1. Tell me about your designs. How were you inspired?
UTEP is where my story as a professional graphic designer began, so everything, the students, the faculty, the history of our university, etc. were elements that helped me to be inspired to come up with designs worthy of such an important celebration, such as the 100 years of our great institution.
2. What would you like to tell people about your designs that he or she may not know?
I was asked to design three labels for three different commemorative Centenario salsa and dip products. The name Centenario, which means a hundred in Spanish, is also well known to be associated with a gold bullion coin issued by the Banco de Mexico in 1921 to commemorate the first 100 years anniversary of the Mexican Independence from Spain. Considering that the name of these three products derived from an object of monetary value, I wanted the label designs to almost look like monetary bills, hence the use of old engraving designs found in money bills from all over the world. The colors utilized for each one of these labels, reflect the ingredients that make up the product, but are also meant to reflect the colors of the beautiful Chihuahuan desert.
I was also asked to design two labels for the UTEP Centennial Wine, a vintage red and a chardonnay, exclusively for the Centennial Celebration. For these I decided to use the emblematic miner’s pickaxe, but to give it a twist, I transformed it into a pickaxe/wine opener.
3. Talk about your ties to UTEP.
I received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a concentration in graphic design from UTEP back in 1994. As a work-study, I used to work as a designer at UTEP’s News and Publications office, as a matter of fact, it was my first official graphic design job. Upon graduation, I worked as a junior designer for a couple of years at a local advertising agency, and then I decided to pursue a Master of Fine Arts at Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia. After graduating, I worked as a designer at design firms in San Francisco and New York, then I was invited to apply to a tenure track graphic design position at UTEP, I applied and was fortunate to be offered the position. I have been teaching graphic design at UTEP for the last 14 years.
4. How does it feel to have your product be a part of UTEP’s Centennial Celebration and archived for the next 100 years?
As a designer, one is always waiting for those special assignments that will somehow mark the trajectory of ones career, I believe that this was one of those opportunities, and I am happy and honored that I was asked to be part of such a great event.
Jessica Molinar Muñoz is the director of communications for UTEP's Centennial Office.