Women in Design: Spotlight on WePropagate’s Graphic Designer Dani Alfonso

Journey To Graphic Design

Dani was born in a small town 30 minutes outside of Havana, Cuba to a very humble family from the countryside. When she was 13, she moved to the United States and since then has called Florida her home.

Starting at a young age, art and design inspired her. Growing up in Cuba, a country known for its vibrant culture and colors, Dani was constantly surrounded by some form of art. From the unique posters she walked by, to the Socialist propaganda that could be found on every street corner, art was everywhere.

Her biggest influence though, came from all the books she read as a child. Her mother, a librarian at the time, passed her love of literature onto Dani. Having access to so many different writers and stories at a young age expanded her imagination and set her apart from other kids in school.

When it was time to go to college, Dani chose to study Latin American literature and art history. She then moved into graphic and interactive design because she wanted something practical yet creative.

Building A Creative Agency At Home

After gaining plenty of experience working with a few local agencies, Dani and her partner decided to start their own creative studio in Orlando.

They wanted to have the freedom to work their own hours and schedules, create their own processes, have a good working environment and most importantly, work more closely with clients.

Big Boss Energy

Establishing her own creative agency and working as an independent graphic designer has pushed Dani to do things she thought she would never be able to do, like managing a remote, digital team and growing a business.

She loves the fact that she gets to collaborate with a variety of clients in a wide range of industries including: restaurants, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications and NGOs. Her favorite thing is working with small businesses. It’s really rewarding to help them grow and reach their full potential.

“Every Expression Of Art Is Inspiring”

Everything from vintage posters, paintings, reading, architecture, photography, street art, fashion and travel, it all feeds Dani’s creative side.

The two main influences on her visual style and aesthetics are: Eduardo Muñoz Bachs and political propaganda.

Eduardo Muñoz Bachs illustrated many of the books that Dani read growing up. She was very drawn to his illustration style, use of color, sense of humor, and cinema posters.

During the ‘90s, Cuba was heavily influenced by the Soviet Union; they exported many aspects of their culture to the island. Everything from their books, appliances and movies were widely imposed and left a mark on contemporary Cuban culture. In 1991, the fall of the Soviet Union left devastating effects on Cuba. Dani’s generation grew up during a time called “The Special Period” whereby an economic depression swept through the country and left many people in extremely difficult situations. Things like blackouts, lack of food and essentials as well as repression in every form were extremely common at the time. These were unforgettable moments in Dani’s upbringing and shaped who she is today.

Artists that have influenced Dani’s design style: Eduardo Muñoz Bachs, Frida Kahlo, Gustav Klimt, Marc Chagall, and writers like Gabriel García Márquez and Leonardo Padura.

Top 10 Pieces Of Advice For Future Female Graphic Designers

1. Know your graphic design history and references.

2. Believe in yourself, fight the status quo.

3. Don’t be afraid to address social issues that need attention.

4. Be a sponge, stay on top of trends, and practice your craft.

5. Stay inspired, don’t be afraid to fail!

6. Be okay with criticism.

7. Don’t do things just because they look pretty, have a strategy.

8. Always be able to defend your work but also stay flexible for clients.

9. Stay true to your word and be reliable.

10. Never compromise your work!