Aloísio Magalhães - Brazil's greatest graphic designer

Aloísio Sérgio Barbosa de Magalhães, or Aloísio Magalhães, is considered one of the key pioneers of modern design in Brazil. Not only was he one of the most important graphic designers from Brazil,  he also founded the first industrial design school in Brazil, the ESDI in Rio de Janeiro.

Aloisio Magalhães

He was so important to the advancement of Brazilian design that when the government introduced a 'National Design Day’, his birth date of 5 November was selected. Born in 1927 in Recife, Pernambuco, Aloisio's career spanned over three decades until his untimely death in 1982. 

Aloisio Magalhães

In 1960 he established a small design team based out of Rio de Janeiro, which would go on to be responsible for the development of dozens of designs, from bank notes to government ministries to corporate logos.

Aloisio Magalhaes logos

His team went on to win the competition to design the symbol for the commemorations of the fourth centenary of the founding of the city of Rio de Janeiro. The symbol was quickly adopted by cariocas and can still be seen around the city today. 

Rio de Janeiro centenary logo
Rio de Janeiro centenary logo

In 1965 he created the first logo for Globo TV, one of most recognised brands in the world today, consisting of a star with four points. Today, Globo dominates Brazilian and Latin American airwaves with its popular 'novella' soap operas but is still tainted by its complicity with the military dictatorship of Brazil in the 1970s and 80s and its ownership under the controversial Marinho family.

Globo TV logo

Unknown to many is that Aloisio also designed the original logo for the Brazilian foreign ministry, the Palácio Itamaraty, when the new capital, Brasilia, was constructed in 1960. Inspired by the curving facade of the Oscar Niemeyer designed building, he created a unique 'RE' - for 'Relações Exteriores' or 'Foreign Affairs' - which can still be seen on some of the old silverware in the ministry. 

'Relações Exteriores' logo Aloisio Magalhães
'Relações Exteriores' Aloisio Magalhaes