Artist Spotlight: Birgit Palma
Her geometric work catches eyes with color and details
Birgit Palma is an illustrator and type designer whose stunning lettering design and surrealist compositions are explorations of color, geometry, and optical illusion. As the founder of her own studio, Birgit has designed for major international brands like Nike, Coca-Cola, and Diesel. Originally from Austria, she now creates and teaches in Barcelona.
We sat down with Birgit to learn more about her creative style, her use of Adobe Stock, and how she is redefining concepts of identity through her designs.
Birgit, tell us a little bit about yourself and your creative background.
I’m a passionate multidisciplinary illustrator and lettering addict from Austria. For the last eight years, I’ve been working and living in Barcelona, Spain.
How would you describe your artistic style?
I’d describe my style as a very playful and imaginative one. I love crafting at the sweet spot between avant-garde design, illustration, and lettering. I also fall for surrealist, op art, and abstract geometry.
I like illustration because I feel it opens your eyes on a different level. You can express what can’t be pictured in everyday life, and the impossible is always just a doorstep away.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I am a huge fan of old school masters of arts like Dali, Vasarely, and Escher. Just by observing their works intensely you learn a lot about shape, composition, and their view of the world.
I also get inspiration from literature. Maybe because it’s written words without pictures, so I can fill the void with my imagination.
Also, I have to admit, I often stumble across my inspiration in the everyday world.
What music do you listen to while working?
I just listen to anything that comes along the way. That can go from salsa, to indie pop to tiki music. Currently I’m listening to P.I.M.P. from 50 Cent.
As you know, this month on the blog, we’re talking about how concepts of identity are changing. How is this trend impacting you and your work?
To observe the concept of identity and its change over the last decade is a very interesting thing. Identity is no longer about limitations and stereotyped simplicity. It’s about embracing diversity and working with it. I have the same feeling in design — it merges constantly and develops hundreds of new ways of expression.
I think it’s a part of our responsibility to react and enhance this transition in individuality. I’m curious about what the future brings!
You created an amazing illustration for us based on the theme of the fluid self. How did you approach the topic?
I tried to find an element that represents identity as a set of ever-changing ideas and transitions. I liked the idea of using a Rubik’s Cube to show the eternal possibilities of identities. The person in the cube derives from Greek mythology — Janus is the god of transitions, the god of a long process of development, which I found very fitting.
What’s been your favorite project to date?
Last year, I did a modular lettering workshop with Daniel Triendl for Adobe Germany at several festivals in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Our goal was to create a real-time collaboration and design different sets of alphabets for the different cities where we were holding the workshop. It was an awesome experience. I loved the outcomes and the opportunity to work together with so many different people.
What do you like most about working with Adobe Stock?
The seamless integration makes it really easy and convenient to work with. In my art, I often use combinations of brushes and high-resolution textures from Adobe Stock, and the simple implementation in Photoshop speeds up my workflow a lot.
What design trends should we be looking out for this year?
I think that the borders of traditional graphic design, illustration, 3D, and lettering will continue to fuse more. I’m hyped to see what comes up in this direction!
Many thanks to Birgit for giving us the scoop on her style, inspirations, international collaborations, and creative work! For more of Birgit’s designs, visit her portfolio on Bēhance.