EMAIL info(at)mariamontes(dot)net
PHONE +61 (0) 421 244 612
EMAIL info(at)mariamontes(dot)net
PHONE +61 (0) 421 244 612

About Maria Montes

Short Biography

I am a full-time freelance designer passionate about illustration and letterforms. Originally from Catalonia, I moved to Australia in 2006, where I currently reside.

In 2011 I studied a Postgraduate Course in Advanced Typography in Barcelona, and in 2012 a Typeface Design Condensed Program at Cooper Union in New York City.

In 2011 I co-founded a textile and print design studio called MarchTwentyTwo in collaboration with fashion designer Laura Piera. The studio is focused on art prints, limited edition scarves and other analog crafts.

Nowadays, I split my time between Melbourne and Barcelona working on custom lettering projects, illustration commissions, textile design and calligraphic personal development. I currently teach calligraphy workshops in Australia.

I am a proud member of the Typism community, AGDA, TDC,  Alphabettes, and YesEqual.

Values

I am a fun, passionate, perfectionist and positive human being. My personal and professional values are quality work, communication, collaboration, transparency, respect and trust.

I am an advocate of change, human rights, gender equality, green sustainability, ethical banking and LGBT+ supporter.

“To create something exceptional, your mindset must be relentlessly focused on the smallest details” Giorgio Armani.

Do and Dont’s

I specialise in logos, corporate identities, typography, lettering, calligraphy, textile design and illustration.

I don’t do wedding calligraphy or wedding stationery.

Selected Clients

Hardie Grant, Shillington College, The Cleverness, McCANN Melbourne, University of Melbourne, Inaria Luxury Brand Design, National Trust of Australia (Victoria), Australian Weaving Mills, Esprit, Megan Park, Country Road, Target Australia, Cotton On, Retro Print Revival, Chorus, Hew, Pappe, Australian Red Cross, Vip Style Magazine, Makedo, Queensland Health, Zara, Mango, Massimo Dutti and Uterqüe among others.

Audio & Video

Digital/Print Publications

Exhibitions

  • 2017. High Risk Dressing/Critical Fashion Group Exhibition. RMIT Design Hub, Melbourne
  • 2016. Yelp After Work Drink Party Group Exhibition. Work-shop Melbourne
  • 2015. Breaking The Ice Solo Exhibition. Nieuw Amsterdam, Melbourne
  • 2015. Supergraph Print Party Group Exhibition. Compound Interest, Melbourne
  • 2015. People Can Change Group Exhibition. Melbourne Arts Club Gallery
  • 2015. Pick Me Up London Group Exhibition represented by Supergraph Australia
  • 2015. Supergraph Group Exhibition. Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne
  • 2015. CATC Open Day Melbourne Lettering Club Collaborative Mural
  • 2014. Tone of Voice Group Exhibition. CATC College, Melbourne
  • 2013. Homage to Josep Maria Pujol Group Exhibition, Barcelona

Upcoming Workshops

Past Workshops

Education

  • 2017. Roman Capitals Calligraphy Workshop with Keith Adams. Saint Antoine l’Abbaye, France
  • 2016. TAE40110 Certificate IV in Training & Assessment, Melbourne
  • 2015. Celtic Calligraphy Workshop with Amanda Adams. Saint Antoine l’Abbaye, France
  • 2015. Italic Calligraphy Workshop with Keith Adams. Saint Antoine l’Abbaye, France
  • 2014. Fraktur Calligraphy Workshop with Amanda and Keith Adams. Saint Antoine l’Abbaye, France
  • 2013. Copperplate Calligraphy Workshop with Amanda Adams. Cal Franciscano, Barcelona
  • 2013. Expressive Roman Capitals Calligraphy Workshop with Keith Adams. Cal Franciscano, Barcelona
  • 2012. Condensed Program of Typeface Design at Type@Cooper. The Cooper Union, New York City
  • 2011. Postgraduate Course of Advanced Typography. Eina, School of Art & Design, Barcelona
  • 2011. Copperplate Calligraphy Workshop with Oriol Miró & Amanda Adams. Convent dels Àngels, Girona
  • 2003 – 2004. MA in User Experience Design (UID). Elisava, Barcelona School of Design and Engineering
  • 1996 – 2000. BA (Hons) Graphic Design. Eina, School of Art & Design, Barcelona

Work History

  • 2011 – Current: Freelance Designer and Illustrator
  • 2011 – Current: Co-founder of MarchTwentyTwo
  • 2014 – Current: Freelance Calligraphy Teacher
  • 2016 – 2016. Part Time Advanced Typography Teacher at Tractor Design School, Melbourne
  • 2015 – 2015. Part Time Advanced CAD Teacher at Melbourne Fashion Institute
  • 2007 – 2010. Full Time Senior Graphic Designer at ADS. Brisbane, Australia
  • 2005 – 2006. Full Time Senior Graphic Designer at Tangram. Blanes, Catalonia
  • 2004 – 2005. Full Time Senior Graphic Designer at Pixel BCN. Barcelona
  • 2000 – 2003. Full Time Junior Graphic Designer at Josep Bagà i Associats. Barcelona

A Long Bio About Myself

I am originally from Barcelona where I studied a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Graphic Design, graduating in 2000. That year I was offered a position as a graphic designer working with my teacher and renowned designer Josep Bagà. During my time working with Josep, I gained a lot of valuable experience in graphic design, page layout and typography.

I spent three years at Josep Baga i Associats, working mainly on editorial design and various marketing pieces (flyers, postcards, posters, pamphlets) for clients in the cultural and entertainment sector. Clients included Icaria Editorial, Espai Brossa Theatre, Macba (Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona) and CCCB (Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona).

We also regularly designed monthly programs for music venues such as Moog, La Boîte, Jamboree, Jazzroom and Tarantos and designed the yearly program and all signage throughout the building –from small flyers to giant posters on the exterior of the building– for the Liceu Barcelona Opera House.

Around 2001, the Internet became widespread in Spain. I initially had no knowledge on web design so I decided to finish my work with Josep and study a one-year intensive Masters Degree in User Experience Design at Elisava. The course focused on such things as processing, lingo, action script, information architecture, movement and sound sensors and pixel art.

The theme of my Masters degree was Metropolis, and my final project was the creation of software that detects free parking spots in the city, in real time through a mobile phone or panel in the car. This may be something that sounds quite familiar to us nowadays – but back in 2004, long before any iPhone appeared in our lives, I can say that my final project was somewhat like a vision of what is nowadays the operating system of shared cycling in Barcelona – and many other countries – through smart phone devices.

After I finished my Master’s Degree I started a new job as a full-time graphic designer. I worked for clients mainly in the sports sector, such as Nike, Vallnord and Intersport. During my time at Pixel I worked with two German designers, an Italian designer, a French designer and my art director was from Argentina. All of them spoke their native languages plus Spanish, Catalan and English. In short, this type of environment made me consider the option of traveling to another country, improving my English and also my portfolio.

In September 2006 I landed in Brisbane, and 3 months later I secured a company to sponsor me – as their lead graphic designer. Some of our clients during that time included governmental institutions such as Queensland Health and Queensland Police. We also worked for non-profit organizations, including the Australian Red Cross. Overall, this job gave me the opportunity of taking projects from beginning to end and assuming all decisions surrounding design, paper stock, production budgets and delivery datelines.

In 2010, as my Sponsorship Business Visa was nearing its end, I decided to go back to study. I felt that after 10 years in the graphic arts, it was a good moment for me to go back to the foundations. I consider typography the main tool for a graphic designer and I felt that I needed to upgrade my knowledge.

During my university years at Eina, we were taught the importance of calligraphy in the history of modern typography. I spent my first year learning calligraphy with Keith Adams, a great calligrapher, teacher and mentor. The experience was amazing, and since that time I have tried to keep writing as a form of personal development.

Knowing that Eina also offered a Postgraduate Course of Advanced Typography, and discovering the name of Keith Adams and calligraphy in the program, I decided to enrol for postgraduate study for 2011. During the course, I found out about an international type design competition called Miłosz 2011 and I decided to use the real briefing of the competition to develop my typeface design. Miłosz Italic was my first attempt at type design. The typeface is a work-in-progress project. I would like to mention and express my gratitude to my teachers and fantastic typeface designers for guiding me through the process of creating Miłosz Italic: Laura Meseguer, José Manuel Urós and Iñigo Jerez.

After the Postgraduate Course finished in July 2011, I moved to Melbourne, where I currently reside. I sent my ongoing typographic project to a few studios in Melbourne that caught my attention due to their typographic and editorial approach. Aaron Moodie –former co-founder of People Collective– kindly invited me to join an informal reunion of type aficionados. Thanks to Aaron I met a group of fantastic graphic artists, all of them with a common passion for typography, calligraphy and lettering. There, I learned for the first time about Type@Cooper. Troy Leinster was part of the first edition of the Cooper Condensed Program and he explained to me amazing stories about his experience. Troy gave me the courage to enrol in the course.

2011 was a fantastic year in my career, and I finished it by starting a completely new project. A fashion designer and friend, Laura Piera –who I met in Brisbane in 2006– offered me to collaborate with her on a project on textile prints. We started working together in mid-October 2011. Our work during that first month gave us very positive results so we decided to start a collaborative partnership called MarchTwentyTwo.

While I was working with Laura on our textile prints, I decided to send my application to Type@Cooper. In March 2012 I found out that I had been accepted into the course. Laura and I were really busy at that time undertaking many projects and getting on board new clients but I did not want to miss the opportunity of studying typeface design again so I took 6 weeks off work and moved to New York City.

Type@Coopper was a fantastic experience. It was a great learning curve professionally and personally. Being admitted at Cooper Union gave me the motivation to go back to my broad nib and expansion pens and start writing calligraphy as a daily exercise before our daily commissioned work.

At Type@Cooper I had the opportunity of developing my second typeface design called March 22. I thought it would be a good idea to create a unique typeface for our textile print projects. The typeface is another work-in-progress project.

I want to give special thanks to Jean François Porchez who taught me a way of hand drawing type design that I have applied (and continue to apply) to my textile prints and lettering work. I am eternally grateful for his help – now I approach textile drawings and lettering in a very similar way, combining both skills in my daily work.

After Type@Cooper I went to visit Laura (co-founder of MarchTwentyTwo) in Spain. We had the first face to face business meeting since we started our collaboration almost nine months before.

Working from home in solitude throughout most of the day, whilst learning independently how to become a textile designer were the biggest challenge I have ever faced in my career. I can now say that being alone has given me the opportunity to hear my inner voice and get to know myself a lot better.

After one and a half years working from my bedroom I decided to move to a co-working space. Everything after that has become a lot easier for me. From 2013 to mid 2014 I worked at Magic Johnston in Fitzroy. I currently work at Rotson Studios where I also teach calligraphy.

Drawing, typography, lettering and calligraphy are my passion and the best tools for me as a designer to communicate. I feel that the more I understand how to use these tools, the better designer I will become.

 

Rotson Studios (Fitzroy), Melbourne 2015.
Photograph by Peter Tarasiuk