When Croatian designer Zoran Lucić was approached to design a series of posters for the Lucha Libre CMLL, Mexico’s major professional wrestling federation, he admits he was fairly new to the world of masked fighting.
“I didn’t know much beforehand, but I knew about the basics: the masks, their connection with the Day of the Dead, and the wrestler Blue Demon,” explains Zoran. “I bought a book by Jimmy Pantera, Los Tigres Del Ring, and used it as a reference. Probably the best book and source of imagery on Lucha Libre you can find.”
His designs for One Entertainment, a licensing company based in LA, were therefore based on his visual research, and controversially moved away from the iconic masks and vivid colours associated with the sport and instead focused on the personalities of the wrestlers. The artworks, to be used on posters, T-shirts, and other merchandise, are typographically led in monochrome.
“I’ve seen those masks in so many places over the years, so I wanted to do something completely different, designing a kind of branding for each wrestler. My other digression was doing it all in black and white, because beside the masks the whole Lucha Libre feeling is all with colours.” The effect brings a whole new aesthetic to this niche of Mexican culture.
Zoran studied in Bosnia and is currently based in Novi Sad, Serbia, having established his own studio working on graphic design briefs for clients including The Financial Times, Fast Company, Royal Mail, Virgin Media, Young&Rubicam, Saatchi & Saatchi and Forbes.