Sometimes Always

A spotlight on Sometimes Always with 8 questions and our favourite pieces.

Sometimes Always is a graphic design practice working between São Paulo and Berlin but acting internationally. The studio was born in Brazil out of the intersection between graphic design, music and architecture. Founded in 2012 by Gabriel Finotti as an output for creativity and experimentation, the project has evolved into a design studio and publisher. Sometimes Always provides graphic design, art direction, branding, web, editorial and environmental design for institutions, businesses and individuals. The studio concentrates on creating intelligent design based on research, practice and collaboration.

Do you remember the moment you knew you wanted to become a designer?

(This is Gabriel answering the questions). I went to Architecture and Urbanism school and during my first semester at university I was in the library and got in touch with two books that throned the first light into graphic design in my life: Grid Systems by Müller-Brockmann (my very first contact with helvetica) and SMLXL by Rem Koolhaas and Bruce Mau. Both books had a huge influence in my choices from then on. I was fascinated with the fact that putting typography and images together and organising data was actually a job, a profession, graphic design. At the same time I got my first interning opportunity inside the marketing department of a landscape architecture studio. There I was introduced to Adobe Photoshop and Indesign. I was never a computer aficionado, I wasn’t discovering these platforms myself as a teenager, I wasn’t designing flyers for teenage bands or stuff like that. Anyway, the moment I started using Indesign, I was 100% sure that I would never again use Autocad.  

Did you go to design school? Do you think it was necessary to get to where you are today?

I didn’t go to a design school. My bachelor degree is in Architecture and Urbanism and my master degree is in Publishing. I think the architecture school definitely shaped my perception of layouts, compositions, etc. We had classes in subjects that are surely helpful to any applied arts, such as art history, semiotics and drawing. The publishing master on the other hand wasn’t really focused on graphic design itself but all the aspects of an editorial project as a whole such as history of publishing, types of finishing, binding, financing, business plan, etc. 
I think that everything I learnt in these two very different schools is very helpful to what I do today with my work. However, I do believe that curiosity, proactivity, research and practice are what helps me the most ever since I started. My master thesis is called “Beyond Publishing: Content Creation as a Gateway to Creative Activities” and it is basically focused on how DIY publishing can open doors to the creative market. There are many examples of this, not just inside graphic design. If you think of famous cases like Vice or It’s Nice That, they both started as publishing projects but later evolved into agencies, consultancies, etc. 

Who is your favorite designer right now?

Actual Source. 

What is your all time favorite font?

Helvetica. And I am not ashamed of that at all haha. It is the perfect typeface. 

What is your method of getting out of a designers block?

Can you describe your ideal working environment?

1. A good briefing where the client knows the essence of the project, knows what she wants to communicate and knows its true purpose. 
2. A decent time frame where we have the right time to work on each step of the project
3. A good and transparent communication with mutual respect (no afterwork calls, messages or things like that)
4. And if the project is also within a subject that interests us, that’s like paradise. 

Some of our Favorites

What advice would you have given yourself 3 years ago?

Oh, so many hahaha. See your loved ones much more often, travel more, party more… Just stay outside and meet people and discover places as much as you can. Do more sports. Don’t buy the new MacBook Pro… This list could go on forever.

What is the greatest challenge you have faced in your career so far? How did you overcome it?

I guess the greatest challenge in every creative career is to remain loyal to what you believe and stay strong to your morals. That means not to work with people with wrong ideas, get involved with projects that have a bad impact on the society and the environment… Also to resist trends and styles of the moment. These are all very hard things to do because at the end of the day you need to pay your bills and a freelancer / independent studio life is always very volatile. You never know if next month you will have a project or not so it is hard to resist all the market temptations. What helps me do that is to stay grounded as much as possible and don’t get too distracted by the peaks because the lows will come too. So I try to make the studio structure very light and mobile. 

Want more info on Sometimes Always?

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Violaine & Jeremy
Type Foundry

They design fonts like they would design everything else: with their own artistic gesture and sensibility.

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