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 Page 1 of 3 


Interview with Carlos Segura of [T-26]
Exclusive Interview

By: Brendan Staunton
Page 1 of 3


Flat Earthers would feel really at home in Chicago. The city feels ruler-flat - like it was precision planed into one long level expanse. From the top of the downtown skyscrapers, you can, on a clear day, see across four states. Certainly you never escape the impression that this is a big town. The old brick warehouses and factories of the inner city may resemble those in England, but it never feels like England, because the streets seem to go on forever. Nowadays these old industrial areas are gradually being restored and jazzed up with lots of new bars and boutiques as the older heavy industry makes way for the newer media and design companies. One such is Segura Inc., the highly regarded graphic design company that is also home to the [T-26] type foundry.


After I'd rung the bell, the heavy main door swung open to reveal a large labrador looking up at me with its tail wagging and a green tennis ball in its mouth. This was Yuki, the Segura Inc house dog and mascot (and evidently a bit of a poseur). A young guy ushered in and gave me some Chinese-looking slippers to wear in place of my shoes. After this I was introduced to Sun, the charming Korean wife of main man Carlos Segura. She gave me a brief tour round the facility, with Yuki in constant attendance.


There was certainly plenty of space. Apart from the actual design studio itself where Carlos and his crew were working, there was also a recording facility, an admin office and this very large, spacey upstairs room where we eventually did the interview. It made quite an inspiring setting with its huge windows, hardwood floors and a sparse, Eastern look to the furnishing. Carlos himself looked very regal leaning back into the sofa opposite and, for a moment, I almost felt like a court reporter having an audience with some important dignitary, but he's too laid back for the impression to last. I noticed he'd cut his hair.


"Yeah... I got tired of it. It's great now - I just put on my helmet, get on my bike and go. Then when I get there, I take it off and just do this (pulls hand through hair) and I'm done."


The haircut isn't all that's changed. Throughout our conversation, I sensed a restlessness about Mr Segura. Perhaps it's just his personality - and certainly graphic design, like most modern businesses, is largely about change management. But the changes Carlos referred to seemed more fundamental.


"I guess I'm trying to get back to appreciating all those small elements that go into something and make it a whole. I'm trying to refind my appreciation of all these things."


I asked him if anything in the field excited him at the moment.


"Well, I'm very excited about what's happening in product design and package design, 3-d design, multimedia interactive design, web development - even graphic design. It's just that I've been surrounded by it for so long that I sometimes feel a bit burnt out by it."


So you're looking to recharge your appetite."


"Yeah. We in the creative field are quite unfortunate because we're surrounded by such wonderful things all the time that we almost get numb to it. We don't always appreciate the extreme contributions that we all make to this industry because I guess we just get bored y'know? When you see it every day it's kind of like no big deal and we don't even think about how hard it is to do this stuff any more. It's like with cars - every year we expect the car manufacturers to come out with a better car and, I mean, have you any idea how much work it takes to redesign a car? And then people complain about how the door squeaks when they close it well, y'know - oil the f***ing thing!"


This was really funny for me because the people I was staying with had a noise problem with their new SUV - a weird hum that appeared at random. I would have mentioned it but Carlos was on a roll.


"We judge a car by whether it has a CD player or not! We don't even think about all the work that went into the creation of the engine and the beauty of the design of the components.


So what's the answer?


"One of my short-term goals right now is just to stop working. Every weekend I try as hard as I can not to go into my office. It's difficult because obviously we live and work here, but on the weekends all I want to do is ride my motorcycle. And its refreshing because it snaps me out of this tunnel vision where that's all I'm doing is work. I'm getting numb to the creative process not because I don't think I can do it any more but because I'm too close to it and I need to pull back and be objective about it. When I read a book or see a poster I'm not looking at what it says, I'm trying to figure out what fonts it was set in."
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