Alejandro Magallanes & Almadia: From Oaxaca to London

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This story begins 11 years ago in the city of Oaxaca in Mexico, where editor Guillermo Quijas struggled to get his newly founded publishing house “Almadia” off the ground. Soon after its foundation, Quijas realized that he needed more than good literary content to break into the highly competed publishing …

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This story begins 11 years ago in the city of Oaxaca in Mexico, where editor Guillermo Quijas struggled to get his newly founded publishing house “Almadia” off the ground. Soon after its foundation, Quijas realized that he needed more than good literary content to break into the highly competed publishing market. He needed an element that would make his publications stand out from all others on the bookshelf war. Designer and illustrator Alejandro Magallanes was that special element that Quijas greatly needed.

The relationship between Magallanes and Almadia is every designer’s dream of what a client-designer relationship should be; the perfect marriage. Almadia has given Alejandro creative freedom through its hundred of publications to date, giving him the chance to develop his personal style throughout the years. So when you see Almadia’s collection you can see Alejandro’s perfect balance between individualization of each book and his great ability to keep coherency within a decade of publications. In return for this creative freedom, Alejandro has given Almadia a unique presence in Mexico’s publishing industry, boosting the growth of the company exponentially in a few years.

Alejandro has the innate ability for creating fun, interesting and mysterious concepts. Without being obvious about the content of the book, he creates a perfectly balanced work of books as objects and fully functional books. His design techniques and style give the publications the necessary touches of magnetism and mystery that prevent you from leaving the bookstore without even just touching one of Almadia’s books.

The Almadia/Magallanes partnership has gone a long way since it’s foundations. This win-win relationship has taken both parties to worldwide recognition. It is an example of how trust and openness between client and designer can create work that combines creativity, good design, and sales.

Alejandro has been nominated to this year’s Beazly Designs of the Year Awards by the Design Museum in London for his great work with Almadia. The collection is being exhibited at the Design Museum from November 24, 2016 to February 19, 2017. So if you’re in London you should pay it a visit.

Best of luck to Alejandro Magallanes, who has been an example and inspiration for young and not so young designers in Mexico and around the world.

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