design magazine

system and creativity, logic and freedom

bamboo was an architecture / design lifestyle monthly magazine.

i headed the design for all the publication’s life, managing the team and all its outputs; from the 65 printed issues to side projects, websites, videos, social media, merch, etc.

naturally the design evolved and changed along the years, but i think what defined bamboo’s design language was something present in the very first brief from publisher clarissa schneider: a tension between minimalism and exuberance, rigor and joy, masculine and feminine.

and this can always be seen in the way we used a grid with square fields, frequently highlighting the square in the page, but also breaking it all the time with cutouts, monumental type and still images.


design direction


design direction






alice viggiani, bruno araújo, carolina bagulho, deborah salles, ilana tschiptschin, laura nakel, sara griesler, tânia helou


alice viggiani, bruno araújo, carolina bagulho, deborah salles, ilana tschiptschin, laura nakel, sara griesler, tânia helou

the very varied covers

from the very beginning (ok, actually after totally loosing control over the cover of the first issue!) i pushed for the magazine to have structurally different covers each month.

if this month we used a conventional full sized color picture, next month i would try a mosaic of small images, or an illustration, a technical drawing, a type-first solution, etc.

i think this varied ensemble contributed a lot to the somewhat easy feel we wanted to give to bamboo, and to differentiate it from any other magazine in the newsstand.

annual 2013 raises the bar

each february bamboo published a special annual edition with twice the number of pages and lots of architecture / interior design projects.

as with the covers, i felt the first one was such a missed opportunity that i put a lot of effort on the following ones; 2013 marked this new direction.

the annual was thoroughly designed as an integral piece around the theme of the year itself and the passage of time:

the silver printed dust jacket with retangular cutouts reveals the hue gradient as solid colors in the cover; while the gradient side unfolds as a poster / calendar;

each color bar from the cover reappears as a title color in the published projects and as a horizontal silver band that goes down from the top to the bottom of the page as the volume progresses.

this issue won the if communication design award and was a highlight in the brazilian graphic design biennial of 2013.

annuals and calendars

the success of the 2013 annual stablished the special design of the annual and the poster calendar as a tradition.

as the first calendar was based on the sun, in the following years we designed a lunar calendar; one drawn on top of a geometric map (using tropics and equator to indicate seasons); and lastly one based on the path of the earth relative to the center of the galaxy.

these were fun, data-driven projects that allowed the team to drift a bit from the day to day layout work and also served as starting points for the special design of the annual itself.

‘espaço em obra’ column

one section that grew in importance was guilherme wisnik’s column, ‘espaço em obra’ (space at work).

wisnik’s reflexive, critical writing led us to progressively abandon the use of images to merely illustrate the matter been discussed and instead use whatever graphic means we could to visually express some of the underlying concepts.

this led to some non-obvious layouts, sometimes poetic, others polemic… that frequently would only make their complete sense during the reading of the text.

eventually his essays were published as a book, and he invited me to co-author it, recreating the visual interpretations of the texts.

it was published by sesc editora and made it to the finals of prêmio jabuti, check it out here!

the final sprint

sometime in 2015 a budget cut ended with the pantone color that changed every month and marked bamboo.

in 2016 we proposed a major revision of the design with a reinstalling of the pantone, but now only on the cover and one single signature, the central 16 pages; we also revised the colors, exploring more the neon and metallic palettes.

these simple changes led to a really stimulating phase: the central 16 pages became the heart of each issue, concentrating the main features; also, the scarcity of the pantone color led us to a much more exuberant and experimental use in the pages it was available, frequently overlapping it with cmyk colors to get even richer results.

overall, bamboo was an incredible ride and i am deeply thankful for it. it taught me a ton about design and print, but also about deadlines, errors, managing designers and stakeholders, communicating a vision and inspiring a team around it, and above all about the power of small improvements month after month, issue after issue.

bamboo’s design was recognized in multiple graphic design biennials in brazil, the society for news design in the usa and the if communication design award in germany. it was also instrumental in attracting talent, content and advertising.