Meet Juliana Santos: the 21-year-old student who designed the Portugal Pavilion logo

Juliana Santos, 21, is behind the logo design of the Portugal Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai. She is from Silveira, near the coastal city of Aveiro, and was the winner of a national competition promoted by the Portuguese Trade & Investment Agency (AICEP), aimed at Design students in Portuguese universities. The grand prize was a trip to Dubai, where she had the opportunity to visit Expo 2020 and discover the Portugal Pavilion.


Juliana graduated in Design from the University of Aveiro, and today she sees her work represented in what is considered to be one of the largest international exhibitions in the World,  which brings together more than 190 nations. The winning design, which symbolizes the compass rose and the traditional Portuguese pavement “Calçada Portuguesa”, is used in various formats and communication materials in the Portuguese representation at Expo Dubai – “a dream come true”, she admits.


We sat down with Juliana, who paid a visit to the Portugal Pavilion, where she was welcomed by Commissioner-General Luís Castro Henriques, as well as the entire team from the Portuguese Pavilion.










What is the inspiration behind the logo design for the Portugal Pavilion?

The graphic symbol of the Portugal Pavilion is inspired by the theme of the pavilion itself, “A World in One Country”. Referencing the Age of Discovery, I thought it was important to have a compass rose, which represents the world that our ancestors explored. That combined with the emblematic Portuguese pavement – the ground tread by the Portuguese, to this day.


Why did you decide to participate in the competition?

I decided to apply because I love new challenges, and designing a logo in a week of holidays was, without a doubt, a great challenge. Also, these types of contests always represent great opportunities to complement a design student’s portfolio.


How did it feel when you found out you won?

When I received the contest results, I was in shock and completely speechless. I wasn’t at all expecting to win a national competition. It was truly a dream come true to have my work represent my country.


What do you think about the visiting experience of the Portugal Pavilion?

Visiting the Portugal Pavilion was even more incredible than I ever imagined. Just being here at a World Expo was a dream that I only knew from Design History classes, and I never imagined I would get the chance to actually visit one. Seeing my country so well represented for the whole world to see just makes my heart full. And I cannot fail to mention all the people who welcomed me with open arms and a warm smile, albeit behind a mask. My big thank you to all of them!



At the moment, I am doing a Masters in Fashion Design at UBI [University of Beira Interior] and I hope to have the opportunity to intern and work in Fashion Design studios, where the learning experience goes beyond what we study at university.