Have you ever noticed how some art works portray a deeper meaning once you’ve looked at them long enough? It’s the kind of art or illustration often found on book covers, or even in the last article you’ve read online. Daniel Liévano, the designer behind the Curaprox Power Smile Edition of toothbrushes, refers to them as conceptual illustrations: a way to visually communicate complex ideas without using words. Learn how Daniel’s toothbrush design connects different ideas and encourages you to look for a deeper meaning.
What was your path to becoming a designer?
When I started studying advertising, I really liked the idea of inspiring people or making them laugh by creating video commercials. But when I first doubled with graphic design, that idea soon transformed into a more poetic approach; thinking and creating in 2D made me realise that I can visually communicate complex ideas without using words. Since then, I’ve truly enjoyed creating conceptual illustrations – where I often combine multiple topics into a cohesive concept and encourage the viewer to look for a deeper meaning.
What projects do you usually work on? What do you enjoy the most?
My main pool of work comes from the editorial field, as it gives me the opportunity to choose from a variety of seemingly unrelated topics. From the perks of Artificial Intelligence or the science behind molecules, to more literary themes linked to our emotions – I absolutely love it.
“I enjoy communicating complex ideas without using words, combining multiple topics into a cohesive visual concept and encouraging the viewer to look for a deeper meaning.“
What inspires you?
The idea that we’re all fleeting and temporary with a very limited time on Earth, all of which makes our time more valuable, and reminds us of the scarce opportunity we have to carve out the memories that our families and the communities we’re a part of will remember us by.
What are the daily rituals that you couldn’t imagine your day without?
Walking alone. As an effortless act, it helps me become aware of myself and of the life happening around me. It strengthens my attention to ordinary things, such as the sounds of the birds in the morning, or the body language of those I pass or interact with – once you start paying attention to your surroundings it is like reading the book of life.
How did your collaboration with Curaprox start?
Lucas Guidetti, Curaprox’s Brand Design Lead, approached me by email and gave me very good art direction and suggestions. We did a lot of exploration in the process, mainly by trying to figure out how to create something conceptual within such a peculiar space as a toothbrush.
What’s the idea behind your special edition of toothbrushes? What did you want to express?
I was inspired by contemporary graphics and the concepts of identity, human rights, feminism and culture. I aimed for simplicity, both abstract and iconic, with very vibrant colours. For me, all these aspects evoke freshness, youth and empowerment.
How did you choose the colours?
I went for saturated, vibrant primary and secondary colours, and mixed them to get some variances.
What was the biggest challenge of this design?
The most difficult part was finding a way to capture a solid concept in such a small space – the packaging of a toothbrush. I usually create designs for bigger spaces like the cover of a book or newspaper sections and articles. From many proposals, we decided to go with the one that gave out a more fun, vibrant and attractive vibe. I’m pretty happy with it.
“I was inspired by contemporary graphics and the concepts of identity, human rights, feminism and culture.”
How would you like people to think about your toothbrush?
I want my design to generate attraction and engagement based on the idea I wanted to communicate: the concept of freshness, brightness, youthfulness, and above all, oral health.
Did you know Curaprox before the collaboration? If yes, how did you perceive the brand?
I didn’t know about Curaprox before the collaboration, however, it only took a little internet search to find out about your global presence. I even found Curaprox products in the local stores, so now I have my own Curaprox toothbrush. Also, several illustrators whom I admire have collaborated with Curaprox, so I naturally feel very proud to be given the same opportunity.
Is there any dream product that you would like to collaborate on?
Not particularly, I just want people to see my designs, whatever the medium is.
Daniel Liévano is an award-winning conceptual illustrator and author based in Bogotá, Colombia. His work mainly focuses on brainstorming and creating thought-provoking imagery for selected top-selling publishers, newspapers, magazines, ad campaigns and institutions. As an author, Daniel is deeply inspired by semiotics and linguistics, and how the meaning of language is much broader than what common sense implies. You can find more of Daniel’s works on his Instagram, connect with him professionally via LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter.