Famous Characters

Argentinean Illustrator Leonardo Frino Loves Typography and Bringing Letters to Life

Argentinean Illustrator, Leonardo Frino, is a firm believer that letters of the alphabet really just want to dance, sing, fall in love and be happy. The typography-lover takes the letters from A-Z, and numbers, bringing them to life with the inspiration of celebrities and icons.

‘The first step is the shapes,’ Leonardo explained to us about his process. ‘Generally, I start with a circle, but the most important thing is the shape and finding the meaning of the shape.’

An experienced and qualified designer, Leonardo was the co-creator of experimental magazine Graf, and designer of magazine Queperiodismo maleducado. He has designed book covers and art for several bands and musicians.

His characterisations are just another opportunity for him to explore his unique and synthesthetic style of work, increasing the relationship between what he sees, and what is happening in his head. ‘It’s the perfect time to open the mind to whatever, no restrictions,’ he told us.

The Plus: What do you experience as the most challenging part of illustrating?
Leonardo Frino:
It’s about the first stroke and how it all slowly starts to appear until the illustration is complete. It’s a process that is full of emotions and that is very exciting.

TP: Do you have a favourite character to illustrate?
I have a special obsession with Red Riding Hood. Someday, I will find a way to make a version of that classic, I hope.

TP: What would your tip for illustration students be?
Just draw and draw everyday without fears. No shame, be patient and a lot of hard work. Experiment, make mistakes and be friends with them. Read, listen, and watch everything they can. Be curious; make the job something interesting and gets fun.

TP: Are there characters on your list you still want to illustrate?
Of course, the front men of my favourite bands, Eddie Vedder and Steven Tyler from Pearl Jam and Aerosmith respectively.