Based in São Paulo are Will Cega and Guilherme Teixera, a graphic designer and art curator duo who recently launched O Turvo, a publication which caught our eye for its intricate design. We soon learned it’s' much more than well-set typography. Visually unique, it is a journal which merges criticality and good design – a direct product of Will and Guilherme’s respective journeys in the creative industries.
Guilherme has been working as a curator in São Paulo for several years now, he tells us, and throughout this time “critical production has always been paramount” to his practice. Having studied linguistics, the editorial process and the publishing world have always presented a point of interest for him “as the ideal field to create new discussions on the artistic, poetic and political imagination to come.”
Will, on the other hand, works heavily with image research, often challenging this into graphic design or art direction. Also coming from an alternative educational background to the usual designer, Will studied human sciences, a subject which has “determined the need to bring a critical language to the visual development of my works,” he says. This means he’s often most interested in works which accompany some kind of discourse. “Whether with the typography or the authorial design universe, both are always linked to an independent and contemporary posture in my view,” he adds. “Starting from creating a cartography of influence through Instagram itself – the new portfolio for many designers – then establishing a universal approach and a search for an identity for my own creations.”
For Guilherme, his main area of research at the moment is “the possibilities of the gesture on contemporary sculpture when confronted with the sociopolitical environment, especially in Brazil through the last decade.” In turn, he takes inspiration from the friction that occurs when an artistic practice and critical thinking intersect with an environment; responding to that and documenting it.
Will tells us that “it’s a painful challenge” to pursue these kinds of endeavours within the design world in Brazil although it’s something he actively works towards with his studio partner Alexandre Ruda. “But, of course, there are several other creative initiatives with whom I can share these inspirations, which brings me so much joy,” he continues. O Turvo is perhaps another way Will and Guilherme are attempting to bring this kind of dialogue to Brazil’s creative sphere.
It’s a project they’ve been working on since last year and which was released in April 2020. Aptly, as the world entered lockdown, particularly in Brazil where the Covid-19 crisis is still accelerating, the first issue of the journal looks at “Confinement and Collapse”. In order to tackle this topic, the duo invited several artists, anthropologists, critics and curators to express, textually or visually, what these ideas meant to them.
In terms of its design, the first issue is visually led by the use of two typefaces: Reckless Neue and Roobert, both by Displaay Type Foundry. Each spread features compressed text blocks within the composition, despite ample white space available. It generates a tension “of something that occupies a space in a forced manner.” This is reinforced, Will explains, by “the repetitions in the uppercase which invade the composition – pushing the text blocks to the edges of the layout.” It’s a decision made by the pair to aesthetically reflect the quarantine situation “where there are greater forces conditioning us to new contexts.”
With a design so focused on the current situation at its release, O Turvo will need to adapt with time. The pair intend to create a mutable identity, approaching each issue with a new visual proposal. The next theme will be “Connection Regimes” and will be populated with content sourced through an open call. It will tackle, Will outlines “the ways we connect and how our affections work now as, for many of us, the idea of contact and surface has been reduced to the touch of a glass screen; how will this affect our touching; how did we connect then, and how will we connect from now on; and also how the idea of relations and connections are undergoing resignification.”
It’s something Guilherme alludes to as well, finally stating: “We expect, for all of us, worldwide, as a community, that what lies ahead of us is a change: a change in the ways of production, of consumption and how we live together; and that this crisis can finally unfold new and better ways of existing past the deeply troubled world we came from.” O Turvo aims to be a publication which mirrors and documents this change, delivering it in an aesthetically pleasing but altogether expository manner.
About the Author
Ruby joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in September 2017 after graduating from the Graphic Communication Design course at Central Saint Martins. In April 2018, she became a staff writer and in August 2019, she was made associate editor. Get in contact with Ruby about ideas you may have for long-form stories on the site.