9 Best Creatives from Portugal

At Shillington, we love to explore and celebrate great design from around the world. We’ve covered many different countries so far and are now exploring the creative scene in Portugal. It’s the oldest country in Europe and the official language in 9 countries! Portugal reminds us of the beautiful colourful tiles, fado folk songs and sweet port wine. There’s plenty to inspire creatives in Portugal with design-centric cities like Lisbon and Porto, plus the endless days of sunny weather and closeness to the ocean, making it Europe’s top surfing destination.

We narrowed down our list of Portuguese creatives to our nine best. The list features illustration, poster design, handcrafted objects, typeface design, restaurant branding and more. Read on to see who made the list!

1. Sofia Ayuso

Sofia Ayuso

Sofia Ayuso is a Lisbon based visual designer and illustrator. She’s done work for companies small and large, ranging from TAP Air Portugal to Universal Music and a tattoo parlor. Influenced by the 90s and millenial pink, her vibrant and pastel colours can be seen in the illustration work that merges expressive and minimalist elements featuring drawings and doodles over portraits. In the line portrait series, she takes inspiration from celebrities to recreate vector-based illustrations from photos, as well as taking commissions for line-based portraits. For hospitality clients, she used her illustration skills to create adorable icons for an airline, hotels and a restaurant.

2. Beatriz Pinta Gama

Beatriz Pinta Gama

Beatriz Gama goes by “Pinta”, a communication designer from Lison who specialises in editorial, branding, typography and print. Some of the cool projects she’s worked on ranged from poster design promoting Brutalist movement homes in Brazil to a fashion catalogue showcasing Paris-based couture. We were particularly drawn to the self-initiated poster series Colour Is. The purpose of the project was to show how colour is used in design to convey a message, being one of the many tools used as part of the creative process.

3. Oupas Design

Oupas Design

Oupas Design is comprised of three lady designers who are obsessed with cats and handcrafted objects. In their work, they focus on ecological and sustainable practices, working solely with paper and cardboard for creating beautifully crafted objects. Their motto is “Let’s do it” (oupas in Portugese) and since launching the studio in Porto 5 years ago, they’ve been creating paper-based crafts for a wide range of projects from packaging to an arts festival and clothing brands. For the Galeiras jewelry brand, they built a paper cacti garden to display the jewelry from the collection.

4. Rafael Serra

Rafael Serra

The lettering artist and type designer Rafael Serra or “FAEL” hails from Porto and has a deep love for craft. He’s freelanced for tons of agencies like Gen Design Studio, Label Brand Studio, Triple Atelier, Young & Rubicam Lisboa and Hi-Interactive. His typographic work been featured in several publications, including Yearbook of Type 2019/20, Computer Arts, The Washington Post, Abduzeedo, Designerd and Domestika. Each typeface has its own unique style and personality with no two alike. The striking Barcelona lettering piece along with many others from the series can be found in his collection of work that he created for self-initiated projects and clients.

5. Savvy Agency

Savvy Agency

The design and content development agency, Savvy started out in 2013 in Lisbon. Since then, they’ve developed varied brand identities for restaurants, cafes, a wine brand and more. For Home Sweet Sushi, the studio created a kids menu with a new packaging design that exuded playfulness, taking inspration from the way children use their hands to eat.

6. Uppertype

Uppertype

With a background in branding, Pedro Lobo combined his passions for lettering, type and graphic design to launch his business. Uppertype is an independent studio from Porto started in 2011 with the intention of providing affordable high-quality display fonts that have a uniqueness in character and style. The Porto typeface was initially planned to be a part of a logo. Although it was not used for this intention, we still think this is a gorgeous display typeface with so much personality! Be sure to check out all of Pedro’s typefaces and see if one of them can be fitting for your next branding project?

7. Adamastor Studio

Adamastor Studio

Adamastor is an illustration studio based in Lisbon founded by Pedro Semeano and Susana Diniz. The name comes from Portuguese mythology, based on a mythological creature Adamastor who represents the obstacles we encounter and the infinite possibilities of our potential. The studios’ style utilises vibrant colour palettes in high-spirited illustrations adding a distinctive character to each project. For UrHome Portugal, they partnered with the agency Illusive Creative to develop a visual series, designing scenarios and characters to be used in the film for the real estate agency. The end result was a collection of fun illustrations showing snapshots of different activities in cities—plus the animation really brought the artwork to life!

8. Rita Matos

Rita Matos

The art director and designer Rita Matos is a designer and art director that works for New Studio in Lisbon. As part of her creative practice, she works with clients on helping with their design challenges and developing brand identities. She developed the Discotexas music label visual identity for the electronic dance scene. Through the visual system and bold typography, the purpose was to evoke infinite possibilities of individual expression in DIY ethos.

9. Fatinha Ramos

Fatinha Ramos

Fatinha Ramos is originally from Portugal but currently Antwerp based. After working as an art director for over ten years, she followed her passion and is now a full-time illustrator. She’s achieved much success with her work being shown internationally and appearing in the Society of Illustrators NY, 3×3, Communication Arts and more. The key connector to all of her work is a consistently strong concept and otherworldly scenes that you can see across the illustrations she’s done for posters, editorials, books and advertising. For the Women’s March project, the illustration was dedicated to all women who fight for their rights and she was awarded the Bronze Lion in Design for the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2017.

Want to see the full list of creatives around the world? The latest countries we covered in the series are Australia, Argentina, South Korea and Germany!

Feeling inspired? Check out our #ILoveTheseGuys series to discover more creative studios from around the world! Or become a graphic designer yourself—study design in three months full-time or nine months part-time in London, Manchester, New York, Sydney, Brisbane or Melbourne with Shillington.

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