Yep, it’s that time of year again. If there is one marker for graphic designer lovers that proves how quickly the year has passed, it’s Bráulio Amado’s yearly book. Yet again full to the brim with Bráulio’s work from 2021 – his brilliant posters, characterful illustrations, and even some behind the scenes shots – the book is better than ever. But this edition also has a particular liveliness and freshness about it. This, Bráulio explains, is primarily due to 2021 being a year filled with much more work, commissions, and general good times than the (infamous) year that was 2020.
Understandably, the book differs quite significantly from the 2020 edition. “Because of the pandemic I didn’t think it would make sense to put out a book with commercial work,” Bráulio explains. “So many of my friends lost their jobs or struggled, and I struggled too at times, so it just felt off.” Instead, the 2020 edition ended up mainly being drawings Bráulio did for fun, “with the exception of a few editorial illustrations and projects that were Covid-19 related,” the designer says pointedly, “just so that if someone finds that book in 200 years they don’t think that I was living in a bunker unaware of what was happening with the world”. And so, this edition has taken an approach much more similar to the pared back editions of 2018 and 2019. “I was quite happy with the consistency of those two and I like how simple it all looks. I think my work sometimes can feel a bit all over the place, so the simplicity sort of helps to make sense of everything,” the designer adds.
With the easing of Covid restrictions came the return of the live music industry. And with posters being mainly what Bráulio produces whilst also his “favourite” format to work on, this relaxation was readily welcomed by the designer. Posters are also a medium that Bráulio sees as offering the most potential for “exploration” and this certainly comes across in 2021. Whilst some of the posters show the typical Bráulio style we all love, with distorted smiling faces and bodies contorted into the square frame of the poster, some show a welcome new direction. His posters for Good Room Members Party show a more artistic, less graphically inclined approach, with pastels and paints, but still showing Bráulio’s distinctive wacky charm.
When picking up the book, Bráulio suggests focusing on the “more raw and precious” non-commercial work. “Quite often I don’t know what I’m exactly trying to do or accomplish and that feels the most exciting to me”, he expands. When picking out some of his favourite projects from 2021, the designer lands on his work with singer Róisín Murphy’s album Crooked Machine, a remixed version of her 2020 album Róisín Machine. “The artwork ended up being my own remix of the work I did for the original album, so I cut out the photos from the album to get somewhere new.” And, in an interesting trajectory, Bráulio also dabbled in the fashion world, designing a pair of shoes for Allbirds and a pattern with designer Christopher John Rogers. “I have never done anything like that and it was just amazing to see my work transformed into a breathtaking dress,” the designer adds.
Discussing some plans for the future, Bráulio shares with us that 2022 will be the last of his yearly books (yes, our hearts are breaking too). But, it’s all for good reason. Having been producing one every year since 2016, the designer feels as though seven issues is enough. And, he adds with trademark wit, “I'm sick of promoting a book every year (along with the other projects I promote) and I feel like people slowly are getting sick of me... at least I’m sick of me a bit, so... yeah!” See you next year, for the final goodbye.
GalleryBráulio Amado (Copyright © Bad Studios, 2021)
Bráulio Amado (Copyright © Bad Studios, 2021)
About the Author
Olivia (she/her) joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in November 2021 and soon became staff writer. A graduate of the University of Edinburgh with a degree in English literature and history, she’s particularly interested in photography, publications and type design.