Celebrating: Dulce Cruz, Freelance Designer in Porto.

How would you introduce yourself in five words?
I’m an enthusiastic, curious, creative woman.

What do you prefer to do when it comes to design?
As a graphic designer my passion is small special editions. I prefer projects where I’m able to focus on the story I have to tell and create non obvious connections creating unique narrative and visual effect rather than worrying about mass commercial objectives or selling points. Limited edition editorial and packaging design are a perfect vehicle for both celebration and effective language.

“Cities like Porto and Lisbon are changing fast, and the culture now is fast-forward-thinking. But it is precisely old knowledge from art and crafts and new insights from modernity that balance our creativity.”

What is the best compliment your work has ever received?
It always makes me very happy when people acknowledge my ability to create a good visual story with the objects I design.

What designer do you most admire and why?
Talking about women I would obviously refer Ellen Lupton and Paula Scher for their influence in my way of thinking as a designer. Lately I’ve been in awe with the work of a young Japanese designer Ruohong Wu, whose books reflect on cultural differences and social changes through abstract graphic exercises.

What would your advice be to a young designer?
Quoting the Portuguese philosopher Agostinho da Silva, I would advise any designer: “Originality is of no interest. Truth is”.

Is there such a thing as Portuguese design?
Portugal being such an old country has a strong character. The same happens to its inhabitants. I think the sea and poetry define us and everything we do, but I’m not sure how that reflects in Portuguese design. What I know is that Portuguese design is not picturesque, neither about women with moustaches, traditional patterns or dances. Cities like Porto and Lisbon are changing fast, and the culture now is fast-forward-thinking. But it is precisely old knowledge from art and crafts and new insights from modernity that balance our creativity. This is more obvious in industrial design but happens also in graphic design, and you can find it in small studios or foundries work all over the country.

“I believe man look for visibility more than women. While for men the success is a social achievement, women tend to take it more personally.”

Is there such a thing as Feminine design?
I’m not interested in such thing as Feminine design. Being a woman is just a detail of myself. My sensibility is made of my personal history, much more than my female genes.

What is it like being a woman in the design business?
I worked at three different medium scale design agencies for ten years and I’ve never felt any discrimination for being a woman, but I’ve seen it happening recently towards pregnant women and mothers. I guess maternity is often frowned upon. I’m pregnant but as a freelancer I’m lucky enough to be free to adjust my schedule and replan my life.

Is the visibility of your work attached to a sense of achievement? Why?
I believe man look for visibility more than women. While for men the success is a social achievement, women tend to take it more personally. It is very personal and it happens when I feel like I’ve done my best.

If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
I would be a writer (but never a copywriter).

If music was the food of love, what would you eat?
Healthy ingredients from all over the world, classical recipes and lots of local fresh artists.

Where can we find you and your work?
My studio is now located in Porto, and my work is occasionally collected here: cargocollective.com/dulcecruz