Victor Fonseca treats his graphic design practice like a “playground”

Portuguese graphic designer Victor Fonseca grew up in Paris, where his practice is now based. He tells us: “This duality between where I come from and where I’ve always lived follows me in everything I do, especially in my self-initiated work.” Between his work for Vogue and his personal work, Victor cultivates a DIY aesthetic that draws on his early love of football and his artistic experimentations with graffiti.

Victor’s initial interest in graphic design stems from his fascination with the iconography of football. He states: “As a child, I was fascinated by the designs used by the teams, the clubs, especially Nike designs: jerseys, team logos, ball and shoe colour choices, TV commercials, posters. There are some teams that I prefer just because of their jersey designs or logos. I remember being astonished by the Mercurial Vapor II Gold worn by Cristiano Ronaldo during the 2004 European Championship; I was ten years old.”

Graffiti has also had a substantial impact on Victor’s current work. As he tells us: “I started writing on walls when I was not playing football.” You could say that graffiti writing was Victor’s first foray into typography; it was his mural experiments that led a friend to suggest he apply for art school. While studying, he “discovered space design, object design, but what attracted me the most was graphic design. It is the most instantaneous medium. I think about an idea, I draw it, I print it and it is done, it is alive. Now with digital devices it’s even faster, you don’t need to print anything any more!”

With its roots in expressive graffiti art and hand-drawn lettering, Victor’s work retains a hand-made aesthetic and feel that lends a distinctive character to each of his designs, rather than conforming to a homogenous visual style. He states: “I am really inspired by amateur design that everyone can relate to such as flawed designs, handwritten type, or a layout design for a grocery store, more than I am by clinical, streamlined design.” Within his practice, there are “no strict rules to follow”, and he says that “I think my practice is much more organic because I am free.”

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