Exclusive: Fernando de Carabassa's Star Wars Makeover

Argentine native and Star Wars aficionado, Fernando de Carabassa disrupted the typographic world a few weeks ago with his design project, Swiss Star Wars. The posters, psychedelically colored, and chock full of Star Wars quotes have fans of the franchise showing support across the web. Carabas put a classic, but not-so-classic spin on Star Wars fan art with his use of Helvetica, geometric shapes, and patterns, but the posters stay true to the fun and adventure that we have come to associate with Star Wars.

Wanting to know more about Carabassa, the man behind Swiss Star Wars, we seized a bit of his free time and asked a few questions. Take a look at what Carabas has to say about Star Wars fandom, designing in Argentina, and how psyched he is about the upcoming Star Wars film The Force Awakens.

When did you first begin designing and illustrating, and how did you get involved?

My passion for design is something I grew up with. All the senior members of my family are somehow artists on their own. I was interested in illustration since I was a little kid and illustrated throughout all my high-school years. My passion for movies got me involved as in 2005 I began studying visual effects, and then in 2009 I went into graphic design at the University of Buenos Aires.

What made you recreate these Star Wars Posters?

It started as a project at the university. The assignment was to make a system of pieces that work together typographically, and visually. I chose Star Wars because I’ve loved the franchise since I was eight years old. My father showed me the original trilogy sometime around 1994. I remember going to the theater to watch A New Hope, after [George Lucas](✓&search=george+lucas) re-mastered them with new scenes.

Where did the title for your project, Swiss Star Wars come from?

I named it Swiss because it’s based on the primary international typographic style that is Helvetica, which was created by graphic designers in early 1950’s Switzerland. Initially it was called Swiss Wars, but then I changed the title to include Star Wars because it would be easier to search.

What’s your favorite Star Wars film and why?

Thank God, that’s an easy one! The Empire Strikes Back is my favorite. It’s perfect, we learn more about Vader and Luke, we get to see the first long lightsaber battle in the original trilogy, the setting, the planets, the asteroid chase, and of course Lando!

If you could be any ‘Star Wars’ character who would you be? Would you find yourself on the dark side, or are you one of the good guys?

Me? The dark side sure thing! If I were a Star Wars character, I would somehow be a mix between Han Solo and Darth Sidious. I would fight the rebel scum and send them into the abyss! Also, I’d have dual lightsabers!

Disney is set to release Star Wars: The Force Awakens in December, any opinions?

I love them. I’ve believed in JJ Abrams since Matthew Fox’s eye popped out onto my screen when the first Lost episode came out! So for me, JJ is the man to make the Star Wars move franchise reach heights even George Lucas could not achieve. I hope to see lots of cockpit scenes, practical effects, less lightsaber battles, and a lot of space battles. Also lots of “I have a bad feeling about this,” and Han Solo scenes saying “Hey kid” to Luke Skywalker, and Luke replying, “We’re not kids anymore Han.” But what I really like about the teaser and the new movie is the X-Wing flying over what looks like a lake and the millennium falcon escaping those Ties over the dunes of Tatooine. We are going to see Star Wars on a whole new level of awesome.

Your posters have made quite the Internet splash, what about them do you think made such a rumble in the design world?

I always wanted to show the world what I do, and what I’m thinking. I think these Star Wars posters were the door to do so. I believe in good luck, and maybe this is what happened to me. Don’t get me wrong I love them, and I really appreciate what the Star Wars community has done for me by sharing these posters over the Internet.

How does Swiss Star Wars differ from your other projects?

I don’t know, maybe because of the Helvetica choice. Everyone loves Helvetica and today many things are created in this font. Many designers all around the world choose Helvetica as the top one font to work with.

How does your Argentinian heritage infiltrate your style and your work?

I believe that my Argentinian heritage influences the quotes I choose to design. The jokes, and the information, can be used to see beyond what the eye catches—the simplicity of using an idea and converting it to something bigger. We Argentinians are accustomed to the chaos of the everyday and work with what we have.

Visit Fernando de Carabassa’s website to see more.

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