Maria Diamantes’ Visual Dictionary

by Laia Gil,

El diccionario ilustrado de Maria Diamantes | itfashion.com

Clara Mercader was born in Santa Coloma de Farners and came to Barcelona at age 19 to study graphic design. She studied in the school Groc and completed internships in various graphic design studios. She took a master course of Advertisement Strategies in the school Elisava and started working in the advertisement agency Schackleton as a creative and art director. She created the blog Maria Diamantes on the side and uploaded her designs and drawings on it. The blog rose in fame  until the point that Clara has much work with missions that came from the blog. She could not combine both jobs and thus decided to launch herself into the adventure of the Maria Diamantes brand.

El diccionario ilustrado de Maria Diamantes | itfashion.com

She now presents her first book “Barcelona Visual by Maria Diamantes” in which she illustrates icons of Barcelona achieving to capture the identity and the character of the city as converted into the symbol of design. Barcelona Visual has the peculiarity of publishing two very different formats: the book and the case of 30 postcards ready to be sent by post. Barcelona Visual by Maria Diamantes will be presented on Thursday 10th of July at the Antigua Fábrica de Estrella Damm with the presence of the author, the journalist Bibiana Ballbè and the architect Marc Cuixart. 

El diccionario ilustrado de Maria Diamantes | itfashion.com

Where did the name Maria Diamantes come from? 

The name Maria Diamantes actually started as a joke. One night I went to party at Razzmatazz with my friends. A friend always put me on the list in order to enter. Instead of writing my real name, he put me down on that night as Maria Rubies. And the whole night we were joking about the name Rubies (ruby), diamonds, emerald… The next day, I registered myself into Fotolog using the name Maria Diamantes, reminding myself of the night before.

Every time I tell this story, I feel like I should invent a better anecdote, but things something happen where you least expect them to. My brand was born out of joke!

Where did the idea of Barcelona Visual come from?

Last summer I was in New York for three months with my partner Conrad Roset. When we were there, we thought it would be nice to have a project about New York as a city. Since I was learning new words every day, I thought that I could fabricate an illustrated dictionary using the words that I learnt, but many times the concepts were almost impossible to draw. That I how I shook the idea of a dictionary and started drawing elements of the city that I liked.

When I came back from the trip, I considered the project again, but this time on the topic of the city that I know best – Barcelona. I investigated the most interesting icons of Barcelona and created the color range for the project. I tried to create graphic coherence so that all had the same elements, unifying them in this way. With the first ones that I did, I went to the editorial Lunwerg and suggested the Barcelona Visual project to them: a small book of postcards with the most famous icons of Barcelona. Lunwerg loved the project and suggested to me to create a pack with the postcards and the book. When they announced this to me, I could not believe it.

What do we encounter in Barcelona Visual? 

The idea is to present a set of images that define Barcelona, all the while showing different environments, not only the architectural, but also touching upon many identities and characters. Through this process the Barcelona architect Marc Cuixart helped me a lot. With him, we investigate many fields: architecture, sculptures, design, urban interior design, flora, and gastronomy. Every illustration is accompanied by a text by Mariano Veloy in which the characteristics of the icons are explained.

El diccionario ilustrado de Maria Diamantes | itfashion.com

How did the process of selecting the icons go about?

The selection was difficult because I made 79 designs. I went to Marc Cuixart’s house and I deployed them all on the table. We made groups and included the icons within those groups. Okay, we have architecture covered. Gastronomy, covered. Sculptures, complete. We kept on adding and deleting, until we had the 50 selected. The selection was also mainly done by affinity, not as much by importance or by being a more known element.

Many people helped me to chose icons that appear in the book, the editorial, my friends, my parents… Amongst all, we ended up chosing the icons of Barcelona that every one had in mind.

There are 50 icons in the book and 30 icons in the post cards. Which one is your favorite?

I have a few. It is hard to chose just one. The playa, for example, is one of my favorites because it is ultraminimal. I was scared to show it as I might have passed for minimalistic but everybody liked it. The gamba and the sardina, because I like giving value to such insignificant things. The cesta, because I love the design of the cesta lamp of Miguel Milá. I like the gato of Botero because I costed me a lot of work producing it. I did not know how to capture the voluptuousness of the sculpture. In the end, I did it using shades and lights.

El diccionario ilustrado de Maria Diamantes | itfashion.com

Can you explain the process of creation of the illustrations?

I think of which icon to draw and document myself with photographs.Some I would only think about, and imagine how they would be drawn. For instance, the banco-farol of Passeig de Gracia, everybody imagines it from the perspective in which I have drawn it. The hard work was how to synthesize the whole interior of the watermarks and wrought iron that adorn the lamppost. Most of the icons have this background work of synthesizing. I like that everything is very pure, very simple.

Where do you get your inspiration from or what are your references when making your illustrations? 

Charley Harper is an illustrator that I love. He is an american illustrator who draws animals and objects with very geometric forms by hand, without any computer.  It is very good to see the exercise of extracting that he does in order to draw the animals and concepts that he wants you to see and experience.

The process of synthesizing and extracting the purity of a form is very difficult. How do you achieve it? 

They always ask me: what are you? illustrator or designer? Well, I don’t know. I have not been able to define myself yet as I am in the middle. It is like my brain grew to extract synthesis in my first studies of graphic design already. I like to say much with little. It is my objective.

El diccionario ilustrado de Maria Diamantes | itfashion.com

Slogan to sell your book to a tourist. 

It is a book which aims at making the citizens of Barcelona proud and making the visitors fall in love.

It would be an honor to run into a tourist one day with the book in hands, using it as a guide to get to know the city: Today, I have to eat sardines in Barceloneta, make the vermuth on Sunday morning, visit the Fundacio Miro, walk through the gardens

Which adjectives describe this book? 

Colorful, fresh, and delicate.

Future projects? Maybe a Barcelona Visual 2? 

Barcelona Visual is part of a major project, called Visual Cities. In it, I will illustrate different cities of the world. Always following the scheme of Barcelona Visual: illustration of the icon, the name and a small explanation. I will probably change the color range because London does not have the same color as Sidney, but they will a have similar graphic coherence.

It is possible to create a big collection of books, plates, cushions, posters… With these icons of Barcelona and other cities of the world. I am now creating the web de this great project www.visual-cities.com  and I would like to travel and draw other cities. I think that the next one might be Hong-Kong. That’s what I have in mind.

El diccionario ilustrado de Maria Diamantes | itfashion.com El diccionario ilustrado de Maria Diamantes | itfashion.com El diccionario ilustrado de Maria Diamantes | itfashion.com El diccionario ilustrado de Maria Diamantes | itfashion.com El diccionario ilustrado de Maria Diamantes | itfashion.com

itfashion.com utiliza cookies. Si sigues navegando entendemos que aceptas nuestra política de cookies. Más Información

POLITICA DE COOKIES Cookie es un fichero que se descarga en su ordenador al acceder a determinadas páginas web. Las cookies permiten a una página web, entre otras cosas, almacenar y recuperar información sobre los hábitos de navegación de un usuario o de su equipo y, dependiendo de la información que contengan y de la forma en que utilice su equipo, pueden utilizarse para reconocer al usuario.. El navegador del usuario memoriza cookies en el disco duro solamente durante la sesión actual ocupando un espacio de memoria mínimo y no perjudicando al ordenador. Las cookies no contienen ninguna clase de información personal específica, y la mayoría de las mismas se borran del disco duro al finalizar la sesión de navegador (las denominadas cookies de sesión). La mayoría de los navegadores aceptan como estándar a las cookies y, con independencia de las mismas, permiten o impiden en los ajustes de seguridad las cookies temporales o memorizadas. Sin su expreso consentimiento –mediante la activación de las cookies en su navegador– itfashion.com no enlazará en las cookies los datos memorizados con sus datos personales proporcionados en el momento del registro o la compra. ¿Qué tipos de cookies utiliza esta página web? - Cookies técnicas: Son aquéllas que permiten al usuario la navegación a través de una página web, plataforma o aplicación y la utilización de las diferentes opciones o servicios que en ella existan como, por ejemplo, controlar el tráfico y la comunicación de datos, identificar la sesión, acceder a partes de acceso restringido, recordar los elementos que integran un pedido, realizar el proceso de compra de un pedido, realizar la solicitud de inscripción o participación en un evento, utilizar elementos de seguridad durante la navegación, almacenar contenidos para la difusión de videos o sonido o compartir contenidos a través de redes sociales. - Cookies de personalización: Son aquéllas que permiten al usuario acceder al servicio con algunas características de carácter general predefinidas en función de una serie de criterios en el terminal del usuario como por ejemplo serian el idioma, el tipo de navegador a través del cual accede al servicio, la configuración regional desde donde accede al servicio, etc. - Cookies de análisis: Son aquéllas que bien tratadas por nosotros o por terceros, nos permiten cuantificar el número de usuarios y así realizar la medición y análisis estadístico de la utilización que hacen los usuarios del servicio ofertado. Para ello se analiza su navegación en nuestra página web con el fin de mejorar la oferta de productos o servicios que le ofrecemos. - Cookies publicitarias: Son aquéllas que, bien tratadas por nosotros o por terceros, nos permiten gestionar de la forma más eficaz posible la oferta de los espacios publicitarios que hay en la página web, adecuando el contenido del anuncio al contenido del servicio solicitado o al uso que realice de nuestra página web. Para ello podemos analizar sus hábitos de navegación en Internet y podemos mostrarle publicidad relacionada con su perfil de navegación. - Cookies de publicidad comportamental: Son aquéllas que permiten la gestión, de la forma más eficaz posible, de los espacios publicitarios que, en su caso, el editor haya incluido en una página web, aplicación o plataforma desde la que presta el servicio solicitado. Estas cookies almacenan información del comportamiento de los usuarios obtenida a través de la observación continuada de sus hábitos de navegación, lo que permite desarrollar un perfil específico para mostrar publicidad en función del mismo. Cookies de terceros: La Web de itfashion.com puede utilizar servicios de terceros que, por cuenta de itfashion.com, recopilaran información con fines estadísticos, de uso del Site por parte del usuario y para la prestacion de otros servicios relacionados con la actividad del Website y otros servicios de Internet. En particular, este sitio Web utiliza Google Analytics, un servicio analítico de web prestado por Google, Inc. con domicilio en los Estados Unidos con sede central en 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, California 94043. Para la prestación de estos servicios, estos utilizan cookies que recopilan la información, incluida la dirección IP del usuario, que será transmitida, tratada y almacenada por Google en los términos fijados en la Web Google.com. Incluyendo la posible transmisión de dicha información a terceros por razones de exigencia legal o cuando dichos terceros procesen la información por cuenta de Google. El Usuario acepta expresamente, por la utilización de este Site, el tratamiento de la información recabada en la forma y con los fines anteriormente mencionados. Y asimismo reconoce conocer la posibilidad de rechazar el tratamiento de tales datos o información rechazando el uso de Cookies mediante la selección de la configuración apropiada a tal fin en su navegador. Si bien esta opción de bloqueo de Cookies en su navegador puede no permitirle el uso pleno de todas las funcionalidades del Website. Puede usted permitir, bloquear o eliminar las cookies instaladas en su equipo mediante la configuración de las opciones del navegador instalado en su ordenador: Chrome Explorer Firefox Safari Si tiene dudas sobre esta política de cookies, puede contactar con itfashion.com en contact@itfashion.com

Close