Illustrator Malika Favre on working with people

Barcelona-based illustrator Malika Favre is famed for her deceptively minimal style, which has adorned covers of The New Yorker, Vogue and more. And if you have an iPhone, you might find a few pieces of hers hiding in the wallpaper menu. With clean, bold illustrations and elegant geometry, her work is unmistakable.

At OFFF Barcelona 2022, Favre took an innovative approach to the design talk. Rather than her own life or career, she structured it around the people who have inspired and helped her along the way – “because whether you work with brands or individuals, you’re working with people.” Here are just a few of the many names she mentioned. (Inspired to start drawing? Check out our guide on how to download Illustrator.)

Malika Favre at OFFF Barcelona 2022 (Image credit: Future)

Nat, Fred and Alex

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A detail from Malika Favre’s Kama Sutra alphebet (Image credit: Malika Favre)

Nat, Fred and Alex were the founders of Airside, the multidisciplinary design studio Favre joined in 2004. “The great thing about the studio was that they had a shop,” she explained. This acted as a virtual circle to keep designers challenged and interested. It was here that Favre created her first “sexy alphabet” – the starting point for what would eventually become her sensational Kama Sutra typeface. Favre stayed at the studio for 5 years, building her own personal aesthetic, before deciding to go freelance.

Paul Willoughby

Malika Favre BAFTA art

Malika Favre’s 2015 BAFTA art (Image credit: Malika Favre)

Paul Willoughby is the former creative director of Little White Lies, and created or commissioned 47 of the magazine’s iconic illustrated covers. Willoughby supported Favre right at the beginning of her freelance career, inviting her to submit 70’s-inspired art for a movie poster exhibition at London’s Kemistry Gallery.

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