About Ximena Ureta

Ximena Ureta is a magnificent designer working hard to make the World a better place with their original and innovative award-winning designs and creations.

Interview with Ximena Ureta

Ximena Ureta ("XU") interviewed on Wednesday, 30 May.

Could you please tell us about your experience as a designer, artist, architect or creator?

XU : I've been working as a designer for 25 years and although my first customers were Chilean wineries for whom I developed projects related to wine and sparkling wine packaging, I have also worked in other graphic projects throughout my professional life, for example designing logos, brochures and annual reports, amongst other things. Some of my clients include wineries such as Viña San Pedro, Viña San Helena, Viña Indómita, Viña Errázuriz, Martino, Cono Sur, Spumante Limarí, as well as Concha y Toro, where I have worked on projects for 2 areas that are part of this brand. One is called Fine Wine Collection, which includes Marques de Casa Concha and Amelia, and the other is called Premium Wines, promoting lines such as Trio and Casillero del Diablo. In relation to the latter, I have worked in particular on Casillero del Diablo/ Reserva, Casillero del Diablo / Reserva Privada and Casillero del Diablo / Leyenda, to mention only a few.

How did you become a designer?

XU : Since I was little I have Always been very fond of drawing with a pencil and charcoal. I like analytical and very detailed drawings. I especially liked drawing the human figure, in particular portraits in black and white. I soon discovered that pencils come in a wide range of varieties, from 9 H to 9B, I discovered the incredible smell of wood when you remove the tip and I became fascinated with the roughness and different thicknesses of paper. Then I learnt about watercolour, chalk and oil pastels, oils, acrylics and then, as an adult, metal engravings. I have always liked to make sense out of figurative shadows. I would find faces in locks on gates and doors. I would search for shapes in clouds, illustrate beautiful long dresses in inverted wine glasses. I've always liked to explore stains with my eyes closed, shed my consciousness when I start painting. Since childhood I have been a perfectionist and I am also very hard-working. My complete dedication to all I do is part of my discipline and rigor. Just to say that this laborious and silent approach to the things that I did earned me the nickname of “little ant” that my father gave me when I was still a little girl. My father was a lawyer who loved poetry, especially Pablo Neruda’s, our Nobel Prize winner for Literature. When I was small, I learnt by heart long verses and recited them just to please him. It was thanks to him that I learnt the harmonious music of the words. My father also loved classical music. Beethoven and Vivaldi took over my house at weekends. My mother since she herself had been a child played the piano and also loved to dance. I am not quite sure where the relationship with art and design surged from. I only know that it lives deep within me.

What are your priorities, technique and style when designing?

XU : There are many things that I like about design and art. A design in the formal world must have fonts that are harmonious one with another as they help to create the personality of a project. Letters in themselves are wonderful illustrations. It is my absolute priority to use them correctly and delicately. It is also interesting to address a design from the artistic point of view, to explore different techniques in order to find the appropriate language. My favourite tool is always a brush with black ink on great quality paper. I love paper and its textures. Everything becomes more beautiful on good paper. All I have ever designed finally ends up on paper. A good seal and folium always touch me deeply. Digital tools are helpful to represent ideas and this way I can explain to others what I'm designing. The mock-ups in Photoshop are very useful and can express really well almost all the technical resources and colours that I want to use.

Which emotions do you feel when designing?

XU : It is an energy that rotates internally. It commences soft and light. I think that it feeds from my breathing because they both march to the same beat. Eventually, one learns how to surrender peacefully. An inner strength that seeks light.

What particular aspects of your background shaped you as a designer?

XU : What I value most in me is my perseverance - even more than I value talent. I don’t know if I am talented but I know that I am disciplined. I like to see my ideas grow thanks to searching until I find them.

What is your growth path? What are your future plans? What is your dream design project?

XU : There are several projects in my mind involving major challenges. Projects with clients that I should address this year. As well as personal projects such as "Paper Flight" which I hope to complete. I'm working on a project called “silent design or design without words". I am very passionate about it. Designs with universal ideas that call for inclusion, which can be enjoyed by people from all over the world from different cultures including adults and children. Designs of peace, sensory and intimate, which convey tranquillity. That invite the viewer to stop and just to look. Only that. I'm happy with what I do. I like the creative freedom I've managed to achieve so far. I know that my clients trust me. It has been a very rewarding process. In the future I would like to bring together lots of silent designs and make it possible for them to fly.

What are your advices to designers who are at the beginning of their career?

XU : Perhaps I could say that technological tools are very important but that nothing compares to what I can do with my hands.

You are truly successful as a designer, what do you suggest to fellow designers, artists and architects?

XU : I don't consider myself successful. Perhaps I would just like to say that I strongly believe in randomness and when I design I often do so with my eyes closed and find things in places where my consciousness would never let me go. The same happens with gestural typography or colour spots. It's funny what happens when I do it. The laws of harmony do not always act in a predictable way. This tidy harmony not always acts in a predictable manner. Perhaps these laws already exist and the only thing we must do is to decipher them. But they don’t always have a rational or logical order but one that is unconscious and unknown. Perhaps a designer is an encoder or a decoder of something superior and prior. It is interesting to find more than the predictable. Nothing worse than common places.

What is your day to day look like?

XU : I prepare lists so as not to forget all the things that I must solve during the day. I set myself daily targets. I'm very rigorous when it comes to meeting objectives. I organize important aspects during the morning. In the mornings, I feel more energetic and I have more clarity to efficiently answer design questions. On the other hand, I try to bring together all the meetings in one day, to have enough time to design without interruptions.

How do you keep up with latest design trends? To what extent do design trends matter?

XU : Trends have never mattered to me. Nor do I know where my creativity comes from. My nature remains a mystery to me.

How do you know if a product or project is well designed? How do you define good design?

XU : A good design is an expression in itself, it speaks with dignity and elegance. Its resources are original. It should surprise and may even make you smile.

How do you decide if your design is ready?

XU : My experience and my intuition tell me when the right moment comes. The creative process allows me to see how my projects have matured to the point that they can speak for themselves.

What is your biggest design work?

XU : There are several pieces of work that have been important for me. I think "Paper Flight” is very special. It says a lot with very little. It is a visual poem without words, it has a sensitive and essential spirit. A fragment of liberty. A pause. A tribute to simplicity, to the fragile, to the minimum. The small interior space of a visual haiku. I am working on more pieces along the lines of "Silent design" or "Design without words" and I believe that I can make a contribution here. My work is universal and multicultural. An invitation to unconventional creativity and sensory exploration without frontiers. "A rain of wings and star, where flowers and leaves journey as one flock."

Who is your favourite designer?

XU : These days I'm observing and reading the work of Shigeru Ban, a Japanese architect of modest, ecological and sustainable philosophy. Pioneer in the use of plastic, paper and cardboard used in his works. An utmost master in lightweight construction. Famous for his innovative work with paper, particularly recycled cardboard tubes. His work with emergency housing as a design solution to house natural or man-made disaster victims is very interesting and creative. The simplicity that characterizes this great architect makes his projects magical. Shiregu Ban, paper, cardboard, and composition.

Would you tell us a bit about your lifestyle and culture?

XU : I love and I carry with pride my culture. I live in Santiago, Chile, South America. I think I have a harmonious life, I have managed to achieve a lot in design, as well as in my life as mother and as woman. I like my sensitive nature, my female essence. I love silence as well as working peacefully. I believe that my work has a lot of me embedded in it and of my way of looking at life. I want to go back to basics, to what is essential. To what can be done by hand in detail. To the micro, to the instant. To stop. I wish technology would not destroy paper. I wish that paper would not destroy trees. I appreciate working with certified companies that want to be sustainable and respectful with the environment. I can see that my designs and I are made of the same raw material.

Would you tell us more about your work culture and business philosophy?

XU : I would like to be able to design things that harmonize with people’s everyday lives. Small spaces of peace and beauty. That is my mission as a designer. Harmonize and gratify. I do it with small teams of designers, I like to delve deep into my projects without losing control of my creations. I work in silence.

What are your philanthropic contributions to society as a designer, artist and architect?

XU : I donate my work especially to artists, poets, musicians and photographers who want to undertake a creative project. I have exhibited my work at universities that teach design in Chile and I have worked with students from various universities in my country.

What positive experiences you had when you attend the A’ Design Award?

XU : “Design Award & Competition” is a human platform and high level technology. It is quite surprising, the impeccable reception and specific classification into different categories as well as its broad multi-disciplinary and top-of-its-class judging panel. Also the possibility for the awardees to get close to a global audience made up by adept and specialized press. Thank you so much for all the work. I want to thank this incredible competition for giving us, international designers, the opportunity to present our work to be dignified by you. It has been a wonderful experience, thank you.

Ximena Ureta Profile

Leyenda Wine Packaging

Leyenda Wine Packaging design by Ximena Ureta

Azur Wine Packaging

Azur Wine Packaging design by Ximena Ureta

Paper Flight Show of papers

Paper Flight Show of papers design by Ximena Ureta

Marques de Casa Concha Wine Packaging

Marques de Casa Concha Wine Packaging design by Ximena Ureta

Rose Wine Packaging

Rose Wine Packaging design by Ximena Ureta


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