posters bombarda


The art district look alike

Art districts and urban interventions are a common way to tell people your feelings, how you see society, how you wish it was. Through art and conceptual expressions.

Graffiti, illustrations, painting, graphic design, architecture, digital media, photography, music and even food can be used as a medium to all these manifestations of intended results. As one or as individual parts a broader act, every one of them can be seen, felt and heard by millions of us, in the known places – the street, art districts, buildings, bridges, railways, and even art galleries. All around the world, people spend increasingly ephemeral time on these kind of moments and that’s where i identify the value of it – everyone is invited to participate and also knows it will end in a defined date. This permanent cycle of inaugural ideas and actions around these events work like playgrounds for informed adults in the city. For fun, for discussion, for culture, to bring together people and to identify groups within our society.

For as long as people get into the teasers, these placed events create, they will always be the perfect target to point your arrow to. How to get into the mind of the right audience, right into the heart, and find the curiosity of the conscious is the problem… I need to create a manipulative and directional way to talk to them with art is assumed as the motto and graphic design as the tool to it.

Competitions and lobbies

When a competition is launched, there are a lot of parameters that must be taken into consideration to assure the position and respect of all entities involved. Some guidelines should come from the recognised associations that regulate the creative profession (AGI, ICOGRADA, ICSID, IFI) and generate an impartial bases of equal access to the competition.

We should be able to recognise :

  1. participant . the area formation must be clarified;
  2. intellectual propriety . the contest can’t take away the propriety of its owner;
  3. jury . it must be composed by 5 members at least and they must be described;
  4. prize . must be higher than a normal paid work to an artist;
  5. deadline . must be from 3 to 6 months.

Obviously some of these “ideal” rules are not applied in real life and i can assure you that most of them can be, as easy as wanting it. And here comes the lobby!

This concept comes from the fact that most of the times the competitions are hidden by the mask of academic innovation when in fact, the organisers are not that interested in having real good work from people who face it with the depth and delivery needed to present a very good result. The lobby is made by the kind of people that are “destined” to fulfil the preconcepted expectations; they will give what these competitions and juries expect to.

This fact seems unfair to any other participant, if he is able to be an active resource to the cultural action of critical evolution. The ability to create concepts, to develop work through different and explained stages of development are underestimated and the best approach can be much more valuable than some artificial productions that we see advancing every day as solutions. So are this approaches fakes? Most of them are. Why? Because there is not enough courage to accept new visions on global inter minded communications, the one that can really involve and evolve different targets, different spaces, different media in the small players of the game, the unknown, the anti lobby or even the young, creatives.

You can use your free will and tell me : “If you don’t agree with it, simply don’t enter it!”, and yes you are right, but i can also have a shared opinion that can make you understand that design and creation are not able to be seen with the discredit of a simple and isolated visual solution in the form of a single fotogram.

I know that it takes much more than lobby, luck, instinct, talent to create. Therefore I prove you wrong, simply applying my method, in which i present the stages of creative development to much more than the end result.

  1. The Briefing . CA . Critical Analysis
  2. The Structure . BP . Base  Programming
  3. The Concept . SD . Schematic Design
  4. The Project . DD . Design Development
  5. The Material . D . Details
  6. The Conclusion . TA . Technical Assistance
  7. The Media . PU . Publication

Seems hard? It is not, but requires experience, method, discipline and this precious thing called time management. And yes, I do not want to be just a drop on an ocean of option provided by 1000 people, I want to be carefully selected, I want to be taken with the importance of my work and so I do not accept to fit myself on these preconcepted ways of dealing with creativity.

You choose, so choose well. Choose to say no, to say yes and assume your place in what you believe.

My steps, I would give them to you…

If my life wasn’t about everything that surrounds me, the things that follow me to the most important state of mind: awareness. I could give you a million options for the same project, and still I can just because my creative mind exhales solutions. But I don’t do that, I am a studium ® creator, I have a critic and unique way to see through, to see above, beyond and further in time. Like Jagger, I can’t get no satisfaction and so I live by my own steps (the ones above!).

Recently I was confronted with an Art District Competition, asking for 6 posters that should be the graphical teasers to communicate the seasonal art galleries opening. Great, I love to work for massive amounts of people. But, what about the prize? and the deadline, and the intellectual propriety, and my signature? and my concept explanation? Whaaaat…? Yeah, all missing and going in the wrong direction of creative evolution and respect. A lame prize, a tight deadline, the mandatory obligation to give my work away, no explanation possible to the general audience. Authorship? So, in the end, you would see a serie of posters, made by someone, to that year events and that’s all you’ll see. From an organised cultural movement dedicate to the dissemination of cultural art forms to the inhabitants of the city of Oporto i was expecting more.

Thinking about the meaning of this Art District openings, I know exactly how people walk through and to that specific area of the city. The narrow streets, the typical Porto housing style and the traditional, unique people. That made my concept, a special opening day where everything is openly wide to take you there; a brave yet simple way to share with the others, to bring culture to us, to take culture from them.

A map. Guided by my feet as I walk from a space to a place, from a gallery to an urban fair, from my friends to my wife, from the coffee house to the music installation.


But my proposal was more than that, I also want to mark it all, I want to guide people.

walking through my city . studium 

My value resides in the way I go through projects, my enlightened vision of apparent nothing, that is instead, everything. Let’s bomb it by spreading this notion of responsible decision taking about the way we should be seen as creatives.


Sérgio Magalhães

Creative Director