Advertising characters are the focus of a new museum exhibition

Well-known characters from the ad pages of old are taking over the Museo de Arte y Diseños Contemporáneo. Graphics and caricature drawings of Costa Rican corporate branding characters will make up the Fundredimas-based exhibit in conjunction with the fourth annual Festival Internacional de Diseño

Fundredimas is a local foundation that keeps nostalgic icons alive and preserves newer brand characters through graphic design.

The design collection spans the years from 1945 to 2013, ranging in characters from the Fiesta Tours bear to Tito Gallito.

Fundredimas designer Carlos Redondo said the group wants to bring these corporate characters into an artistic space because they often get overlooked.

“As graphic designers and character designers, we saw that many characters live in the unconscious, in the emotions of people and brands themselves,” he said. “These characters’ revival is so people can understand that we have a history of graphic design and advertising that is worth knowing.”

The exhibit includes 80 images, more than 10 structures, an audiovisual area, and an homage to the Costa Rican graphic designers who first created these now-reborn characters. According to the other half of the Fundredimas project, Ariel Arburola, the project began nearly a year ago. Arburola and Redondo spent much of the time researching through Internet archives and at the Biblioteca Nacional. Arburola said that all the drawings are original versions and have not been changed.

“The characters are often forgotten by the brands and people,” he said. “So this exhibition is trying to revive them to a place that they deserve to be in.”

The exhibit begins today and lasts until May 3 at the museum located in the Centro Nacional de la Cultura. Florella Resenterra, director of the museum, said that these logos are part of Costa Rica’s modern history and should continue to be studied and analyzed.

“There is an emotion that can be had, a bit of melancholy, because we all remember these characters that are being brought to life again,” Resenterra said. “The principal objective is the revival, this is material that should not be forgotten and that should continue to be used.”

The Festival Internacional de Diseño is set to take place at the Antigua Aduana from Thursday to Saturday.

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