«I did various conventional graphic design projects for different clients, until I realised that my focus was to reinvent our culture, all that day-to-day stuff, to breathe new life into it, in a new format.»
«Ever since I started working in prisons, I’ve discovered another side to things – the social aspect. Realising that my work could contribute to improving people’s lives a little, makes the project more important and humanises the objects.»
Her story with Esporão also involves a social aspect.
«Talking to Eduardo Aires, from White Studio, and Esporão’s former marketing director, Filipe Caetano, we spoke about working together. At the time, they really liked my cadernos-escama (scaly notebooks), which were made by inmates, and they challenged me to adapt the concept for Esporão.»
Soon after, there was an order for the Esporão 2015 diary cover. Madalena visited Herdade do Esporão to redesign the concept to suit the Esporão identity.
«I went to see Herdade do Esporão and their production surplus. Then I redesigned the concept to suit Esporão’s identity, with the traditional Alentejo blanket pattern. We did a limited edition, where each diary was unique and physically reflected wine labels, wine tourism menus, discontinued graphic objects that were part of the brand’s history. It’s nice to think that, in addition to re-using Esporão’s surplus material, I also extended the life of graphic design created by other designers, in this case, White Studio. Other people’s design ends up being my raw material.»
«I’ve always wanted to participate in the Big Day, and this year, finally, it was possible. I really wanted to have a more creative presence and when I was talking to a friend, he thought that it would be fun to make a kind of ‘piñata’. We laughed and I thought about the idea and how it would be interesting to make it out of waste, with toys inside, also thinking about reusing materials from the Herdade, and that this could be done in a workshop. I talked about my idea and everyone loved it and challenged me to do something bigger for the children’s area. Thinking about the canopy, the papier machê heads, the workshop, while including Portuguese traditions, which is my trademark. I mixed my world with Esporão’s and created a canopy with paper flowers, transporting us to the Flower Festival, and another one with flags made from scraps of Esporão labels. Finally, the children’s workshops, where everyone constructed their papier machê head, once again, combining graphic materials from Esporão with the children’s fresh and hilarious imagination. It was great.»
«I put my heart and soul into it, so that the result would be how I imagined it. First, I shared work among prisons. The inmates of the Viana do Castelo Prison made the incredible montage of 6,000 paper flowers. Those from Paços de Ferreira did the flags made of labels and some of the toys. While, the GAF Workshops were already doing the 40 cabeçudos for the workshops and then a lot of studio work. I’ve done many cabeçudos but never for a ‘piñata’, it was interesting to create. With the help of a friend, we made 300 toys. Always in different locations, but it was a great team effort.»
One week before the Big Day, with all the materials ready, Madalena moved lock, stock and barrel to Herdade do Esporão.
A big week that only ended at the end of the party. It was months of preparation that resulted in an inspiring place for children to play, learn and be creative. During the Big Day, Madalena was involved in the workshops and activities with the children and her expectations were met.
Thank you, Madalena.