Cover: Iván Meade CGD

An interview with Iván Meade CGD: designer with many talents

"CGD™ certification sets you apart with a different level of credibility in the professional world."

Iván Meade CGD is the principal designer and founder of Meade Design Group, a multidisciplinary design firm in Victoria, BC. With a world-wide business reach, his company provides graphic and web design as well as interior design. His work includes design of fabric, furniture, packaging, pillows, and candles, as well as branding, print, and environmental design. We asked him a few questions about his work. But first, here's a sample of his brilliant interior design work.

Farm – Downtown

FARM flagship store, located downtown Victoria on Douglas Street, is one of Canada’s largest retail medical marijuana dispensary companies. Their new location combines sophistication and the contemporary while respecting the history of their location which is the Porter Block Corner building in Victoria. Inside, view the impressive high-end light fixtures, brass accents, and custom monogram inset into the terrazzo-inspired floor.

In addition, Meade Design incorporated classic elements such as large scale historical wall murals, subway tiles, and mock stained-glass.

The overall effect is stunning and commemorates the building’s history.

Iván, what first sparked your interest in design?
I was very fortunate that from an early age I was exposed to and surrounded by good design. Since my teenage years, I knew I wanted to be a designer, but I wasn’t sure what kind of designer. My grandfather suggested I get a business degree as he said this would always help you in life. Then life brought me to Canada where I needed to reinvent myself. Twenty years ago, I saw the opportunity to start my own studio when I was invited by some friends to design a Bistro for them. This little restaurant was my first multidisciplinary project in Canada. My only condition to do the job was carte blanche, so I designed the logo, the menu, the interiors, and entire branding experience. The rest is history!

LEFT: Bear & Joey logo: The objective was to create a vibrant, casual, yet elegant café unique from all other local coffee shops and restaurants. Bear & Joey’s branding, both graphic and interiors, emanates a clean, feminine, and upbeat look, perfect for capturing Instagram moments. Meade Design Group provided   a full brand identity, custom to-go cups, unique interior mirror vinyls, a neon sign, and wayfinding signage, as well as a digital strategy guideline for Instagram.
RIGHT: Nest & Cradle, a retail store on Yates Street in Victoria, BC, with the tag line "Because life is lovely." They were in need of a brand that would portray them as all that they are: hip, friendly, fun and of course, lovely! Curvaceous typography was looped to form a nest or cradle-like shape was used as the main focus of the design. Punchy acidic greens and bright peacock blues were used throughout the printed goods and website to add interest and trends that could be easily changed.

Where do you draw inspiration from?

As a multidisciplinary designer, I think it is important to understand the space and client’s needs that you are working with. It can be a white piece of paper, a web page, it can be a home, or even a piece of fabric – once you understand the client’s needs and the parameters in which you are working then is when creativity starts punching in. I think about how to create memorability and uniqueness. I believe that good taste is a cultural product, this can be life experiences, what you see in your travels, even materiality. I like my designs to be memorable, unique but timeless, so I always think about how this design will look in ten years and get a quick answer that way.

LEFT: Chaise, custom designed and made from scratch, it features walnut legs with brass ferrules. RIGHT: Custom Lounge Chair.

Did growing up in Mexico influence your sense of design and your work?
Definitely, I am very proud to be Mexican. I love colour, scale and shape. For instance, we have the work of Mayans, Aztecs, and many other pre-hispanic groups, then we have the Conquest by the Spaniards, and even more recently we have the incredible work of Luis Barragán that revolutionized the new Mexican design mixing the clean lines of the pyramids with a contemporary verge, the visual weight of the colonial buildings in his walls, always injecting interest with vibrant colour and as a result its unique play of shadows and light. On top of this incredible cultural background I have my own personal history and my family with their magical realism stories, random things you see while you are growing up. I believe that in order to be original, you need to incorporate your own personal narrative. This practice has been extremely helpful when I am designing textiles for instance. Each of the patterns that I have designed in my fabric collection has been inspired by this.

LEFT: Escotilla: zippered silk cushion cover with a layered marble pattern underneath to create depth and subtlety. CENTRE: Memo Samples: quick reference for the Iván Meade fabrics. RIGHT: Grabado-Cenote: Linen and cotton fabric panel. Grabado is an homage to one of Iván’s favourite artists, Matthäus Merian (1593-1650) and is a pattern that has been used in much of Meade Design Group’s branding.

What do you feel is the value of being a CGD certified designer?
Credibility! Being a CGD Certified Designer for the last 12 years has allowed me to grow confidently as a multidisciplinary designer, more in the graphic department. Having a group of colleagues that follow the same code of ethics, that treat clients with respect, that understand the value of our work, and this exposure is extremely beneficial. CGD certification sets you apart with a different level of credibility in the professional world. The difference is that as a CGD certified designer you also have the experience and the expertise to create not just a logo, but a branding experience.

Specifications and drawing package for Vic West sub-penthouse.

See more at:
Meade Design Group Inc.
Iván Meade, a personal Narrative in Fabrics
An online magazine for design enthusiasts