Last month, at the Designthinkers conference in Toronto, Anagrama’s Sebastian Padilla made a confession: “I can’t decide what to do with my life.”
A self-described black sheep, Padilla says he was bad at school and chose to study graphic design because “it was easy to get into. There was no physics involved.” You’d never guess it from his work, but he swears he’s just “not that passionate about design.” And yet in the last five years his studio has built up a portfolio of nearly 150 stunning projects, which include branding, architecture and interior design, and during his talk – “Going Fast to Nowhere” – he showed off dozens of these.
“This presentation,” he informed the crowd at the Sony Centre, “is for those who are disorganized, chaotic and sloppy. Like me. People who are curious and want to do a lot of different things. One of my few talents is knowing I need help. Creatives are not motors, they’re turbochargers. We have to stay connected to motors, to collaborate with people who have different talents. With the right people, you can do anything. You don’t need to decide what you want to do with your life; you can just do anything. Right now, I’m doing everything.”
And he truly is. Padilla has a fashion brand in the works, as well as a film script. And an app meant to increase productivity for creative firms like his. Not that it appears he would need it. Here are just a few reasons we hope that, if he ever decides what to do with his life, it continues to include design:
1 Gist magazine
The design concept for this lifestyle publication is based on the idea of simply framing the highly visual content.
2 Maderista branding and interior
This carpentry boutique’s typography-inspired feature walls display the high-quality woods used in the custom furniture they make. The shop’s stationery is porous and almost utilitarian, but with touches of hot-stamped gold.
3 Kindo branding and interior
This children’s clothing boutique borrows its design features from a classic children’s toy: the bead maze.
4 Extremes branding and interior
This Monterrey “culinary factory” takes it colour scheme from parsley. It’s the one common ingredient in each and every product that comes out of the kitchen.
5 Niños Conarte architecture and interior
For this children’s library and cultural centre in Monterrey, Anagrama left a historic building completely intact by inserting a new floor, with mountainous, built-in shelves that help reading become an adventure.
6 Neat Confections branding
The packaging for this Mexican pastry shop aims for perfection. The silver chrome surfaces pair with neon pastel colours to create boxes that look even better than the treats inside.
7 Redberry architecture and branding
The shoe company’s name provided the creative inspiration for a simple, raspberry-shaped logo, combined with boxy type to inform the flagship store’s industrial look.
8 Black Cube branding
The nomadic nature of this experimental museum, housed in a shipping container, called for a look that could co-exist with any art, in any place.
9 Conarte Library architecture and interior
This second collaboration with government organization Conarte features a bookshop and a library, with a reading nook formed by arching shelves that envelop visitors in books.
10 Taqueria Ornico
In addition to his design work, Padilla also owns a taco joint, for which he has done the interior and branding. “But the best taquerias have the worst branding,” he explains of the cow-in-a-taco-shell logo he created for the shop. “It’s the ugliest design I’ve ever made.” It may not be beautiful, but it’s certainly memorable.