Jabi Medina

Javier Medina writes his name with b. That gives you a clue about Jabi: he seems different and he is, indeed. He is not pretending, he is an authentic freak. He has his mother’s name tattooed, he is a Galician who loves Patatas Bonilla and he gets scared easily. On top of that, he is a brilliant and quick mind that plays with design. He has his own esthetic. A selective culture, same as his selective ability to listen and he laughs out loud. Working with him is inspiring and looking into his carreer path is motivator.

Javier Medina writes his name with b.

I know you feel more secure with images, could you tell us briefly your trajectory?

I was born and raised in A Coruña. I wasn’t a good student but I’ve always been curious about things I like. I mostly consider myself autodidact, at least I want to think I am one of those still. I love learning new things. I try to do it every day by myself and thanks to my friend circle.

I started working when I was 20 in an ad agency, as an intern during summer and later on as a junior designer. I was there for 6 years, I learnt a lot about the job thanks to all my wokmater. After that, I moved to Barcelona for studying and a year after I ended living in Madrid and working in Barfutura, this year in my eighth as Art Director. (BARFUTURA is a creative studio founded in 2003, focused on culture and specially, on cinema posters).

I’m really happy with my work there and I feel lucky with this amazing job I have. Thinking about my first approaches to design world, they were thanks to my home environment. My dad is a rigger and a painter, my sister is an arquitech and my mother is a DIY queen.

They tought me being active all day long, looking for a hobbie and make the most from it. I’m lucky enough to say my hobbie is my job.

Describe one day in your life:

- 9.00 am
During the week, I usually get up at 7.30. I Grind some coffee and while I’m having it, I take a shower, get dressed and I walk to work listening to any podcast. I usually have another coffee before enter.

- 9.30 am
I get to the studio. First of all and in this order:
I turn on my computer, check my e-mail, I open the work chat, Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign, font manager, notepad, Spotify and finally, Chrome; Where I always open tabs: Gmail, Impawards, Behance, Twitter, Facebook... I get set up and then, I continue working in the Project I’m in.

- 11.00 am
Coffee and cigar/smoke.

- 13.00 pm
At this time, I normally feel hungry but there’s time till lunch so I usually eat a piece of fruit. We tend to have a progress meeting around this time for checking the project we are working on.

15.00 pm
Lunch break. I have 1 hour so, if I have to much work, I try to keep working and if not, I take some time for what I call my things: writing down some ideas, organization, to do lists and personal projects.

Around 16.00 pm we start working again.

- 17.00 pm
The afternoon is long, but we are quite jet. I focus on work and time goes by quickly. I’m always listening to music or to live streaming radio. I never listen to podcast, I can´t be focused on work with them.

- 20.00 pm
If everything goes as planned (and it usually does), at 19.00 pm I’m off from work. I take a walk back home. I try new routes each day and I pass by the supermarket if I need something. When in home, I tidy a little bit, cook dinner and luch for the day after and when I’m free from home tasks, I seat in front of my computer to collect all my ideas and work a little on my personal projects. I try to make some time for “my things” everyday.

- 22.00 pm
Around this time I have dinner while I watch some show on the computer (sometimes just as a background) or I keep on working on my projects. After that, I go to bed and I listen a podcast or read a book.

Favourite tipography?

It keeps changing, but right now, Helvetica neue. Specially, weight 95 black. Before it, it was Futura extra bold.

Average of work hours per film poster?

Each poster is different. It depends on whe we start working on the project. If we start before they start shooting the film , we work in line with it. It means we have it is possible to ask for materials, to do a photo shoot, etc. In theese cases we have a lot pf time to work. Other times, the client call as once the film is finished, and here desdlines are shorter.

It is difficult to say how many hours we put on each poster. We are a team of 5 people, working hand with hand. We attend a lot of meetings to think about concepts, ideas to develop…

Then, comes the presentation, where we always present a full range of ideas, from teaser posters to campaigns, character posters, final poster, etc.

Las Brujas

This is one special, it was really laborious. Specially, character teasers, where you can see infinity of characters. They are all crop one by one, and then, in group. That means a lot of hours of work. I would say this poster took us 3-4 whole days. And once we had the approval, 2 days more for the final art, polishing each detail till up t the millimiter.

Imagen cartel

La Isla Mínima

This poster was a curious one. We came up with a lot of ideas and all of them valid. The client did like them all but he ended with this poster, a fixed photo from the movie.

Very powerfull, it describes the film really well and its atmosphere, it is an only photo, changing the background a little bit and adding the sky and the rain. It was relatively quick. We must add all the hours we invest in the other posters and all the people involved in this project.

Imagen cartel

One of your favourite projects:

From Barfutura, although we always work as a team, I would choose: The credits for Brief Festival in 2015. It was really fun to recreate movies and adapt them to each speaker personality. Watch credits for Brief Festival here.

Because it was a free and fun project, the teaser poster for Pieles: http://barfutura.com/es/skins/

Balada Triste de Trompeta poster of Álex de la Iglesia, was my first work in el primer Barfutura back in 2009, although the film was released in 2010, that’s a sign about how long a project can be: http://barfutura.com/es/balada-triste-3/

And of course, the most beloved, The Title. I am really proud of this project and I always say that if I haven’t ended in Barfutura, I have never come across and idea like this: http://barfutura.com/es/the-movie- poster/

Form my personal and recent works, I choose Estoy bien, gracias. It’s been such a fun project that has generated a lot of cool things: http://www.jabimedina.com/#/estoy-bien-gracias/

Last movie that you have watched?

On the cinema: El acorazado Potemkin with the original score live and Handia. At home: The Meyerowitz Stories and Fe de Etarras (Netflix).

Next movie you wanna watch?

I have no idea :) But it would take me too long, I will let you know.

A book?

Recent readings: Pensar en imágenes from Enric Jardí, Crisálida from Carlos Giménez, Fariña from Nacho Carretero. Currently reading: El otro Hollywood : una historia oral y sin censurar de la industria del cine porno from Legs McNeil. Con los codos pegados al torso, Kike Infame, an interview to Mauro Entrialgo. Una infancia: Biografía de un lugar from Harry Crews.

A book cover?

This is a though one... When I think about a cover, it comes to my mind the 1080 recetas de cocina from Simone Ortega, design by Daniel Gil, which always have been at my home since I was little. It was incredible discovering Daniel Gil work years after. He is one of my idols.

If you’d write a book, which would be its title?

Javier Medina, sus cuadros y dibujos. It would be a compillation of my dad’s grafic work, I would love to have it assembled in a book just for me.

What will be your next tatto?

The last 5 I’ve done I decided at the moment right there at the tatto studio. I don’t think much about it… But I think I’ll tatto a clip, and if this year keeps been so good, a 2017.

What does inspire you?

Every moment in my day to day. When I less expect it I come with an idea of doing something. My girlfriend does inspire me too, without trying we have a lot of ideas of projects. But what really does inspire me is just wanting to do things and take advantage of my time as much as I can.

I love illustration, editorial design, posters, cover book design, tipography, grafic humour, the popular culture, folklore, word games, proverbs, classic posters… I love everything related with handmade process.

Do you still have morriña (homesick)?

I have morriña when I think about my parents and my friends, but know I can say, that I’m happy here in Madrid.

What do you think about spanish design scene? Any names?

I think there’s a lot of level. Everyday you can find new enriching projects. Names? A lot of them. Some that I like (not necessary designers): Alvaro Valiño, Javier Jaén, Pep Carrió, Magoz, Susana Blasco, Riki Blanco, Branca. Studio, Error design y Munster Studio.

How many framed posters do you have and how many of them are still in tubes?

I have 28 posters and prints framed. But movie posters, right now, only 3: the french poster of Metropolis, from Boris Bilinsky, a serigraph that my boss gave me as my birthday present of the teaser we made for Julieta from Pedro Almodóvar and another serigraph special edition of Conan design by We Buy Your Kids for Mondo.

In tubes… some of them. I try to keep all the posters from the movies I have work in. I like to have them as a memory. I have between 40 or 50. A lot of them in my parents house in A Coruña.

You can check Javi’s work in:


Want to know more?
At WO we have a network of collaborators from different disciplines and fields. If you are interested in collaborating, we would love to hear from you. Learn more about our project and, of course, contact us whenever you like.
Subscribe to our newsletter
Don't miss the best of WO