Rita Matos is a Millenial to keep your typographic eyes on
Born and raised where she still resides, in the suburbs of Lisbon, Rita Matos is a graphic designer that fell in love with the letterform gradually. “I always had a strong instinct to write and draw like an idiot” she told us. “But I didn’t realize what typography was as a discipline until I was in design school” she adds. “To be fair, I just started exploring it in more than one ways. I guess we all get involved with typography at some level even if we don’t know what it really stands for”. Her portfolio is mindblowing, playful and skillful, feminine and masculine, bold and sleek so one has to wonder what this Lisboan will provide to our senses once she is fully bloomed.
Having graduated from Lisbon’s Faculty of Fine Arts only a year ago, she is a freshman -literally- so we had to know which typeface was her first love at first sight. “My relationship with typefaces is a passionate one. I guess I’m a curious person, I get bored pretty easily. So, this element in me keeps me searching for new things to use each and every time. I’m more interested in the idea that needs to be expressed, than in the typeface itself. However, whilst I was studying Communication Design where I had my first contact with what fonts really are all about, I remember over-using mostly Union, F Grotesque, Aperçu and similar ones”.
Matos is a Millenial that will not idolize people. “I do like different things about different people I got to study or discover. That goes from admiring both the precision and elegance of Tschichold and, at the same time, the playfulness of Weingart. I’m very interested in the use of typography in an art context, like in the case of Lawrence Weiner’s work or Ed Ruscha’s. I’m also fond of contemporary foundries like Radim Pesko, Colophon and Klim” she comments. When asked which she considers her first big break in graphic design and typography she answers earnestly. “I’m only 23 and I graduated no more than a year and an half ago. Even if I’ve been working as a graphic designer since, I think I couldn’t really say I have a “career” yet. I’m more at the beginning of one, which is both stressful and interesting. I’m driven by it”.
A woman that explores her limits is a woman with a bright future. “I always tend to hate most of the things I’ve done, it became a habit after some time, to be honest. There’s a lot of things in my portfolio I’m not that proud of but I’m trying to appreciate this process and to be more patient about it. Trial/Error… Trial/ Error…” But there is a project she likes most of all. “If I really have to choose a highlight of what I’ve done so far I would choose an exhibition called “Acto.3 – Márcio Nazareth” which was a tribute to the work and life of a deceased friend and classmate who was a great graphic designer. It had a particular interest for my personal relationship with it, but was also an enriching experience at a professional level. I worked with very little resources collaborating with all kinds of people to make it happen. It ended to be the most gratifying thing I’ve done so far, because I felt I could contribute with what I know about this weird thing called design. I helped creating something that was meaningful and interesting for those involved and those who got to see it. I think that’s the kind of thing that makes it worth. And it sure ended up being a challenge making an exhibition in an old out of commission gunpowder factory”.
“If I was a typographic symbol I would definitely be an interrogation point, or anything as confused as that”
Rita Matos is a weird youngster. “If I was a typographic symbol I would definitely be an interrogation point, or anything as confused as that” she told us. At 23, she is grounded and ready to explore the limits of her talented nature. “My short-term plan for the future is trying not to short circuit myself with the anxiety of trying to make too much plans and instead I try to focus on the now, as cliché as it may sound. When I eventually grow up I’m striving to be a person who would always have interesting things to do in life and to talk about” she adds. “I think the best way to end this conversation is definitely by making a very bad joke” she says. Well, the joke is definitely not on her.