Ximena Ureta

Professional in Graphic Design.

About Ximena Ureta

  • Winner of Graphic Design Award.
  • Specialized in Graphic Design.
  • 4 Featured Original Designs.
  • Highly Creative, Diligent and Innovative.
  • All Designs
  • Graphic
  • Packaging
Paper Flight Show of papers

Paper Flight Show of papers

Graphic Design

Marques de Casa Concha Wine Packaging

Marques de Casa Concha Wine Packaging

Packaging Design

Leyenda Wine Packaging

Leyenda Wine Packaging

Packaging Design

Azur Wine Packaging

Azur Wine Packaging

Packaging Design


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Interview with Ximena Ureta

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?
I have been working as a graphic designer actively and uninterruptedly for more than 20 years in Chile. I worked independently for several companies on corporate issues, especially Annual Reports and Sustainability Reports right at the beginning. My experience in packaging designing for Chilean wineries is extensive and I have managed to specialise in Chilean wine and champagne labels distributed all around the world. Currently, this is my main activity. I focus on highlighting and enhancing the virtues of Chilean wines and sparkling wines. I have studied etching, aquarelle and oil techniques at different times and I have applied these skills to complement my work as a designer. And yes, I have always wanted to be a designer but I am also interested in other art disciplines.
Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
My studio permanently works on the development of packaging for Chilean wineries. I have been Concha y Toro’s consultant for the last 10 years, working on many of their brands such as Marques de Casa Concha, Trio, Diablo, Casillero del Diablo, creating products such as Leyenda, Reserva Privada, Reserva Especial and Devil´s Collections. It is really interesting to promote, from the design point of view, these globalised brands and many of them world-renowned.
What is "design" for you?
Design, as such, is a creative activity and a result of an investigative process, whose aim is to make objects to be both useful and aesthetic as well as solve a specific problem. And, although usefulness of the object is fundamental, my work must also be beautiful so that the relationship with the user will be both durable and harmonious.
What kinds of works do you like designing most?
I like working with designs that must be beautiful, designs that pose some kind of a technical and creative challenge, I love creating designs that identify the companies that need them and I like presenting original ideas that can be resolved by the production team.
What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
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."
What was the first thing you designed for a company?
I first worked on a cover of a mass-distribution magazine in Chile. I designed an illustration that got excellent reception. It was my first experience as a designer when one of my designs was distributed to such a great number of people. For the first time I experienced the feeling of being the visible face of a company and, furthermore, with an editorial content. It was wonderful!
When do you feel the most creative?
When the requirements are interesting and I have enough time to develop them.
Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
I carry out a conceptual synthesis, I choose an expression technique, I review materiality and architecture, functionality, I propose typography if required, I almost always check proposals for colour at the end. Each stage is special and everything can contribute to original design.
What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
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 makes a design successful?
First of all, for a design to be successful, the designer must start with an assertive diagnosis of a specific need. Such design must have a clear conceptual definition and a specific target audience. Only then will a design acquire an interesting and aesthetic personality.
When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
I see if I am able to feel what the design is trying to communicate.
From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
Paper Flight takes into account this responsibility with the environment. All the paper used in the project is FSC-certified which means that the raw materials of the paper come from responsible and environment-friendly forest management. That is to say, the fibre that is used in the manufacture of the paper comes from forests that are managed in an environment-friendly and sustainable manner. To be able to use FSC-certified paper one must comply with a custody chain meaning that all the agents involved in the preparation of the paper must be certified, in other words, the forests, the mills, the distributor and even the printers. Being ecologically responsible is an interesting idea although it does not always depend on us.
How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
It is an interesting question these days as forecasts show that millions of current jobs will be automatized in the future and it is creative jobs that shall survive in a world populated by robots. Up until now, creativity seems to be a survivor. In music, artificial intelligence can successfully take and repeat certain elements of some themes and then reuse them but it is not capable of creating new ones.
When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
My last exhibition was a few years back, in the area of wine and champagne packaging for different Chilean wineries. It would be great to be able to appreciate all the award-winning works at the A´Design Award & Competitions exhibition. It is undoubtedly the most interesting exhibition at a global level that I have participated in. In the future, I would love to show my works again and lead this personal project.
Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
I study books, looks at publications that contain well-finished aesthetic graphic solutions. This is what inspires me.
How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
I explore ways to synthesize the message that I want to communicate and use art whenever I feel it is appropriate.I am working on more pieces along the lines of "Soundless design" or "Silent Design" and I believe that I can make a contribution here. It is universal and multicultural type of work. An invitation to unconventional creativity and sensory exploration without frontiers. Pieces of work that say a lot with very little. Visual poems without words, they have a sensitive and essential spirit. The small interior space of a visual haiku.
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 am Chilean, my country is located in the extreme south-west of South America. I live in Santiago, the capital, which is in Chile’s central zone and it is blessed with a Mediterranean climate, with well-defined seasons and rainfalls concentrating only in winter. My country is renowned around the world for its wine production. Its climate permits us to grow healthy vineyards and produce high quality wines. I feel privileged to be able to contribute as a designer to the creation of wine packaging that is well-known globally, drawing on our immaterial heritage, our culture, our art and legends as well as our “crazy” geography that identifies us as the world’s longest and narrowest country in the world. Chile’s archaeology, ethnicity and folklore are also part of my country’s image represented and recognised in the wonderful quality of our wines.
How do you work with companies?
I have worked with companies as an independent designer throughout all my professional life. What I basically need is a brief with the specific conceptual requirements before I start any project for a client. Subsequently, we set up meetings and program email dispatches each week, depending on the level of progress. In the case of packaging, when we finally believe that we have achieved the result we are seeking, we carry out tests to look at terminations, as well as the performance and adherence of the paper. I supervise each and every piece of work I do, including the final printing.
What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
They should know their work and some important aspects of their personality.
Can you talk a little about your design process?
First I think of a general concept, then I try several approaches and I progressively narrow it down looking for unique and original ideas.
What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
My dinner table inspired in a fish, a book lamp, a metal tree that displays the bottles of wine with the label I have designed and paper flight by myself.
Can you describe a day in your life?
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.
Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
I believe in randomness when I design that is why I often work 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.
From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
I love the way a designer mixes creative art with a functional purpose. I sometimes feel that a good design is underappreciated, I cannot find negative aspects of being a designer.
Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
I use many great design books and standard software. My main toolbox, however, is my art box of paint brushes.
How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
Depends on the object. A wine label for an export wine may take between 6 months and one year. Other packaging solutions may take much less time.
What was your most important job experience?
The packaging and labeling lines of Casillero del Diablo. The most famous Chilean wine.
Who are some of your clients?
My clients are Chilean wineries that want to permanently create or improve their packaging but I have shown that I am a designer and I can work on other projects, as has been the experience with Paper Flights.
What are your future plans? What is next for you?
I want to keep doing what I like and always try to do it as well as I can.
Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
I always do the art direction by myself, but I have a team of designers and producers.
Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
I would like to thank this incredible competition for giving us, designers from all around the world, the opportunity to showcase our work and to dignify it. I have been pleasantly surprised by the great technological platform that has been put at the disposal of all the design disciplines. Thank you for this wonderful experience.

Extended Interview with Ximena Ureta

Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?
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.
What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?
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.
Did you choose to become a designer, or you were forced to become one?
I have always known that design and art were my thing and I think that I was right.
What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?
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 “soundless design or silent design". 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 should young designers do to become a design legend like you?
Perhaps I could say that technological tools are very important but that nothing compares to what I can do with my hands.
What distinguishes between a good designer and a great designer?
The ability to empathize with the needs of others. When you make a project your own to such an extent that it becomes a vital necessity. When you cannot sleep until you find the solution so that it finally leaves you in peace. When you are capable of abandoning your needs for those of others.
What makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?
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.
What is the value of good design? Why should everyone invest in good design?
Because it can bring closer the relationship of objects with people.
What would you design and who would you design for if you had the time?
I'd like to design for institutions around the world that promote a sustainable and inclusive society.
Who are some other design masters and legends you get inspired from?
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.
What are your favorite designs by other designers, why do you like them?
There are many talented people. I would like to nominate an illustrator from South Korea whose name is Suzy Lee. Specifically a book published by Editor Bárbara Fiore entitled “The Wave”. I am mentioning it because of its simplicity and also because of its pictorial and silent narration. I would like to highlight the subtlety of Kim Ki-duk, a Korean filmmaker who has made several films such as Bin-jip (original title), which means "Empty Homes" as well as "Bom yeoreum gaeul gyeoul geurigo bom", known as "Spring, summer, autumn, winter ... and spring again", I think that somehow his talent has communicated with my sensibility.
What is your greatest design, which aspects of that design makes you think it is great?
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.
How could people improve themselves to be better designers, what did you do?
They should look at the life and work of many talented people.
If you hadn’t become a designer, what would you have done?
I think that I would have liked to be a singer. I love music. It moves me. I would also have liked to be a chef, ceramist, silversmith, photographer, costume designer, perfume maker, production designer, sculptor and filmmaker, but don’t worry – I am not frustrated. All is well. I am sure there will be more lives.
How do you define design, what is design for you?
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.
Who helped you to reach these heights, who was your biggest supporter?
I've achieved what I have thank to all of those who I love and who love me.
What helped you to become a great designer?
I am a better designer thanks to my strength that permits me to overcome adversity. Discipline, perseverance, the mother of all things.
How do you think designers should present their work?
When your projects have matured to the point that they can speak for themselves.
What’s your next design project, what should we expect from you in future?
I am working on more pieces along the lines of "Soundless design" or "Silent Design" and I believe that I can make a contribution here. It is universal and multicultural type of work. An invitation to unconventional creativity and sensory exploration without frontiers.
What’s your ultimate goal as a designer?
To make things more agreeable, to beautify, sensitize, pacify, communicate and pause.
How does design help create a better society?
Design can beautify the relationship with objects. It can also make everyday life more agreeable.
Which design projects gave you the most satisfaction, why?
“Paper Flight” is the piece of work where I can see myself more clearly.
What would you like to see changed in design industry in the coming years?
The use of sustainable materials which are friendly and compatible with nature.
Where do you think the design field is headed next?
I am sure it is turning more technological and I believe that the richness of the materiality of things is going to be lost.
How long does it take you to finalize a design project?
It is relative, it depends on the size of the project, the structures of the companies, the equipment linked with the project, the number of markets round the world the products must go to and their importance.
When you have a new design project, where do you start?
Researching, looking for theoretical or visual information of projects that might have something in common or are intended for the same kind of public. Especially so that I can make a difference.
Do you think design sets the trends or trends set the designs?
Trends have never mattered to me. Nor do I know where my creativity comes from.
What is the role of technology when you design?
It is essential to represent almost everything I want to create, an incredible visualization tool. One can try several technical alternatives in just a few seconds. It optimizes all my designs.
What kind of design software and equipment do you use in your work?
Quite frequently Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator, all my computers are Apple.
What is the role of the color, materials and ambient in design?
One is the "what", the other is the 'how' and the last one is the 'where'.
What do you wish people to ask about your design?
I would people to notice that there is an Eastern influence in the conception and development of my designs. Especially in "Paper Flights".
Which people you interacted had the most influence on your design?
When I was 14 years old I had the opportunity to meet someone who made incredible sketches on paper napkins. We got the opportunity to get to know each other very well over the course of a few of years. For a long time, after dinner, came THE moment: paper drawings. It was my stepfather, a wonderful man, also a designer.
Which books you read had the most effect on your design?
Books that showcased the works of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Alexander Calder, Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró and Friedensreich Hundertwasser and many others.
Irrelative of time and space, who you would want to meet, talk and discuss with?
I’d love to walk down the beach with Theo Jansen behind some of his millipede animals. Hopefully, a gust of wind would come making us run behind his creations. I think it would be great!
How do you feel about all the awards and recognition you had, is it hard to be famous?
I don’t consider myself famous nor do I have problems with that.
What is your favorite color, place, food, season, thing and brand?
My colours are black and red and if you could use a gold folium it would be just perfect. My favourite place is my home. My favourite food is Ramen, my favourite object is a LUMIO lamp / book.
Please tell us a little memoir, a funny thing you had experienced as a designer?
Once while I was in a watercolour class I wet the paper keeping my eyes closed then dried a part of the paper still without opening my eyes and then posed the brush on various colours always with my eyes closed. I slid the brush along the paper and only then opened my eyes. What happened was surprising. Beautiful.
When you were a little child, was it obvious that you would become a great designer?
When I was small, it was very obvious that I would become an artist or a designer.
What do you think about future; what do you see will happen in thousand years from now?
There will be fewer people as fewer children will be born. Humanity will be able to control diseases, we will not have so much violence, it has been decreasing over the years. People will work less. There will be new problems and new solutions.
Please tell us anything you wish your fans to know about you, your design and anything else?
No, it’s Ok. I don’t really know what else to say. Thank you.

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