PRINT’s latest Designer of the Week Roberto Villazon is founder and creative director of Hi-gloss, a brand strategy and creative agency. With more than two decades of experience in the creative and design industries, Villazon has built a go-to creative shop for travel, luxury brand and hospitality design, and he’s helping brands in these industries to engage consumers in new ways.
Name: Roberto Villazon
Name of agency: Hi-gloss
How would you describe your work?
Clean, simple and impactful. There are so many things to consider when designing; I base it on five principles: composition, hierarchy, color selection, typesetting and content. I’ve always liked eye-catching creative, [whether] it’s over-the-top or just because it’s as simple as one word on a page. As creative director at Hi-gloss, I work [with] many hospitality and luxury brand clients. What motivates me is creating an experiential process with my designs. We have one short moment to make an impression and have someone stop for a second look.
Where do you find inspiration?
Everywhere. In music, travel, technology, architecture and art. I truly feel that you need to surround yourself with things that constantly spark thought and make you see things differently. It’s a constant. I make sure I’m constantly surrounding myself with inspiration.
Who are some of your favorite designers or artists?
David LaChapelle, Tom Ford, Massimo Vitali, Quentin Tarantino, Massimo Vignelli, Jeff Koons, Herzog and de Meuron, to name a few. I’m enthralled by design in all formats, from a photograph that can transport you [somewhere], to the architecture of an amazing building.
Do you have a favorite among all the projects you’ve worked on?
It’s hard for me to select a favorite—they each have something about them that makes it a favorite—but I’ve always favored hotel advertisement.
Is there a project that stands out to you as having been the biggest challenge of your career so far?
I led the efforts on the rebranding of The Cove Atlantis in Paradise Island Bahamas. We had to keep the integrity and existing brand of their sister property Atlantis, which has a strong brand presence. My goal was to introduce a design that reflected the new resort but still had an underlying tie to the sister brand. I wanted to entice a new demographic and peek their interest in the resort while sill catering to the existing customer base.
What do you hope to accomplish in the future?
I’m not just the creative director for Hi-gloss but also the founder. I’d love to continue growing the company and lead with truly transformative creative.
What’s your best advice for designers today?
Expose yourself to inspiration. Flip through books and magazines, listen to music, travel, expose yourself to art, watch a fashion show and stay on the cusp of technology. Question everything and turn it upside-down. Consume as much as you can. When it comes to learning and exposing yourself to design, I truly believe in the words of Morris Lapidus: “Too much is never enough.”
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