Every year, the Art Directors Club of Denver recognizes the incredible achievements of a handful of highly talented students in an annual awards show. At their recently wrapped one, the winner for Integrated Campaign was communication design student Buddy Bravo from the Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design. His series of five posters are not only beautifully designed, with that art deco/retro twist, they’re wonderfully inspiring, as well.
Though we couldn’t find too much about Buddy Bravo, we learned that his favorite quote is from the 1927 sci-fi film Metropolis: “There can be no understanding between the hand and the brain unless the heart acts as mediator.”
Update: We got in touch with Bravo to conduct a short interview with him. Read our exclusive, one-on-one chat with him, below.
How old are you and how long have you been illustrating for?
I am 26-years-old. I have drawn my whole life. As far back as I can remember, I have always asked for paint, pencils and paper for Christmas. One of my earliest drawings is from when I was 2-years-old, so let’s call it that.
How did the idea come about to create this series?
The posters are a study in re-appropriation. Re-appropriation is basically taking something that already exists and give it new meaning while still referencing it. An example would be a modern version of a traditional folk song.
I wanted to re-appropriate a style, the art-deco movement, that swept the design world in the early 1920’s. This style was used heavily to sell a lifestyle of luxury and entertainment. Movie posters, piano concerts, ballroom dancing; they all began to utilize a fun yet sophisticated aesthetic to show wealth, style, and an elitist lifestyle. My goal was to take that style and advertise something else, something more accessible. You don’t need caviar and champagne to feel good.
Which one have people enjoyed the most?
I feel like most people are drawn to ‘Sing In The Shower’ as far as visuals go. Something about the waves draws people in. Thematically, I have had a lot of responses to ‘Smell The Roses.’ This idea is probably the most universal and also the easiest to achieve. It doesn’t require a lot of energy to stop what your doing and enjoy what’s around us. This is one I try to recall in my everyday life, as well.
Can you describe your style?
The word design today means something different than it used to. Today, a graphic designer typically sits down at a computer and flips through typefaces. In the early days of design, the designers were actual fine artists, who painted letters and drew straight lines, instead of using a ‘line tool’ that creates perfectly straight forms. Colors were mixed by hand instead of with a digital eye-dropper. My style pairs these two worlds: handmade and digital. My style is organic, not rigid. I prefer clean design over noise while still giving great attention to very minuscule details. My style is neo-deco, as I like to call it.
What do you hope others get out of them?
They are advertisements. I’m not selling a product, event, or commodity. Instead, I am ‘selling’ an attitude or outlook. I think simple optimism can go a long way. Simple as it is, if you can do something positive to make yourself feel better, you can pass that on. I want people to feel good.
Thanks for the interview!