Mario de Meyer is a typographically focused graphic designer in Ghent, Belgium. His freelance clients flock to him from far and wide - he has worked with the likes of IBM, Wired, Adobe, Bloomberg, Fortune, and more. Mario not only makes beautiful and intricate lettering work, but he also has an Instagram account dedicated to abstract artwork, where you will see he weaves fine digital threads in order to create vast worlds of dreamy waves and webs. This week we spoke to Mario about his work, inspirations and opinions on the world of design. Read what he had to say, and learn about his bold and brilliant practice.
Describe to me your creative process from start to finish. Is it different for different project? Do you sketch things out or go straight to whatever programs you like using? Is it different for your typography and your abstract work?
I usually start by doing research and brainstorming about the subject, I care a lot at being original, doing something that has done before or seems “obvious” for that particular subject is something I try to avoid most of the times.
Sketching things out first is my preferred way of working, especially when you’re working with clients, but it doesn’t work for every project. Some of the things I do are very technical or highly depend on certain techniques that are just very hard to sketch, for these projects I mostly dive straight into Illustrator.
Tell me about the path in your life that lead you to becoming a graphic designer.
As a teen and music lover I was really fascinated with graffiti, record sleeves, CD covers and especially flyers of parties and festivals. I really liked the creativity and bold/colourful design. These were the mid 90’s, way before social media and iPhones were invented. There was a huge amount of print back then which had a big influence on me so I decided to study graphic design.
What inspires your work?
For me personally, everything that’s fascinating, and that could be anything from quantum particles to the size of the universe. Nature in general and also architecture are huge inspiration sources for me, but certainly not the only ones.
If you had to pick a favourite project you’ve worked on, what would it be and why?
It’s really hard to just pick 1, I have many favourites J But if I had to pick one it probably would be The Great Gatsby Deluxe edition book I’ve made for Penguin Books. Most projects I do often have a rather tight deadline, but for this I had a lot of time. Besides that, I was also incredible free to make it my own and able to use up to 4 pantone colours. It’s a combination you don’t often find.
What advice would you give your past self about getting into graphic design?
Show your passion projects! J I’ve been doing graphic design for about 20 years now, I started freelancing in 2010 for local clients, while it was fun for several years to be your own boss I’ve always felt very creative constrained. I decided to make an Instagram and Béhance account around 2014 and started posting personal things I just love to make without the creative constraints I usually had to deal with. That pretty much changed my whole carreer as I was now getting assignments for work I just love to make.
Which other typographers inspire you at the moment?
So many good typographers out there, I’ve really enjoyed Dan Foster’s and Violaine & Jérémy’s work lately.
What, in your opinion, makes for great abstract art?
That’s hard to describe and probably different for many people, but in my opinion It has to have something fascinating about it, I have to be intrigued by it, and also has to have something mysterious about it.