The vibrant work of graphic designer Jonathan Castro is constantly catching our eye when flicking through magazines or scrolling through our Instagram feeds. The designer’s career is eclectic as his portfolio, originally from Lima in Peru, before moving to Amsterdam to work at various studios, pushing out a bunch of freelance work in between.
As a result, Jonathan’s recent work can be seen on multiple platforms. He recently created a short for Boiler Room, for instance, designing an ident animation used across its platform channels. Influenced by the editorial themes of Boiler Room and “the idea of Boiler Room as a ritual space,” the designer developed a visual inspired by “the idea of the Axis Mundi philosophy which expresses a point of connection between sky and earth, where the four compass directions meet,” he tells us. A warping ident that travels through a colour palette we’ve come to associate with Jonathan’s name, it’s evocative of the different music genres that run through Boiler Room channels. The final design was also influenced by Stephan Michelspacher’s book Cabala: Mirror of Art and Nature, as well as the paintings of Pablo Amaringo which help Jonathan to see, and communicate, graphic design “as a colourful depiction of living sprit!”
Off-screen, Jonathan has also recently illustrated the dossier of a thesis, The Big Flat Now featured in 032c magazine. The piece analyses “this new paradigm of being everywhere, anytime and everyone at once,” by exploring “the infinite plane on which our culture operates, a surface of old genres and hierarchies that have been melted by the internet,” explains the publication. To represent this visually, Jonathan’s dossier design switches in layout and colour palette on every double page spread, using “many typefaces and ultra layered and ‘harsh pop’ illustrations to represent this vibe and liminal space,” the designer explains.
Jonathan’s third recent project sees him design for mobile working on presenting San, a GPS based augmented reality mobile application. The app allows “the formation of GPS based large-scale virtual structures that can be seen on a smart device as 3D objects in augmented reality,” Jonathan explains. The designer was tasked with creating posters for the exhibition venues, replicating “the same sensation of a virtual reality experience” but in printed matter. To do so, Jonathan designed “this big surface with a mobile format and two landscape motives attempting to create a hybrid poster containing visual languages of reality and fiction.”
Each of these projects, no matter the format, display Jonathan’s ethos when it comes to creating visuals, a process that is always led by “intuition and emotional content mixed with design fiction as a way to search possible futures in graphic design”.
About the Author
Lucy joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in July 2016 after graduating from Chelsea College of Art. In October 2016 she became a staff writer on the editorial team and in January 2019 was made It’s Nice That’s deputy editor. Feel free to get in contact with Lucy about new and upcoming creative projects or editorial ideas for the site.