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JCPAGAN Biography

JUANCARLOSPAGAN Juan Carlos Pagan Biography Book. Copyright Š 2013 by Room 13th Design Inc. Asian Edition 2013 by Room 13th Design Inc. Publishing House First published in US in 2013 by : Room 13th Design Inc. 103 Atelier Shiki Center Suite 406-L Manhattan, New York City 019-013 Telephone : (978) 292-9590 Fax : (978) 283-2742

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in case of brief quotation embodied in critical articles and reviews. For information, address Room 13th Design Inc., Kemang Raya 13, Kemang. Jakarta, Indonesia 415956

Design & Typography Made of New York,

01 - Prologue A brief biography of Juan Carlos Pagan. Here, you will get to know better about this man, his recent artwork, perception about design, career and current position as Head of Design in DDB, New York. 08 - 15

02 - Pinterest Boasting 10 million unique visitors a month as new-comer social media like nothing before. Process and story behind the logo. 16 - 23

03 - Exhibition In the past 3 years, Juan Carlos Pagan had a big contribute as an event holder. He wrapped 3 independent art exhibitions in New York. 24 - 31

04 - Artworks His masterpiece collections and collaboration artworks within company’s projects and teammates. 32 - 37


08 Welcome A brief biography of Juan Carlos Pagan. His recent jobs, artworks, projects and also information about his current career.

10 Perceptions Juan Carlos Pagan shared some of his basic design principle he found during his career and being Head of Design in DDB, New York.

Welcome Welcome,,

Biography Book


Prologue / Welcome

Juan Carlos Pagan is a Designer, Typographer, and Art Director living in NYC. In 2006 he graduated from Parsons School of Design with a B.F.A in Communication Design. A few years later in 2011 he graduated as part of the inaugural class of Type@Cooper, the Postgraduate Typeface Design certification program at Cooper Union. He is already experienced working with large company especially in advertising. He is also actively working in his collaboration project and also conduct to create art exhibition in New York. Employed previously at G2 Worldwide, and MTV, Juan is currently positioning the Head of Design at DDB New York and a Partner at the Brooklyn based design print studio and type foundry named Pagan & Sharp.

“It is tough to excel to the top, that’s hard work. But, we can create culture and content by ourselves”

- JC Pagan.



“We “We can create create culture”

Self-professed typeface geek Juan Carlos Pagan had already made a name for himself long before he joined DDB, New York as a designer six months ago. The Parsons grad was busy indulging his love for typography at the inaugural Type@Cooper postgrad class at Cooper Union, when his friend and fellow designer Mike Deal called him to collaborate. Little did they know, they were working on what would become, arguably, the creative industry’s logo dujour, for Pinterest.

Culture never sleeps In one day, Juan made a very good statement about design. He mentioned that everyone could make a culture. “If you have a authentic design, then everyone will wear it”. Basic design principle by Juan Carlos Pagan in a design workshop at Brookly. He believed that culture raised from art. Once art gets responds or appreciation, everything is possible. The thing is how to make your work is visible in public. The posters featured illustrations from Studio AKA designer Chris Gray. “I took Chris’ work and started developing the individual typographical language for each poster. It could have been easy, you could have just had him do it and slap type on top, and that would have been fine. But hee really felt that even though it was a campaign, each ad deserved a unique typographical voice.



The typography relates to art. At Creativity, they often to noticed that the work out of the agency has gotten a lot more interesting over the last several months. CCO Matt Eastwood and ECD Menno Kluin say Pagan is one of the factors behind the shop’s creative renewal. An unusual creative process also helps. “Menno and I have weekly, if not daily conversations about the things we want to

create, the people we want to work with and how that fits into our clients’ needs,” says Pagan. “And out of those conversations they approach creating stuff and proposing things to the clients. If the clients like them and if they’re on par with strategy, they will move forward with it. It’s unique, because they are a global agency, but in New York, people act really nimbly. They act like a small design studio and they love that. They approach projects with this idea.

“We create the content” When asked about his thoughts the state of design in advertising, “I don’t think it’s as bad as a lot of people think,” he says. “The truth is I think a lot of things lie within mediocre. It’s like a microcosm for society and people--10% are exceptional, there’s 80% in the middle, and then 10% that’s horrible. Design, in terms of advertising, a lot of it you’re seeing is in that 80%. You’re seeing it, but you’re not really seeing it. You’re not really engaged. I think we’re striving here to do the top 10%.” Which, he believes, can not be reached on

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“Not everyone is going to love what you make”

However, everyone loves to enjoy the process instead. -

talent alone. “It’s tough to excel to the top,” he says. That’s hard work. There are a lot of talented people in the industry, but I think the people who get to that 10% are people who have an high aptitude for hard work.” Pagan had been dealed with many clients in his recent career. Just like any other designers, he’s also been facing through hard times, especially after graduation. Not everyone would love his work because he believed not everyone have a stable perspective and experienced on something. And this is very

common and understandable. However, as a good designers, he could show the interesting process or the making scenes to the clients and make them start to enjoy the progress. It’s like adding more credits and visual without purpose while people starts to love it. The more you can show the process, the more that people will love your work. When he’s not killing himself over ads, Pagan tends to another outlet for his letter-driven obsessions, his own foundry Pagan & Sharp, launched with fellow designer Lucas Sharp.

Malleable Grotesque Headline style typeface designed by Juan Carlos Pagan

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Process of Pinterest

Pinterest is now one of the biggest social media on earth. Juan Carlos Pagan, who was the logo designer of Pinterest had a special moment where he found this logo become interactive and speaking.


Problems & Challenges

Juan Carlos Pagan shared his works and his own desrciption about Pinterest logo, together along with his teammate, Michael and Ben.

Biography Book


Pinterest / Process

The making official logo for Pinterest by Juan Carlos Pagan and assisted by his mate Michael Deal is something else. While they thought it was decent, they would always been itching for something a bit more distinctive. Pinterest is a tool for collecting and organizing the things that inspire you. Located in San Francisco, California. P (as in “pin”) plus “interest”. Pin your interests there. Pinterest encourages you to “Collect the things you love”. Pinterest is : A virtual file cabinet. A virtual showcase. A virtual magazine. A virtual bulletin board. A visual everything. Pinterest calls itself “A virtual pinboard”.

“That not only helped the logo feel right, but it adds that bit of craft and quality I think they were looking for”

- JC Pagan.

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Pins as the first inspriration of the original Pinterest’s concept which adapted to become a logo.

The Problem with Letter “P” The final mark is pretty close to the ideas he discussed with Ben in our initial chats, and he’s been reminded of how satisfying a project can be when things end up as first envisioned. After they weighed some different approaches to bundling the kit of logo elements, it became clear that this was not a time to get too clever with the brand’s kit of parts.

They opted to follow a proven model of using a logotype as the primary mark and site header, and developing a badge-like mark that repeats the initial letter “P.” It was uniquely easy to get a good understanding of the audience. The whole site is a giant dynamic moodboard for its users Pagan and Michael agreed that the logo was already a start in the right direction, and that keeping with a script logotype was appropriate.

Pinterest needed something that seemed casual, but that also carried signs of careful craft. It was important to sense the touch of the hand in the forms, but to stay subtle. The team also wanted it to carry a feeling of nostalgia, without seeming retro. The need for contemporariness drove many of the initial experiments, where they played with fully upright scripts, and tuned down the range of line weight variance. The bolder type also served well under the ever-present logistical issue that the logo

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For most of the project, I had avoided making visual reference to the image of a pin because it seemed too literal.

The component we finished last actually has the lead role in the identity: the “P.” We auditioned many shapes to find one with distinct personality.

would be seen almost exclusively on screens at only a few pixels tall, where small details don’t translate well. The process of creating the logo came naturally. The and the pair was free to take creative risks, “Ben and Evan were really great at expressing what they were looking for and they have a high level of respect for craft and design.”

“They see it and feel it and understand the significance of it. That’s the only reason we were able to do some of the things we did, for instance.” For non-typography geeks out there, he’s referring to the ornamental connection of the logo’s “s” and “t.” The visual surprises that can emerge during some projects can be the best part of the design process. But designing the new Pinterest logo had relatively few surprises.

“We do not just make a beautiful P, but adding assertive typography and lettering could make this better”

- JC Pagan.

We used ligatures to signal the brand’s appreciation for thoughtful craft, without resorting to something overtly hand-touched and make sure to leave the “P” freestanding and to force the letters in “interest” to connect. As we were digitizing the logotype, we encountered interesting opportunities. We found by using the discretionary “st” ligature we were able to balance out the weight of the “P” to visually bookend the logotype.

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Michael came to me with a bunch of really great sketches of logotype ideas and all we had to do was put the finishing touches on it. Another fun moment was the “re” connection. We experimented with a more traditionally scripted “r,” but came to the conclusion that by using the lowercase italic “r” we could give the logotype a bit more own-ability and charm. It also happens to be my favorite moment in the logotype during my career.

The Challenges When we didn’t want to make it too soft because then it would be a nub. It was really about nuancing the right degree of suggestion of ‘pin,’. Maybe it’s obvious but it’s okay because it feels right. If this P is going to have to live by itself, then maybe it should be a little more conceptual in that sense. I’m really happy with that decision because it really helps people interact with logo.” We auditioned many shapes to find one with distinct personality. For most of the project, I had avoided making visual reference to the image of a pin because it seemed too literal. But the “P” started to lend itself too well to the shape of a map pin. Carlos and I spent a good bit of time finessing the character to find the right degree of suggestion. Too much of a pin shape compromises legibility, where too much subtlety leaves less justification for attempting the concept in the first place.


Send Help Project & The Bad Words Experiment

Carlos Pagan takes an interest in art show. Recently, he has been involved in the making of art exhibitions such as “SEND HELP” and “The Bad Words Experiment”. By putting an interesting theme for this exhibitions, the participated artists should shown their creativities related to the theme.


Biography Book


concerns to this he often to held art show by inviting New York-based designer and give them chance to express their creativities.


“Send Help Project” and “The Bad Words Experiments” are the recent successful art show that created by Carlos and friends, The New and Attractive Juveniles crew.

Exhibition is one of the important things to do as a professional designer. Sharing the artwork to the public and the idea to the other are necessary to give a great perception to audiences how important the design to the world. Juan Carlos Pagan, as Head of Design DDB, New York

“I would like to send help to young creative people, they need more outlets to express, collaborate, and create.”

- JC Pagan.

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The Send Help Project is an art show that invites several artists to interpret the phrase “SEND HELP” in any way they choose, through any medium they choose.

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SEND HELP / The Idea -

The Send Help Project is a collaborative show between artists exploring the theme “SEND HELP” through various forms and mediums. The work being showcased was created by the selected and curated artists. The words “SEND HELP” jumped out from the back of a road map on the way of Montreal. It’s simplicity and immediacy sparked curiosities and stirred thoughts about the meaning behind the words, and the various images that are conjured up depending on the interpretation.

Participated artists : Gaius Benbow Leslie Cain Niina Cochran Carolina Garcia Angel Gonzales Frej Hedenberg Freddy Lopez Deirdre Merrigan Rory Mulligan Juan Carlos Pagan Pablo Pineda Andres Rivera Cindy Rodriguez Diane Wah Jay Woo

Moreover, he was also involved in the making of this art exhibition, but just a little part. This time, he wanted to be involved as the contributor artist of this event, since in the beginning only few artists were concern to the independent event like this. There’s no overbudget for this one, only minimum. Minimum space, minimum printed invitation, but fascinating result. Quality over quantity.

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He was created two connecting posters that represent the “SEND HELP” using typography and lettering technique on the window blinds. It’s written “Look Twice” as he wanted the viewers to get more attention about eveything in their life. With his modern style typography and media execution, he successfully brought the works into this art show. The idea of print it on the window blinds is basically to have a “peeking” feeling from outside of the window and watching something carefully.

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Juan Carlos Pagan also encourage young designers to actively participated or involved to similar exhibition like this, because he believed that this is very important to express and share the idea with others. People often to miss one or two things, but the other could help to build a stronger idea. That’s why Juan Carlos Pagan puts more interest in event like this.

Bad Words Experiment / The Idea “The Bad Words Experiment” is the 2nd exhibition created by The New and Attractive Juveniles.


This show intends for 20+ artists from various backgrounds to interpret the theme “Bad Words” in way they choose.

“The Send Help Project” was a great success and an inspiring process for all involved. As young creatives, we yearn to find opportunities to express ourselves outside of our 9-5’s. “The Send Help Project” was an experiment to see if we could bring together a group of artists who shared our ideals. Then, Pagan made anoter art and design exhibition because of higher demand for such this in New York.

Pagan believes that opportunities to display one’s work should not be limited by the slim chance of acceptance to institutionalized galleries. He also believes in the spirit of collaboration. Inspired by the momentum of our first show, they are motivated to keep creating these opportunities for themselves and for those who wish to participate.

The Send Help Project is an art show that invites several artists to interpret the phrase “SEND HELP” in any way they choose, through any medium they choose.

Bad Words Experiment / The Idea Juan Carlos Pagan was the one who is quite responsible for this exhibition time. Most of the visual of this art show is his idea. In order to put this show together, the primary expense is an exhibition space that can hold the work of 20 artists. Other expenses they only anticipate include: Vinyl wall decals, Postcards, Posters, Personalized Promotional Invitations, Catalog,

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Lights, Paint, and Refreshments. He funded his last show out of pocket, and simply can’t afford to repeat that expense. But he does want to continue to hold these shows, and he don’t want to see finance as a limitation to what can be done. The following pictures is the final identity for this “The Bad Words Experiment” made by Juan Carlos Pagan together along with all the help of The New and Attractive Juveniles.



Interview / Q & A

Getting to know Juan Carlos Pagan by a short interview about his recent projects, random hobbies and also facts about this young Head of Design.

48 Works Collection of his artwork during his career until now

Biography Book


Q & A / Works

Juan Carlos Pagan shared his comments about his recent projects during the interview time. The interview section is for the reader to get to know more about this young designer and also the Head of Design of DDB, New York. In this section, you will find his collection of his best artwork in his career.

“I’d be designing something. If I wasn’t designing for advertising, I’d be designing something.”

- JC Pagan.

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More to Know If not doing advertising : I’d be designing something. If I wasn’t designing for advertising, I’d be designing something. I have a type foundry on the side with Lucas Sharp so on weekends and nights I’m designing typefaces and licensing them. I’d be doing that full time, or I’d be designing a building. I need to be making something on some level. On what his family thinks of his career : I had an interesting experience explaining to my grandparents what I do, but they don’t quite get it. They get that I work in advertising, but they think typography just exists, that it’s like air, which most people should, and it’s fine.

On his favorite typeface : I go through momentary fits of things I’m really drawn to. Right now, I’m really interested in Fleischmann and William Addison Dwiggins and his M Formula, which kind of informed my latest typeface. It involves really sharp points on the inside, the counterforms, and these really round smooth points on the outside, and the tension and contrast they create and how they read when they get really small. That’s really fascinating to me. Little known fact : I have a pretty extensive library of books. I read a lot of philosophy, whether it’s preSocratic Greek or postmodern existentialism-that sounds shitty, but I read a lot of philosophy. Maybe that’s weird for a designer.

Works -

Communication Design Design Book Design Collection designed by Juan Carlos Pagan

Peru Book about Peru visualization & photos designed by Juan Carlos Pagan

Type@Cooper Logo, Letting Go Poster, and Save Water Campaing for Africa Artworks designed by Juan Carlos Pagan Printed is U.S.A by Room 13th Design Inc. US : 40 $ Indonesia : 600.000 IDR Design by Tommy Wiratama. Prologue by Juan Carlos Pagan. Copyright Š 2013 by Room 13th Design Inc. All rights reserved.

Juan Carlos Pagan  

A biography book for Juan Carlos Pagan.