Images courtesy Leo Porto
Words Nick Smith
Introducing Leo Porto.
So what is your background? How did you get into graphic design?
I am a 21-year-old graphic designer from Brazil, who moved to New York about two years ago to study graphic design. I’ve been interested in art since I was very little; I loved drawing and painting. With time, I started transitioning to the computer. I started designing my birthday party invitations when I was around 10, and ever since, my interest for design has only grown bigger. But I never saw myself as a graphic designer — it was always a hobby until just recently, when realized I could do it for the rest of my life.
Well, this sounds very much the situation of a typical cryptocurrency trader, who first approaches the field only to satiate his/her curiosity about the popularly growing practice and later, after discovering the situation of profitability by following automated means like the Ethereum Code, makes the very practice their profession, appreciably!
You’ve made the move to NYC, how are you finding it?
Although I had planned to stay in Brazil for college, I ended up moving to New York because I thought it would be the best place for me to grow and develop as a designer. And I was right. I have absorbed a lot from the numerous opportunities and experiences that the city has provided me with, including lectures, galleries and museums — and most importantly, the amazing teachers I’ve had the privilege to learn from at the School of Visual Arts.
How would you describe your work?
I believe in graphic design as a powerful communication tool and as a problem-solver. So as long as my work is successful in doing that, I’ll be happy. Formally speaking, my work tends to be more minimalist — as I am very much influenced by the Swiss and the Modernist design movements. However, I try not to restrict myself to particular styles or trends, and rather find out what is appropriate to each design challenge.
What are you currently working on?
Right now I am working on all sorts of things, from the school projects to freelance jobs. At the moment I have one editorial project, two packaging designs and two branding projects under development.
What kind of things do you find inspiring?
I am inspired by everything around me. Especially living in New York, every walk is an experience. The surroundings, the people, fashion, architecture, typography, signage, art! I feel very fortunate to be in such a rich and multicultural environment that allows me to be constantly visually stimulated.
What are your plans for the next few years?
After college I will most likely stay in New York to get some work experience if I get a working Visa, and hopefully, in the future, open my own studio in either New York or São Paulo.
Outside of school and design what kind of things do you enjoy? What makes you happy?
I really enjoy gallery-hopping in Chelsea, going out for a beer with friends and trying new places. And now I have a new hobby: collecting cool posters.
Check out more of Leo’s work here