Virgil Flores on his new fluid typeface DaVinci and moving towards a more physical design approach
Talking about the visual media that have influenced his work recently, Virgil says a big part of it is cinematography. Recently visiting the Rizzoli bookstore in New York, Virigle was particularly intrigued by More sex, better zen, faster balls, a book about “the stereotypical Hong Kong movie of the 80s and 90s, with crazy posters, movie names and Jackie Chan everywhere”. Along with this, he also fell in love with a “giant book” which focused on textless vintage Godzilla movie shots: “printed in black and white or red and black, the book had a beautiful blood color dark and a texture on the front edge of the book”.
This dual focus on film and publishing directly feeds into one of Virgile’s recent projects with fashion brand Maison Margiela. Tasked with creating a lookbook to present three of their collections, the book was a high-end printed object, with the intention of being an extension of the collection, “with a real aesthetic purpose, more than a functional vocation”. With this in mind, Virgile wanted the book to exist as a sort of “film sequel” to the collections. “It should work as part of the story and continue the conversation that the first film started with the audience. But it should also work well on its own, and come up with new questions to challenge the questions of the first film, while being very respectful of the original material,” says Virgile. Taking into account the objects and methods of the collection, Virgile included rounded holes, transparency and the multiplication of layers to create a truly dynamic publication.
Recently, Virgile worked with French music artist Oklou on a “graphic realm” for his debut mixtape, Galore. Virile decided to make a small illustration for each song and merge it with the text and a single font. And, to match the organic, natural nature of Oklou’s music, Virgile wanted the illustrations to look as natural as possible, “like they’re designed by branches and roots.” He continues: “When laid out, the whole thing looks super cohesive, but you can feel that you have something unique about each song. Made with fine white lines and detailed silhouettes on a black background, the end result is delicate and artful. So while Virgil has spent the last few years expanding his design work into other creative industries, he certainly hasn’t neglected his love of working with music.