Methodology of Creativity: How We Made the Icon

Collaboration with Gustavo Stecher, Graphic Designer UBA, Founder of Menos es Más, Cultural Branding y Publicist.


“We use brands to project who we want to be in the world, how we want people to perceive us, and how we want to feel about ourselves”. Debbie Millman

I have spent more than 30 years working on identity, and I must admit that there are certain challenges that are irresistible and unique. Marta Cruz presented me with the challenge of creating the icon that represents all women entrepreneurs in Latin America and the Caribbean, she is, without a doubt, among them. Thank you!

What I love most about my profession is that I always have the opportunity to submerge myself in unknown topics, swim in contradictory testimony and find myself in complex situations without an obvious solution. The uncertainty is what yields interesting results.

I believe that if an icon is going to represent someone, that person should build it and give it value. The drawing is less important, it is the result of a teamwork process. Go team!

A magical formula, enlightened geniuses and “deus ex machina” do not exist. All that you need is solid methodology and a lot of work. Does inspiration exist? Yes, of course, but as the great Picasso said “it has to find us working”.

The method is simple: hands on work. We gather as entrepreneurs and virtually, for all Latin American countries and the Caribbean, we begin to ask questions and listen. We move forward, then go back to questioning and continue listening. In the case of women entrepreneurs, the workshops were a whirlwind of ideas and concepts, contradictions and reconciliations and drawings and text of the obvious, and not so obvious, very deep values. Initial differences stemmed from personality traits and regional characteristics, and gave way to constants that began to emerge and surprise, almost as if by magic.

The most interesting and noteworthy is that the concepts never appeared simple, they were always  followed by a second concept, and this combination added new value. Almost like a parallel to what we consider innovation: Unite two existing elements in a different way to create something new.

And this is what the icon consists of: an existing universe between two cerebral hemispheres, and all of the complementary interpretations they can make (heart, seed, diamond, butterfly, cloud, etc.) suggested by transparencies, colors and forms, and that complete a particular and original interpretation that each one of these images is polysemic.

A icon that has come to represent much more than its own image, so much so that it is used as an avatar on social networks and in email signatures.

An icon that represents and fundamentally “identifies” values.

A constructed icon.

Biography of the Author: Gustavo Stecher is a graphic designer, writer for the architecture supplement in Clarín, brand consultant, regionally and globally recognized icon designer, such as the Bicentennial of Argentina.

Founder of No brand and menos es más.