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Beatriz Lozano: Creating for Change

When Beatriz Lozano (BFA 16) moved to New York City in 2017, she first dreamed of the Young Guns 20 competition–a coveted award which recognizes the world’s best creatives under the age of 30. After submitting work compiled from her career in design, typography and education, that dream came true when Lozano was recently named a Young Guns 20 winner.

Lozano is one of only 31 talented creatives and teams in 10 countries and regions to be named winners of this year’s competition.

Collage of bright, primary colored squares with text containing names of New York neighborhoods.
Aguas Typeface by Beatriz Lozano, inspired by hand lettered signs in Mexican markets & calligraphic pen strokes.

In 2017, receiving this award felt like it was a whole world away,” Lozano said. Now, it’s a relief for everything I worked for: those sleepless nights, taking all those risks, moving out to New York without knowing anyone – it finally paid off.” 

The competition required Lozano to submit a selection of commercial and personal projects. Lozano submitted a typeface that was used by Apple in 2020, a commercial project for ESPN, a branding project for an exhibition company in Dubai, and other personal projects. The portfolio is proof of Lozano’s broad career as a full time freelancer, former design director at Sunday Afternoon, and adjunct professor at Parsons School of Design. 

The projects ultimately showcased how Lozano explores how technology can push typography to exist at the intersection of the physical and digital world.

Lozano’s journey started with a plan to become a mechanical engineer at the University of Michigan. After becoming involved in student-led social justice movements at U‑M, Lozano discovered her passion for using art, design, technology and education as fuel for positive change. 

Timothy Goodman, Beatriz Lozano, Zipeng Zhu stand in front of a screen that reads "Beatriz Lozano, Design Director, Brooklyn, NY" at the Young Guns ceremony at Sony Hall in NYC.
Timothy Goodman, Beatriz Lozano, Zipeng Zhu at the Young Guns ceremony at Sony Hall in NYC.

Coming to the University of Michigan

As a first-generation college student and daughter of immigrants from Sterling Heights, Michigan, Lozano was drawn to the closeness and dual degree program offered by U‑M. The program was a happy medium for Lozano, who aspired to be a mechanical engineer, but loved art. 

When I was in high school, I was really set on becoming a mechanical engineer, but I always loved to paint and draw. The compromise was that I would be an engineer, but also go to take classes for my own happiness at the art school,” Lozano said. For a couple of years, I thought about designing prosthetics in the mechanical engineering track. Once I became exposed to graphic design and visual communication, I just really found what made me happy.” 

Augmented reality lettering by Beatriz Lozano

But Lozano’s version of art is not far off from her mechanical engineering skill set. She incorporates technology into her brand identity, type design, creative coding, and augmented reality projects. 

Back then, I thought I was going to be a creative engineer. Now, I think of myself as a technical artist or designer, which is funny – I’ve inverted what I thought I was going to be,” Lozano said. In engineering, I learned C++, Phython, and how to communicate data visually. In my work now, I still work in different design softwares, so it was really easy for me to transfer that skill.” 

Photo of Beatriz Lozano, wearing a white shirt, with a superimposed border reading Young Guns 20
Photo via Beatriz Lozano

Passion for Teaching

At Stamps, Lozano also found a passion for teaching others – which she fosters as an interaction design teacher at the Parsons School of Design at The New School in New York. 

Lozano was compelled to join the Detroit Partnership at U‑M, where she volunteered in southwest Detroit in an English as a second language class. She also started her own ACT preparation program for students at Cesar Chavez Academy High School as a college student. 

I’ve always been interested in working with younger students and sharing some of the things that I’ve learned along the way,” Lozano said.

Lozano recalls how Stamps professor Franc Nunoo-Quarcoo noticed her teaching instincts early on. 

Even when I was a sophomore, Franc Nunoo-Quarcoo told me, One day, you’ll be teaching. I know you’re going to be teaching one day,’” Lozano said. 

Now, Lozano passes on her vast knowledge of interaction design, HTML, JavaScript, layout design, typography and more as a teacher.

Lozano stands with group of 10 students on a street with large black and white portrait posters behind them.
In 2013, Lozano stood with the Coalition for Tuition Equality at U‑M after a joint action with CQPoC (Coalition for Queer People Color), where they printed make-shift posters and hung them up around campus during a donor event.

Designing for Social Justice

Lozano also found her calling in social justice in her time at Stamps, which she integrates into both her teaching and design practices. 

When Professor Emerita of Art and Design Marianetta Porter encouraged Lozano to bring her activism work into her designs, new opportunities arose. She began to design for the Coalition for Tuition Equality at U‑M, where she helped advocate for undocumented students. 

Becoming involved in CTE opened the door for me to really begin applying my designs. I created posters, designed t‑shirts, and learned more about my craft through social justice,” Lozano said. 

After graduation, Lozano continues to apply the social justice movements that she is passionate about to her work. In 2020, she gave back to the immigrant rights organization One Michigan by providing them with a full rebrand. 

Lozano’s rebrand for One Michigan, inspired by the journey of immigration.

I enjoy working with the community and creating work that can resonate with everyone and is accessible,” Lozano said. 

As one of the industry’s youngest up and coming creative talents, Lozano is encouraging that same passion in the next generation.

Professor Marianetta Porter encouraged me to bring what I’m passionate about into my schoolwork, which is something that I carry with me. I really encourage that for my students as well, even from the first day of class,” Lozano said. I asked my students to not only introduce themselves, but tell me what they’re passionate about to focus on throughout the semester. For me, it’s social justice, but for them, I tell them that it can be cats, food, and any work to create that makes you happy. I think that when you create work that brings you happiness, you’ll attract that kind of future work that will keep you interested throughout your career.”

To learn more about Beatriz Lozano, visit her portfolio at http://​beat​rizl​.com/.

Story by Katelyn Stuck.