Talented artist Dado Queiroz talks about his stunning typography endeavour

One must think that Dado Queiroz possesses typography magic. Looking at Dado’s creation is like enjoying a symphony with curves and shapes, light and shadow, crescendo and diminuendo – all intertwine and complement each other in a brilliant visual experience. Every work of his has a striking attention to detail coupled with immaculate improvisation of type’s anatomy, not to mention an excellent understanding of volumes and lighting.

Yep, he floored us, and many others, especially in the way Dado makes his 2D illustrations look like effortless 3D renderings. Having this great craftsmanship be explained by the craftsman himself is a pleasure we’re delighted to have. Get to know who he is, and enjoy the insights behind his three favourite latest work! Also keep an eye out for more on his website, Behance, Instagram, Facebook, Dribbble, Twitter.

“Hi there, I’m a Brazilian visual designer based in Amsterdam since 2011. My main interest in the field is lettering and typography related projects, often with a high degree of intricacy and illustrational aspects to it, especially with the suggestion of volume through the play of light and shadow, which is something I do entirely in the 2D space but never really felt the need to communicate it as being such, until more and more people started asking me which 3D software I was using.

I work with UI as well, which was what brought me to the Netherlands in the first place, and have had experience in the past with editorial and graphic design in a broader sense, plus advertising and also architecture, which I studied and worked with for a few semesters.”

Project 1: ABC poster for the Type Directors Club


“This artwork was done for a talk I was invited to give at the Type Directors Club in New York, back in 2013. There was no request for a poster, but I thought such a nice opportunity deserved one nevertheless. Since I didn’t have much time to work on it, as I held a day job at the time, I thought I could smartly get away with just the letters ABC to represent typography and the world of western written language in general, since theoretically only these three letters would be much faster to execute than, say, the rather longish title of the talk (“False Volumes, Real Letters”). However, I came up with such an intricate composition, with the odd angles of isometric perspective to go with it, that it ended up taking forever anyway. Of course.

So the whole process was somewhat nightmarish, with me finishing the poster past midnight of the night before my flight, just to wake up the next morning at around 5 a.m. to find out there was this obvious bump in a pretty prominent curve, and even though I had to be on my way to the airport in less than an hour, my obsession over it was so sick that I went back to the computer to try to fix it on time. Of course I couldn’t, and my girlfriend’s reaction of surprise when finding me in this mildly crazy obsessive behaviour sort of woke me up from the spell, and I figured I’d had to live with the bump as it was haha.

Interestingly, though, after I was back in the Netherlands, I eventually went back to the file and fixed the damned thing just for the sake of it. At doing so I of course spotted a few other ones, but I figured the line had to be drawn somewhere, even if it was a crooked one : )

The same poster was then reused for a condensed version of the same talk, this time at SXSW the following year, just replacing the Futura for the text around it for a more suitable, in my opinion, Brix Slab.”

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Project 2: Flat letterings

“Drawing good bezier curves is much harder than most designers think, probably because they’re so simple to construct. With time, I believe I got a bit better at other aspects of my work than at this particular one, so every now and again I force myself to work on flat designs devoid of any light and shadow effects (except for those achieved graphically), so that all curves are equally exposed and I’m forced to train drawing them better, spotting bumps and, something that can be significantly harder, at least for me, ironing them out.

This capital C, from early this year, is an example of such work, that I’ve done with no other purpose in mind, rather than to practice and enjoy myself. I’ve since been approached by a few type designers who suggested I make a font out of it, but a few experiments with other letters discouraged me, for it would take a ridiculous amount of time to do it right. Maybe someday.”

C_vectors “The sketches for this piece were quite ugly, since they were meant just to test out possible configurations fast. The clean-up was done already in vectors.” C_sketches “In the final piece, there is a minor suggestion of depth by the way the lines are interrupted at one side of each intersection.”

“The ’59, from 2012, done as a gift to a friend who wanted to (and did) tattoo it, is another example. There is also a graphical suggestion of volume, with the curved arrow shaped forms. They’re somewhat coarse that is precisely to work well when inked on somebody’s arm, a surface known to have enormous amounts of dot gain.”

'59_studies '59

Project 3: Uppercase Alphabet for Massey Ferguson

Dez Comunicação came up with this idea for the Brazilian branch of agricultural equipment manufacturer Massey Ferguson, and through Möve, my representative there, commissioned me to carry out the execution. It was pretty exciting to work on it, although not without its fair share of challenges.

Each component of the letters was taken out of photographs provided by the client and manipulated from there. Since they were not taken with this purpose in mind, however — or so I assume —, there was some variations between different photo shoots’ styles, as well as with the overall quality of the images, that proved difficult to reconcile, thus involving several hours of image reconstruction and photo manipulation.

All in all, though, I’m very happy with the results. It was a great project to have been part of.”

A_breakdown_700_01 A-F_4 G-O_2 P-U_2 V-Z_2 diacritics_02 details_5 header_04 samples_crop_04 samples_field_04 samples_land_04 sdfgf A is for amazing, isn’t it?

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