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Best of Behance: Muokkaa Studio

By Jenny Carless

Who: Muokkaa Studio (Alejandro López Becerro)

What: Editorial Type Illustrations

Where: www.behance.net/muokkaa

Behance member since: 2013

Alejandro López Becerro, a Spanish graphic designer based in Madrid, is the artist behind Muokkaa Studio. The studio name—a form of the Finnish verb muokata, which means “to work, edit, modify, or shape”—is a tip of the hat to Finnish design, which the designer came to admire as a student. The Scandinavian aesthetics of simplicity, minimalism, and attention to detail are clearly strong influences on his work.

Becerro studied graphic design at the School of Arts in Salamanca. After working for two years at a local design studio, he moved to Madrid, where he worked for several years as a motion graphics artist in TV production. A year ago, he decided to return to work as a graphic designer, but this time as a freelancer.

A FASCINATION WITH TYPOGRAPHY

An emphasis on typography, along with a fusion of colors, patterns, and 3D, characterizes Becerro’s work.

“I like to blend all these elements and aim for a realistic look,” he explains. “There are a lot of good designers with a style similar to mine in one way or another. I try to distinguish myself by making typography the main—and the most important—element in the image.”

Letter and number forms fascinate Becerro. He enjoys working with them because they offer so much to play with in terms of form and shape—especially when working with 3D.

“I think the typography is the most important part in a design,” he says. “You can choose a great background and great colors, but if the font family isn’t the right one, the overall design just won’t work.”

EDITORIAL TYPE

Becerro’s Editorial Type project is a series of designs in which he worked from art directors’ briefs and then chose the colors, type, composition, and lighting himself.

“First, I do sketches,” he says, describing his work process. “This is the most important thing, because drafts help you make decisions about the concept and overall design you’re aiming for. So by the time I get to the computer, I already know the main composition and elements I need to create.”

Then he tests different colors and lighting, to see what works best with the design.  For these illustrations, he used Cinema 4D for the 3D work and Adobe Photoshop for the postproduction. 

TYPOGRAPHY PROJECTS

In Typography Projects, Becerro has gathered a series of treatments that show his preferences in typography and the kind of work he likes to do most.

It’s a collection of personal and commissioned work in which he had complete design control.

“These projects allowed me to investigate new ways to play with texture and lighting in 3D,” he explains—techniques he is putting to work in new projects.

As always, he began with sketches.

“Then I worked the final forms on the computer, where I made any changes the shapes needed,” he says. “From the first sketches until the final image, I went through a lot of tests of composition, trying to get the best point of view of each letter.”

Becerro created all of these designs using Cinema 4D, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe Illustrator. 

THE JOY OF EXPERIMENTATION

Becerro is a student of other artists. He loves to analyze how other designers use colors, textures, and patterns in their work.

“This is the best part, when I’m doing a new project: to do a lot of tests, searching for the best combinations,” he says. “Sometimes it’s crazy; you can get inside a spiral with different color options and can’t select which one is the best.”

In the near future, Becerro wants to turn some of his 3D letters into 3D printing. In addition, he’s working with his illustrator friend Juan Díaz-Faes.

“We’re making some of his characters in 3D,” Becerro says. “This is a new field for me, because I always work with letters, but I have never done characters and cartoons.”

Whatever the project, he looks forward to continuing to experiment and grow as a graphic designer, while playing with typography, 3D, and colors.