We talk a lot about what type of design work we value on our site — functional, memorable and above all, original. A few months ago we decided to put our money where our mouth is and began a $9,999 contest in search of the prized Platypus, a designer whose work exemplifies the qualities we seek.
Without further adieu, meet dialfredo — the man behind the bespectacled, duck-billed character we all came to know.
Name: Jose Alfredo Garcia Flores
Location: Guzmán, Mexico
99designs handle: dialfredo
Projects won: 9
Alfredo lives and works in Guzmán, a picturesque city known as the “Athens of Jalisco” for its rich artistic history. Alfredo’s design skills flourished in this environment, beginning with doodles and evolving into a distinctive brand of simple, retro emblems.
“A blank sheet of paper contains so many possibilities to discover,” he says.
His designs, such as his logo for Oceanic Studios and Cassowary Press, bring maximum emotion and intrigue out of carefully detailed, monochrome images. A form as whimsical and imaginative as a giant bird in high-heeled shoes is sufficient — no need for loud colors, 3D effects or fancy gradients.
“I like working with one color or at most two,” Alfredo says. “I imagine a story that has movement, that is functional in form and has meaning.”
Alfredo’s unique style brought him success right away on 99designs; he won the first contest he entered in June, 2011. Still, Alfredo did not in the least expect that he could be The Platypus. He found out the same way everyone else did — by casually checking the blog.
“I read the article many times and thought, ‘could this be serious?’ I couldn’t sleep all night because of the impression,” he recalls.
Our questions for Alfredo seemed to be endless but there was one we simply had to know: what did he plan to do with his $9,999 prize?
It turns out Alfredo has a passion for photography in addition to graphic design and has some big, exciting projects in mind. “I would like to hold an exhibition of photographs of the human figure, animals and textures… experimenting with poses, lighting and abstraction.” He hopes to develop his design work through these photographic explorations, as well.
Five years down the road, Alfredo simply hopes “to have a stable job and to continue participating in this [99designs] community.”
He has a few words of advice for his fellow designers: “Do not lose your sense of wonder. Take some time between designing to take a walk, play sports or shoot pool.” Other than that, “perseverance, patience and discipline.”