Designing something beautiful

The expression is ‘Yellow and Green should always be seen,’ isn’t it?

Luckily I wasn’t in charge of designing our new Australian book – we had our very own TBOE designers proudly wielding their paintbrushes for this one.

Cleverly splashing streaks of yellows, reds, blues and greens across the pages of our books, creating something truly wonderful and inspired by all things Australia.

Talking me through these new designs in our Barcelona office, I sat down with Anna Masdea, one of our in house designers, to talk about her Aussie influences and how she used these to make pages especially for the folk Down Under.

Here’s how our chat went over a warm cup of cafe con leche in the Catalonian sun.

Hi Anna, so have you ever been to Australia?

Yes! I loved that there were bright colours all over the place. The cities weren’t like anything I’d seen before, so much freedom with art and expression. But as well as the modern art, I felt that there were so many natural colours everywhere which really influenced the palette I used for my designs.

Do you have any specific influences that you used in your artwork?

The first page that comes to mind is the new dedication page. We wanted to make a really original piece but at the same time use traditional Aboriginal art as an influence.

Although Aboriginal history can be a sensitive topic, we wanted to show our appreciation for this beautiful culture. Aboriginal art typically doesn’t use any overly-bright colours, but instead uses many earthy colours – like browns, dark reds, pale blues – which are all very natural. So, we decided to go for a mixture of dark and pale blues to fit with this, as well as geometric shapes reflecting the patterns often seen in this art.

What’s your favourite page and why?

My favourite page is the ‘Slanguage’ page. This is exactly my style and how I design, so this was really easy for me as I had the freedom to create anything I wanted. You’ll notice when looking at the page that the designs are very bright. We wanted it to be colourful and fun, whilst reflecting modern art.

The whole team were involved in choosing the palette where every decade differs, making each page as unique as possible.

The one thing I really love, is that the principal slang word on the page always has a picture behind in relation to it. For example, if the slang word was ‘Budgie Smugglers’ it has a picture of a speedo with a budgie inside…

The final chapter

So that’s how my conversation went with Anna, a very interesting one indeed. But there was still one question I just couldn’t shake off – what’s a ‘budgie smuggler?’

One piece of advice – don’t look it up on Google while you’re at work….

Take a look at our beautifully crafted Australia book here.

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