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Creating “Cool” for Brands with Bruno Martinez

Artist is not a title that Bruno Martinez is particularly comfortable with; graphic designer is much more amenable to his sensibilities. Still, there’s no denying his creative mastery and application of it in today’s business and marketing world. It’s a good beginning point for a discussion about the application of artistic talent to commerce. Martinez in traditionally trained in the fine arts via respected institutions in Barcelona and the UK but he has always studied with the intention of utilizing his talent with practicality. That’s not to say he’s followed a dictated path; quite the opposite. Print, film, digital, all of these have been the means for Martinez to communicate something sincere and exceptional about the brands that he works with. Graphic Design requires a vast range of general and specific knowledge. In Bruno’s case, creative ingenuity and abundant art history knowledge combine with varied design tools in a very modern application. The result is an extremely well-rounded graphic designer who’s very in demand.

Insight 51 is one of the biggest names in Europe’s surf industry. Through their innovation and daring ethos, they’re known for big successful campaigns which last for years. The company’s Global Brand Director Stéphan Vinolo contacted Bruno who, as part of Insight Europe, was responsible for designing the full range of graphics for their summer collection. The company’s influence is very pronounced in Europe but Martinez focused on a global audience when creating visuals that would be viewed through social media and other far reaching digital outlets.

Proving his borderless style and perspective, film director Gabriel Novis suggested Dylan Roukous (co-founder and marketing manager) of Nectar Sunglasses seek out Bruno for the summer collection. The sunglasses company felt this particular designer was the perfect fit for their first clothing collection. Nectar wanted to inspire and encourage those who pursue their dreams. The goal was to empower “free thinkers” and embrace “risk takers.” Martinez combined a variety of exotic elements to communicate the idea that travel is about adventure and placing one’s self in settings quite contrary to the mundane.

When Bill’s Watches founder Julien Debroux reached out to Bruno, it was a direct result of the acclaim that the “Riding Together, Dying Alone” for Pukas. Debroux admits that he was struck by the campaign and wanted to infuse the same sense of “fresh and cool” to complement their classic collection. In particular, Bruno’s work with the company’s slapwatch (a watch which naturally wraps around one’s writs when “slapped” around it) was embraced by the public. You might not expect a graphic designer known for his work with daring brands to transfer his skill set so well to a classic brand like Bill’s Watches…and you’d be wrong to think so. Martinez hints at his process by stating, “I think a watch, more than any other accessory or item of clothing, can be a window into someone’s self-image. In researching how the design of a watch can tell about personality, I found an interesting psychological study carried out by the University of Lincoln (UK) which stated that those who wear watches regularly tend to be more conscientious, time conscious, and slightly more introverted. The kind of watch you wear is a cue to others about who you would like to be. Even not wearing a watch is a statement to others. This psychological approach relates to just about anything you choose to wear.”

Forcing himself out of his normal comfort zone is something Bruno Martinez not only welcomes but actively seeks out. He’s adamant that challenges are the twin to creativity. While many of us are worried about AI and automation replacing our livelihood, Bruno relaxes with the confidence that there has not been an artificial creative algorhythm that discovers what the human mind and spirit finds appealing.

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