As Patrick Rothfuss once said “words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts” and there is always something about words. In expert hands, manipulated deftly, they take you to different places or make you imagine about extraordinary things.
Words have the power to pierce your memories and numb your thoughts and they will always work their magic inside of us.
That’s why we take the time to talk with an expert about words. He shapes them, expands them, twists them and makes of them a way of living.
“HELLO My Name is: It’s a living …”
Ricardo Gonzalez is a graphic designer specialized on calligraphy, typography and lettering. Originally from Ciudad Juárez and raised in Durango, Mexico; Ricardo has made of his letters a trademark and a way of living.
Inspired by the work of Platt Rogers Spencer and Roger Excoffon, his passion began by seeing old letters written by his grandfather in the 1950s. During 2008 he moved to Canada to study design at Mohawk College and worked a couple of years in a screen printing studio in the city of Ottawa.
Introduce yourself and tell us when did you decide to be a lettering artist?
“It Ain’t Easy”
The labels are easy to put on, the hard thing is to distinguish the lines that make the difference between a writer, a graffiti artist, a typography expert, a creative and a graphic designer. However Ricardo’s work is just a perfect match between modernism and artistic elegance. His artwork acquires a unique personality with each line slightly inclined, whose appearance emulates how his hand is safe enough to sketch with brush a perfect swash or a loop, without losing can-control or color-contrast and refined gradient on any of his tags.
In rediscovering his passion for calligraphy, he has not stopped experimenting with different forms of letters, from working in his studio to translating it into large-scale murals.
“Live in New York once, but leave before It makes you hard”
In the fall of 2012 he moved to Toronto and worked as a freelance graphic designer, then returned to the City of Durango and after several years of working independently, in 2014 he applied to Type @ Cooper and did a Typeface Design postgraduate in Cooper Union.
After three years of living in New York, and after working in an advertising agency, he currently has his own creative studio, in which he has collaborated with brands like Mercedes Benz, Microsoft, Bloomberg, MTV, Yahoo !, Nike, Nissan, VH1, Coca Cola, Stussy, Tequila 1800, Budweiser, MBL, Bing Bang; As well as being part of gallery shows with Visionary Eyes in Seoul and HPRG Gallery in New York.
His most recent public art collaborations have come from the hands of 1AM Gallery in San Francisco, Lumine in Japan, Chinese Laundry and The Container Yard in Los Angeles, California.
He has recently been invited to join PangeaSeed Sea Walls in the summer and The Beauty Project MX, directed by the Austrian designer Stefan Sagmeister, along with contemporary artists such as RETNA, Saner, Aec Interesni Kazki, Alexis Mata ‘Ciler’, Olivia Steele, among others.
Based on the political arena and the actual social situation between the US and Mexico, do you feel this has ever affected your work or your creative process in the last couple of months?
It is a tough situation but it hasn’t influenced my work but what I find interesting is that somehow the phrases I’ve been painting are relatable to this time we are living. What I paint has a sense of ambiguity, it can mean something to me but it can mean something else to the viewer depending on their perception of it and that’s what is intriguing to me. The medium can become the message.
Your plans for the future?
*All images courtesy of the artist