Ten years ago, I was a fourth-year student at the Metropolitan Technological University. With my friends, we thought that women had very little space in the Chilean typographic scene and a Professor who taught the course of “Web 2.0” talked to us about the Flashmob as the cultural interventions where we could do a street performance to get the attention of the people. I will never forget it: we saw many times the few reference videos that they had on YouTube. We were not many but all we needed to prove was that there were a couple of teenage girls dancing “One Way or Another” by Blondie and that we had an important message to deliver. We had the help of very good friends (who by the way, were men) who were in charge of recording this performance and taking pictures. This was our first outing into the digital world as Mansas Typas, the first Women’s Typography blog in Chile and Latin America. This is how I understood the importance of the impact that social networks have on creative cultural projects and how they have a connection with the people they are experiencing.
When I finished undergraduate education, it was always clear that I wanted to form my own Design company and that is how Ciervo was born, in response to offering graphic services for new professional niches. Ciervo works with the culture and entrepreneurship industry, offering graphic advice, especially typography and editorial design to apply them in frequent digital formats, such as websites and social networks. Our philosophy’s that good design is of no use if it does not interact with its surroundings or present a good idea. That is why I also decided to contribute with my theoretical and practical knowledge in the university world, specializing in the world of visual language, through Typography. For me, letters are the visual expression of language so in my classes I try to allow my students to speak critically and with their own voice: that they understand the discourse they are preparing, that they read, research, think and speak with knowledge. According to a study of Reading Behavior of the Ministry of Culture, 84% of Chileans do not understand what they read2. The world no longer needs people who keep speaking in a low voice, about things that they do not know even less regularly. I teach my students to speak boldly. That has been a constant challenge for me as a teacher.
Today, as an independent professional, I observe that there is already much of the same. We are in times where information competes for every second and where it is no longer enough to show a message in the same way. Internet and the massification of data have broken down borders, making conventions almost equal for everyone. This has made me ask the following questions: how can I turn complex information packages into clear, simple and understandable answers? Will the communication strategy I am using in my work have a real impact on the users I am addressing? Honestly, I am not sure. Because of my academic and professional role, I am constantly consulting books, blogs and opinion pieces on this subject but I think it is essential for me to obtain a deeper and more clarifying training.
I would like to be able to understand what it means to live in a new era of knowledge and understand what this implies at the social, cultural, political and economic level to translate this knowledge into practices applied to my profession as a designer, teacher and eventually, as a researcher in the future. This is my path of searching now.