Sofía Enríquez

Good in Packaging Design.

About Sofía Enríquez

Sofia is a recent graduate from industrial design engineering. She spent a semester of her studies abroad in Lille, France. She felt inspired to participate in A'Design Award & Competition because she hopes to improve her design skills and acquire experience. She enjoys reading about history and culture, painting with watercolors and learning new skills - crafts, computer programs, languages, among others. She currently lives in Chihuahua, Mexico.

  • Winner of Packaging Design Award.
  • Specialized in Packaging Design.
  • Original Design.
  • Creative, Diligent and Innovative.
  • All Designs
  • Packaging
Notch Tea Packaging

Notch Tea Packaging

Packaging Design

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Interview with Sofía Enríquez

Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
Since I was a kid I used to spend a lot of time imagining and I had always enjoyed drawing, painting, hand-crafting... Seeing this pasion my parents enrolled me in painting classes. I can't tell that I have been always aware that I wanted to be an artist or a designer as a profession. It was during high school that I found, among the answers of a vocational test, about a degree that gathered both the use of the right and left sides of the brain: industrial design engineering. I liked the idea of having these two options - the analytical and the artistic - coming together in one degree, so this is where I am now.
Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
I just graduated from university, so I am more of a freelancer in my free time right now. I do graphic design for those who contact me and as for my personal projects I have been mostly experimenting with painting techniques.
What is "design" for you?
The art of creating, improving or transforming with the intention of finding solutions to problems, needs or desires.
What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
Notch, the tea packaging is my favorite design until now because of the high impact it has reached, being published in Packaging of the World website and Favourite Design annuary in 2015 and now having won in A' Design Award.
What was the first thing you designed for a company?
On 2015, I was an intern in an architecture studio, the most symbolic things I designed for them are: their logo and a plaza for a contest in which they were participating.
When do you feel the most creative?
When I feel the most creative is after seeing an art exhibition, a great design or a delightful construction - especially when I get to regard them in person.
What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
Like a hamster-wheel brain - haha! I am full of thoughts and ideas, I feel really inspired and focused on what I am working on while time just seems to fly by.
What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
The feeling of accomplishment. It is really satisfying to finally conclude what you had been working on. It is as if my mind sighed, took a step back and gazed at the final result while smiling.
What makes a design successful?
When it fills someone's need or desire. When it is functional and aesthetic at the same time.
From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
To make people's lives easier while avoiding to harm the environment.
How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
I think the design field has plunged into the technology of things, artificial intelligence now more than ever and looking towards alternative energies and eco friendly solutions.
When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
I haven't had design exhibitions, but I'd like to hold a design exhibition the next time there is a design event in my city.
Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
I get easily inspired, so design inspiration for me always come from different sources: from everyday life, while taking a shower, from web surfing, by seeing art, when spending time in nature, by sharing ideas... I feed my creativity by reading, wondering, imagining, doing research...
Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
I live in Chihuahua, a city in the north of Mexico. I don't believe the heritage of my country affects my design style. Cons: In my city, there is not much design appreciation yet. Pros: There is a lot of cultural heritage were you can gather inspiration.
What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
Design may sometimes seem as a luxury, but rather than that, it is the element that makes the difference. Companies can select a good designer by seeing their portfolio and speaking to them to get to know them better and see if their style and way of working suites that of the company.
Can you talk a little about your design process?
I don't really have an established design process. But most of the time I get a concept, then think of ideas and search for inspiration, afterwards I start sketching, 3D designing or prototyping. Next I work on the final design. I may make some changes while going through these steps and I also iterate the steps the times necessary. The last part is giving the final touches.
Can you describe a day in your life?
Right now I am doing an internship in continuous improvement and working on my thesis to get my engineering degree, so whenever I am not doing one or the other I like reading, working on personal projects, learning french and going out to have fun.
Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
I - as a young designer - can suggest to other young, up and coming designers to be curious and search, read, learn for you. Don't expect that school is going to teach you everything, because there are so many things you can discover outside.
From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
Positives: You can create many of the things you can imagine and find clever solutions to problems. Negatives: Not everybody is going to love what you do and sometimes critic is hard and demotivating.
What is your "golden rule" in design?
To recognise the value in something, and apply it to your designs.
What skills are most important for a designer?
Observing, understanding, visualizing, creating, problem-solving and resilience.
Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
It all depends on what I am designing: Illustrator and Photoshop for graphic design. 3Ds Max, Rhinoceros and Showcase for virtual designs of objects (or 3D printed prototypes). For physical prototypes I use cutter, ruler, pencil, brushes, paint, I enjoy working with my hands... But for the real and final objects I create the technical plans and go with, say, carpenters, electricians... I use internet as a main source of inspiration.
Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
I am quite an organized person, I like to make - mental or written - schedules and set due dates to myself.
How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
It all depends on the object and the time available. Sometimes weeks, sometimes months.
What was your most important job experience?
Being an intern in the architecture studio I previously mentioned. My bosses were certainly a source of everyday inspiration and knowledge, I was able to improve a lot in that period of time. I am so happy and grateful that I got to live that experience.
What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
Anything that is free-style design, because it is there where I can really express myself without any restrictions.
What are your future plans? What is next for you?
I would like to find a job where I can design and maybe later on open my own design studio. I would like to keep learning, do a master degree or a diplomat.
Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
I am doing a Mondrian-inspired 3D puzzle that is composed of eight equally shaped elements made of wood and hand-painted, that can be assembled into a cube by following the form of the elements and their patterns.
Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
I am a young designer and I believe I still have so much to learn, but being able to share these thoughts with the readers makes me feel full of gratitude and inspires me to keep working hard. Thank you for reading.

Extended Interview with Sofía Enríquez

Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?
I studied industrial design engineering in Mexico and made one semester of my studies in France (there I was enrolled in mechanical engineering). I have taken painting and sewing classes. I worked in a graphic design studio, made an internship in and architecture studio and participated in the development of a thermoformed packaging as part of the university's center of investigation, I have also worked as a freelancer for some time years now. All of these experiences have helped me improve my design skills and increase my knowledge in these fields.
What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?
I am in love of the idea of envisioning something and actually being able to create it.
What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?
During my studies I have designed a little bit of everything: furniture, packaging, objects, lamps, graphics, among some others, but I would like to specialize whether in packaging or product design.
What distinguishes between a good designer and a great designer?
The way they solve problems, if they pay attention to small details, if they think further ahead, if their designs give a "plus" to the users...
What makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?
The small details and the additional attributes incorporated into the design are what, in my opinion, make the difference between something good and something great.
What is the value of good design? Why should everyone invest in good design?
Good design makes the difference, whether it: solves problems, saves money, attracts clients, makes work easier, adds beauty. Any investment in design now is an investment made thinking on the future.
What is your secret recipe of success in design, what is your secret ingredient?
No secret ingredient, just being myself and letting my instincts guide me.
Who are some other design masters and legends you get inspired from?
Karim Rashid, Zaha Hadid, Bjarke Ingels, Ilse Crawford, Philippe Starck and Emiliano Godoy
What are your favorite designs by other designers, why do you like them?
Bobble by Karim Rashid, because of its ergonomic figure and cheerful colors but mostly because of its mission to eliminate the outrageous waste of single-serve, disposable beverages Getsuen chair by Masanori Umeda, because of its beauty and uniqueness and the way he achieved to copy nature into something of everyday use.
What is your greatest design, which aspects of that design makes you think it is great?
Notch, the tea packaging is my favorite design until now because of the high impact it has reached, being published in Packaging of the World website and Favourite Design annuary in 2015 and now having won in A' Design Award. I think it is an innovative packaging for tea and an attractive way to display a product.
How could people improve themselves to be better designers, what did you do?
By always continue learning and working on developing new skills or perfecting the ones they already have. Plus keeping positive, since attitude makes the difference.
How do you define design, what is design for you?
The art of creating, improving or transforming with the intention of finding solutions to problems.
Who helped you to reach these heights, who was your biggest supporter?
A professor who believed deeply in this specific design (Notch) when I first showed it to him as a school project.
What helped you to become a great designer?
I believe it was resilience - trying again and again even if I had failed before - and determination - keeping focused on achieving goals - that helped me arrive where I am now.
What were the obstacles you faced before becoming a design master?
Mostly learning to take criticism as a fundamental part of improvement rather than being demotivating.
How do you think designers should present their work?
The most understandable way possible and keeping it simple, less is more.
What’s your next design project, what should we expect from you in future?
I haven't think of it yet! But people should definitely expect to keep seeing more of my designs in the future, whether it is under a brand's name or my own name.
What’s your ultimate goal as a designer?
To make a positive impact in people that have a direct interaction with my designs.
What people expect from an esteemed designer such as yourself?
To keep giving the best of me as a designer, because it is while giving the 100% of one's self that results will arrive.
What are you currently working on that you are especially excited about?
I am doing a Mondrian-inspired 3D puzzle that is composed of eight equally shaped elements made of wood and hand-painted, that can be assembled into a cube by following the form of the elements and their patterns.
Which design projects gave you the most satisfaction, why?
A plaza I designed during my internship with architects, because it was the first time I designed something that big A table which I named "Anexo", because it won an innovation contest in my university A representation of the skin of a shark for biomimetic textiles, because it was the most challenging assignment I had during my exchange semester in France.
What would you like to see changed in design industry in the coming years?
The disposable culture being over! We need to be conscious about all the waste we are generating with short-living items.
Where do you think the design field is headed next?
Design field, in my opinion, will keep moving forward into the technology of things, artificial intelligence, alternative energies, eco-friendly solutions and virtual experiences.
How long does it take you to finalize a design project?
Depends on the project. Sometimes a few weeks, sometimes a few months.
Do you think design sets the trends or trends set the designs?
I think both. Since design can be developed from social, technological, environmental, economical, political, demographic or ethic tendencies. But also if a design is great, it can create a trend.
What is the role of technology when you design?
It takes a very important role, since some way or another I use it as part of my designs.
What kind of design software and equipment do you use in your work?
For software I mainly use Autodesk and Adobe programs, and for equipment I use my laptop and wacom.
What is the role of the color, materials and ambient in design?
I think they have an important role since they are directly related with senses, which at the same time are related with the psychological aspects of a person.
When you see a new great design or product what comes into your mind?
How did they come up with that? - haha! I believe it is great how people can conceive something you have never even thought it could exist.
Who is your ideal design partner? Do you believe in co-design?
A friend I made in high school, she studied graphic design. I have had the opportunity to work with her in school projects and in actual work and I believe our personalities, knowledges and skills help complement the work of the other.
Which people you interacted had the most influence on your design?
The architects at Equidna, where I made an internship. Because they thought a lot about everything - design, culture, work.
How did you develop your skills as a master designer?
During my university studies, in extra curricular courses - such as painting and sewing classes, and in the different jobs and internships I have had.
How do you feel about all the awards and recognition you had, is it hard to be famous?
To be honest, it is sometimes difficult to believe that I am not even 25 years old and I have reached this far. I feel so grateful with God for giving me the skills, the health and the opportunity to have reached this point, but I am aware that there is still so much to learn and so much improvement to make, I just want to keep working towards it to become better.
What is your favorite color, place, food, season, thing and brand?
color - burgundy place - anywhere with a nice view food - definitely tacos season - winter thing - my pillow maybe - haha! brand - Amora, I just love their containers
Please tell us a little memoir, a funny thing you had experienced as a designer?
When I was in my exchange semester in France, I had an assignment that consisted on recreating the scales of a shark's skin - yes apparently mako sharks do have scales! There were four of us and nobody was being able to do it because of the complexity of the design. As for myself it was even harder for me because the only CAD program available in the university's computers was Solidworks and I didn't know how to use it back then. Eventually I got an alternative solution and came the next day with a 3D model I had made in my laptop using 3Ds Max. They were pretty surprised!
What makes your day great as a designer, how do you motivate yourself?
What makes a day great as a designer is when that one idea finally pops in your mind, with that idea in mind the rest of the days just flow smoothly and great by themselves, until the design is complete.
When you were a little child, was it obvious that you would become a great designer?
I don't know about the great part, but as for becoming a designer I think it was obvious, as a child I spent a lot of time drawing, painting and hand-crafting.
What do you think about future; what do you see will happen in thousand years from now?
Maybe humans will have figured out a way of living outside of Earth.
Please tell us anything you wish your fans to know about you, your design and anything else?
I am a young designer and I believe I still have so much to learn, but being able to share these thoughts with the readers makes me feel full of gratitude and inspires me to keep working hard. Thank you for reading.

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