. In 2008, Brazilian companies won 12 IDEA awards, the most ever received by a South American country. And very recently, Brazilian agencies won 100 Lions at Cannes 2013.

Brazilian design uniqueness stems from the country’s “relative isolation, fabulous weather and craft-based heritage,” according to Fast Company’s John Barratt. Abstract and cubic designs may sound like hallmarks of modernist art that should have been displaced years ago, but Brazilian designers have put an innovative twist on these timeless visual elements.

The rise in Brazilian design makes sense given the other current design trends. As Shutterstock points out, the retro and vintage design is a big seller at the moment, as consumers flock to reminders of better economic times and nostalgia for a more innocent youth.  Hand in hand with that, bold primary colors are making a big impact that pairs well with that nostalgia and the dazzling displays on which we consume much of our advertising today. Be on the lookout for more bright, handcrafted designs showing up in advertisements soon as Brazilian design takes off around the world.

Cover Photo Source: Shutterstock

Kaz is a Junior Executive at SJG. He earned BAs in English Writing and Business Marketing at Illinois Wesleyan University and is currently pursuing an MA in Advertising at The University of Texas at Austin. Outside the office, Kaz consumes gobs of media including but not limited to books, magazines, music, movies and television.