Design on the Edge

Marcos García is a talented Argentinean graphic designer and illustrator who uses cutter instead of pencil to produce his amazing designs.

Portrait of Victor Garcia Victor Garcia Martínez

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Main illustration of the article Design on the Edge

Marcos is a designer in a Buenos Aires-based studio, where he deals with a wide variety of products in his daily work. From the mass consumer ones –food, beverages and pharmaceutical products– to sophisticated –like top wine labels and gourmet products. This diversity gives him a comprehensive expertise in design and he also make illustrations.

However, his true passion is for cut-out graphics, skill for he is particularly gifted – an unusual activity that requires both the rationalist training of designer to plan the task, and the artistic sensitivity of the illustrator, to carry it out successfully. For him cut-out design is a field for creative experimentation with materials and tools. Shaping his designs in his mind first, García then proceeds to find the most suitable way to express the idea.

The paper –the raw material for his cut-out graphics– might be white, black, metallic, colourful or pale; with a matte, satin, glossy or strongly textured surface; sometimes calligraphic brushes or even razors are used for special effects. All these resources are deployed to push the idea forward in unexpected ways.

Once the mental plan is shaped, he draws freehand directly with the blade on the paper, making fine adjustments during the working process. Marcos says: «I rely mostly on my ability in drawing, so I am very much inclined to improvise at the moment I cut the paper». The result is a vivid and impressive piece of art, flat or folded card shaped.

Cut-out design jungle on a single canson ocher sheet, folded into three overlapping layers, to suggest depth. Unfolded (left) and folded (right).

Garcúa’s main influence in cut-out paper design comes from the Japanese masters – at the age of eleven, Marcos was able to reproduce some intricate models from Masahiro Chatani’s architectural origami books. Marcos grew up surrounded by an eclectic library at his home, with all sorts of books on literature, art, mythology and nature, from which he took early inspiration. He soon became an avid reader, a passion which provides him with lots of enjoyment and an intense inner world to feed imagination.

Cut-out desigv tiger on tricolor canson sheets. «novum plus» insert cover devoted to the annual conference «Creative paper». «novum» design magazine, 10/10 issue, Munich, Oct. 2010.

Garcúa’s cut-out designs shown primarily wildlife motifs –a recurrent theme that appeals him particularly– and were done as individual works and isolated for the sake of doing them. Marcos intends to make a coherent series to tell a story of him, or even to illustrate some of the inspiring stories read in his books

Expressed that way it seems to be a distant project and even linked to the territory of fantasy. Hopefully at some point it become into reality, to enjoy in a not-so-distant future– of these promised wonders, masterfully traced out by his singular pencil-cutter.

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First published in magazine design «novum», 10/10 issue, Munich, October 2010.

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Victor Garcia

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Portrait of Joaquin Varas
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Joaquin Varas
Feb 2014

This is really compelling work, one has to wonder about the great amounts of time the author has passed practicing this technique. I really enjoy the fact, that this designer in particular not only possesses the right amount of dexterity needed for this feats, but hones his cultural sensibility while working on his pieces. If he has any guides on creating this kind of work, I would be happy to study them for a while. I send you my best regards.

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