A repeat winner of the yearly internal Logoworks logo contest, Carlos Gaxiola (nickname “Gax”) has been designing for us since 2008. Beginning his logo design career as a teenager, he was first hired to create a logo for his family’s business, a car wash called Flipper. Clarifying that his father’s shop differed greatly from the one featured on Breaking Bad, Carlos’s logo was a basic dolphin sketched by hand.
Igniting what he describes as the “flame inside,” the simple logo marked the beginning of Carlos’s career. “I love to have the attitude of doing it better and giving [my] best,” Carlos says, admitting that the Flipper logo may no longer stand up to his higher standards.
Hailing from Guadalajara, Mexico, Carlos works on having diversity in his designs. “I don’t want to get enclosed in a single style,” he says, explaining why you won’t see much Mexican culture showcased in his work. By gaining inspiration from commonplace items and colors, Carlos is constantly refining his taste. “I don’t have a single source of inspiration; a lot of things inspire me.”
Keeping an eye on design trends, Carlos recognizes that a logo is more than a work of art. “I must fill the customer’s needs,” he says. “As a designer, I have to graphically translate the brief,” and drawing too much on his own artistic vision or style may ignore the customer’s needs.
Instead, Carlos uses his home and art studio as outlets for his personal style. “I use my design skills all the time,” he notes, surrounding himself and his family with warm colors that represent happiness. “I love designing. I’m always doing it, even in my sleep.”
And when he’s not sleep-designing, Carlos is spending quality time with his family. “I love to draw with them,” he gushes of his wife and children. “The girls love princesses and sirens and my son loves Mario Bros and Dragons. I draw the outlines and they color them in,” he says of his two daughters and son, ages eight, four and six, respectively.
Staying true to his original Flipper logo, Carlos still prefers to start his logos with an initial sketch by hand. “I think the best logo design process is to first think through the concept from different points of view, taking the client’s needs and direction into account, and then work in as many ideas as possible in pencil. Then I choose the best compositions and take them to the computer.”
As for his own personal logo design, Carlos wouldn’t know where to start. “That would certainly be one of the most difficult projects I could do,” he says. “It may be something typographic and symbolic that would serve as an icon I would use to sign my work.” But for now, Carlos prefers to work on other people’s branding, rather than his own.