Sculptor and graphic designer
João Machado was born in Coimbra in 1942 and settled in Porto to study Sculpture at the Porto School of Fine Arts.
He finished the degree in 1968 and soon realized the potential in Graphic Arts. Two years later, he set up his own workshop where he worked in this innovative area.
In his own words, "Sculpture was the beginning and Graphic Design the destiny".
Between 1976 and 1983, he taught at ESBAP, in the new Graphic Design course, but before that he joined the Tele-school project. It was then that he began to illustrate children’s books, which allowed him to explore techniques such as dry pastels, aerography and drawing with scissors, much influenced by the Polish poster from the 60s and 70s and the great masters, such as the painter and teacher Henryk Tomaszewski (1914-2005).
Following this experience in teaching, he kept busy with his true vocation.
Since the 70s, he invented a marked and unmistakable personal style, characterized by expressive compositions in bright colours, combining geometric and abstract forms, which he still uses today, although the sketches are now done in a computer and the final printed version is totally different.
The reputation of this illustrator and designer, who works for editors and companies, is due to the several hundreds of posters for cultural and artistic events and various institutions he has produced. He has kept lasting friendships with some of his clients. For about 30 years, he has produced the posters for the Cinanima (Animation Festival of Espinho) and in the 80s and 90s designed and produced the posters for the Exponor trade fairs and for industrial companies in the north of Portugal. He was also responsible for the posters for the ’92 Rio Summit, Expo'98, in Lisbon, the commemorations of the Water Day, etc.
Although working with posters pleases him the most, he also produces other materials in his workshop, such as books, packaging for Ach Brito, mail stamps, illustrations for catalogues and books, and well known logotypes (for institutions such as the Portuguese Institute of Museums, Youth House-Workshop of Almada, Bull & Bear restaurant, Douro Museum and Intermodal Transports of Porto), which also reveal his typical style.
His works are present in several museums around the world, published in renowned books and magazines and in group and solo exhibitions, in both Portugal and abroad. João Machado is proud to have been the only Portuguese artist to exhibit his work at the DDD Gallery of Osaka, a space which, along with the GGG Gallery de of Tokyo, is one of the greatest world references in Graphic Design.
Throughout his career, João Machado has received many awards and distinctions, for instance, he has been accepted as representative member of the International Creators Organization, JCA-ICO, Tokyo, Japan, in 1987, and received the Excellence Award of Icograda (International Council of Graphic Design Associations), presented in 1999 by the top entity in Graphic Design.
"Sculptor João Machado", as he is respectfully called, is the most famous Portuguese graphic designer. He lives and works in Foz Velha, in Porto.
(Universidade Digital / Gestão de Informação, 2010)