#tbt Gentle Monster X Monocle Order Digital Campaign

This campaign was created during summer ’15 while I was working with a retail store. My inspiration for this project was attitude with a badass combination. The picture alone made the whole campaign; Just playing with small elements and neon colors made the message pop-up even more. The trend at that moment were geometric elements. I’m still all about that trend but more about emphasizing letters over elements.



gentle-monster-newlseter 2

gentle monster digital campaign - erika otavalo


The Muse: Herb Lubalin

Herb Lubalin is and always will be my #1 inspiration. I was first introduced to his work at a college course. We were assigned to do a presentation based on your favorite designer. After some research his work just stunned me, the use of typography and the bold style. Till this day his work remains timeless and hard to top.

Even thought I wasn’t able to appreciate his work while he was still alive, I was able to purchase his entire magazine collection, Avant Garde. It gave me a better understanding of his work direction which continues to be my everyday inspiration.


Who is your favorite designer?

How to keep things minimal?

In the process of minimal design, we might agree that the less copy the better; What do you do when that is not the case. I find what works for me is overlapping text or just turning some elements upside down to keep it fun. Mixing big and small elements is the key. Find what needs to be emphasized and what can be put on a box per say. The use of cool & interesting fonts can help small text stand out.

Color plays a major role in design; Know where to use dominant colors that caught your eye. It can be the mix of small elements with colors that draw attention, and big elements with soft colors that fall in the background.

I was able to put these designs together in less than a day. I’ve been working from a office with no windows which I call the “black whole”. I couldn’t find any inspiration in that space, so I had to step out near the windows to find inspiration. It’s been so long since I had the chance to work on new projects since I’ve been finalizing some past work, so this was definitely an exciting project to begin working on.

Tell me, how do you keep your style minimal?

Icon Credit: Flat Icon

Blush Tones + Bold Letters

This is one of my latest favorite pieces. I completely enjoyed the process of creation. Approximate time was 2 HRS including image research. What inspired this design? I would say Pinterest and instagram fashion profiles. Lately I’ve been obsessed with big letters and photography. I try to keep the copy short and sometimes is a hustle convincing a client. Is sort of like choosing fabulous design over information. I believe there’s always ways to find that perfect balance, from my experience people don’t want to be overwhelmed with text, for that reason my goal is to create interesting pieces that’ll your eye will be naturally drawn to.

Fun fact: I was listening to Enrique Iglesias first album while drafting this…  Love songs kind of tone (so not me)… isn’t that funny? I usually try to go for the runway,  or techno songs to get me inspired, but for some reason Enrique worked just fine haha. 

What are your current trend obsessions? 

GB Project Collab.