Rafael Bernardo

The »Be water my friend« book – graphic journey and creative methodology


Rafael Bernardo is a German-Brazilian designer, consultant, creative activist, author and founder of the eponymous studio based in Munich. His focus? Branding communication in general. Why? Because you can not, not brand communication.


His aesthetic understanding roots in typography, his interdisciplinary approach is inspired by the bauhaus-philosophy, he believes in the value of developing your craftsmanship (he has designed fonts, infographics, posters, magazines, books, websites, apps, corporate designs, murals, campaigns, videos, animations and installations) and he loves it, when a team is more than just the sum of its members. Which is why he is regularly involved in projects for a good cause.


Credo? »Be water my friend«. Why? Because he found out, that water behaves like creativity works. The reason for developing a methodology to look at personal or collaborative workflows. A tool that sees mindset and intuition as teamplayers and guides you on (or at first towards) your way to »be water my friend«.





Inspired by an interview with Bruce Lee, where he refers to an aspect of Taoist philosophy, that water can teach us “the way,” the graphic designer, creative activist, lecturer, author, and founder of the eponymous studio for branding communication rafael bernardo started to wonder whether he “was water” in his creative workflow. Now, five years later, he wrote and designed a book with 224 pages, which is divided 50/50 into the parts Roots and Wings.


Wings presents the graphic journey. Eleven of Bernardo’s favorite personal projects and collaborative works he did for example with Viva con Agua, the Forward Festival, or the porcelain factory Rosenthal. And then, there is a selection of eighty »Be Water my Friend« posters, created to practice and explore his visual voice. Clear compositions in black and white within a spectrum of typography, illustration, and infographics.


Part two, Roots, outlines the theoretic foundation of Rafael Bernardo’s experience. The introduction of the »Be Water my Friend« methodology. An analytic system that he developed after he found out, that water behaves like creativity works.



Support “Be Water my Friend” on Kickstarter and preorder a copy or grab one of the rewards such as a tote bag, silkprint, or workshop with Rafael Bernardo.






Concept & Design: Rafael Bernardo
Publisher: Slanted Publishers
Format: 16 × 24 cm
Volume: 224 pages
Language: English
Colors: Black (water based) and spot color Pantone 032U
Cover: Triptychon soft-cover
Binding: Swiss brochure with an open spine, stitched with red thread
Printing: Stober
Paper: 3 kinds of 100% recycled paper by @igepa.group (cover: Kingdom XT-S Recy White; Roots: Circle Volume White; Wings: Circle Offset Premium White)
Typefaces: by @newglyph

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Munich, Germany