Illustrator & Lettering Artist – João Neves

Designer: João Neves

Instagram: @nevesman


WHO IS João Neves?

My name is João Neves and I’m a graphic designer, illustrator and lettering artist from Lisbon, Portugal.

In my free time I like to produce music under my alias Floppy Circus.

How did you become a artist/designer

I was always interested in the visual side of things, from photography to video making and drawing, so I decided to study visual arts in high school. I had a pirated version of Photoshop 7 on my computer and that’s when I discovered what graphic design was.

Started making logos and banners for fun and soon decided that this was what I wanted to do with my life. I studied design in college and I’ve been working in the area since then.

In 2013 I started incorporating lettering elements in my work and since then I always try to use hand made typography in my work. It shows a natural human-made look that I really resonate with. It’s also the perfect way to share thoughts, ideas or notes. Even though hand lettering artists tend to see words as images, it is very important to remember that words have meaning, and we should use design and illustration as a vehicle to enhance it, not to overpower it.

What’s your creative process?

It all starts with a brief or an idea, after that there’s a lot of research and sketching involved. That’s probably where I spend the majority of my time when I’m working on a project.

It’s easy to fall in love with the first concept but most of the times when I push through and develop additional ideas I end up liking them more or finding elements that could be adapted to fit the first sketch and make it even better.

Where do you find inspiration?

A lot of my inspiration comes from ephemera. From hotel stickers to a beer label or a chocolate wrapper, vintage graphic design always interested me.

These pieces are usually filled with color, unique typography and inspiring compositions. I love browsing online archives and also going to flea markets because you never know what you will find!

I believe that having your career defined by only one project can be a blessing but also a curse.

I like to think that designers and artists are people who are always learning and exploring new things. If one specific project gets to a stage that it is career-defining, that person will always be associated with what they were doing at the time and it will make it much harder to try different things.

With that said, I think that projects that show more of a personal side of the artist are more likely to resonate with a wider audience.