Mayra Monobe’s versatile work ranges from cultural to commercial, and she has a special interest in packaging, editorial design, and brand identity. What’s interesting about Monobe’s portfolio though, is the variety of assignments she takes on and the way she manages to instill a sense of style into the mundane.
We were first drawn to her sophisticated branding for a Barcelona-based dental practice; never before has going to the dentist looked so cool and relaxed. You’ll see no stock photo of cheesy grins or peppermint-colored logos. “The main idea was to get rid of what you usually associate with dental clinics,” says Monobe, a Brazilian-Japanese designer who’s now based in Barcelona herself. “Because they’re usually places where people don’t exactly feel comfortable.”
As you might guess, the dental practice is young and they don’t use what Monobe describes as “doctor’s language.” The design speaks a different visual language, too, opting instead for straightforward simplicity, a trustworthy geometric logo, and a clean, calm color palette. As well as updating the typical—and often loathed—dental aesthetic, Monobe’s identities for weddings also depart from the norm: there isn’t a gold encrusted, cursive, or lacy shape in sight.
For a Barcelona-based chocolate store’s identity, Monobe’s emphasis was on the rich and beautiful pattern culture of Ecuador and Ghana, the countries where the shop’s cocoa is grown. The warm branding is a decorative tribute to the product’s origins. On the other side of the spectrum, her striking identity for an urban think tank uses bold colors and forms to stand out and engage passers-by on the street. As you can see, there isn’t a particular aesthetic that defines Monobe’s approach; instead she explores a brand visually by honing in on small details.
Monobe’s work ranges far and wide—from sweet packaging all the way to the dentist’s chair, and that’s exactly what she loves most about graphic design. “You learn something every day when you’re in this career. Each project is so different, and it never gets boring.”