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An interview with the graphic designer Emanuel Sà.

I told you guys, MacStories Festival isn’t just a simple BIG giveaway contest.

No, it’s more. It’s an event, a real festival for all you Mac and iPhone users out there. So, what have we got here? An exclusive interview with the famous graphic designers Emanuel Sà.

You can find his official website here:

Enjoy! :)

Hi there! Can you please introduce yourself to MacStories readers?

I’m Emanuel Sá, 23 Years old, Portuguese. I’m a graphic designer, specialized in Icon and User Interface design.

How did you interest in design - especially icon design - get started?

It all started 3/4 Years ago, I had a very boring day work, i needed to have an hobbie to keep exercising design, and i met Mac Os X Tiger, it at 10.4.5, customization was really powerful system wide, so i started working on themes.

My first and only one was Enzo, I was trying to do something very different from the current regular styled themes, all of them very “the same” old architecture typical to them system, so i designed Enzo.



At the same time I needed someone to help me, I was thinking about replacing the whole system, theme and icons, so i contacted Improv Pastence, aka, Dan Deming-Henes to help me with themepark ( dude, it was awesome, but very messy ) and I “tried” to contact Jonas Rask to help me on the icons, but hey, he was one busy guy…I contacted once, twice, no reply! I had to be really stubborn  so I could get an answer from him, I guess being that stubborn helped, as he finally replied, positively!

But sadly it was a transition time, leopard was around the corner, Jonas was at the top and i believe already working on the Office 2008 suite, so we ended up just releasing a beta of the theme to the public.

It helped me learning the system, the Human Guidelines, so I started to do more, so since we couldnt theme Leopard I started working on icons.

By that time I had just bought a tiny little wacom tablet, a wacom bamboo, the software bundled with it was horrible, and the system preferences icon was hideous.

So I did my first icon.







Nowadays i really don’t like it, but hey… it all started there!

What would be a typical process for you when starting out a new design project?

Well, it really depends, sometimes I have a really clever idea in my head about what i’m about to start designing, sometimes i don’t, when i don’t, i try to sketch, search a lot for reference images of that object / concept so i can be sure i understand it all around enough to design it.

Where do you find inspiration?

That’s tricky! But honestly my biggest inspiration is always the artists i learned with and from. Laurent Baumann, Jonas Rask, Susumu Yoshida, Philipp Antoni, Henri Liriani, David Lanham…  you can only do better when you see better. they always push me to do better :)

Has Mac OS  changed the way you design / work? (if you use Mac OS)

Totally, it all started with it, the system really push you to be great, on anything you might do with it :)

Which apps do you use most to create your works?

Just Adobe Photoshop.

Do you have a “favourite” icon among the ones you’ve designed?

Not a favourite one, but one that I really enjoyed doing was the cake icon!



It was really hard at that time, i wasnt very skillfull yet, so i had to research a lot to be able to finish it.

Can you please describe us your workstation?

Very simple! a 20’ iMac a nice mouse and pen and paper, the workstation is not really the most important, it’s just a tool.

Can you tell something about your future releases?

Oh, fabulous things to come soon!

Thanks for chatting with us! Have a great Festival :)

Thank you! have fun ;)

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