Menta is a branding & illustration studio founded by Laura Méndez in 2008. The studio delivers effective brand identities that balance classic & contemporary aesthetics, focused mainly on carefully crafted print. Based in Guadalajara, Mexico, they work with small businesses and international companies. In this interview founder Laura talks about their vision and projects
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Ever wondered what sort of music your favourite studios listen to while working? Yes? Us too! So we thought we’d start a monthly(ish) feature series ingeniously called “Studio Playlists” which does just that — giving us a quick eves-dropping of various studios’ working-music.
Estudio Yeye is a graphic design studio based in Chihuahua, México. In this interview, founder Orlando Portillo talks about the studio, their background and philosophy.
1. First of all, can you tell us about the studio and the team behind Yeye?
Yeye is a small design studio located in the city of Chihuahua, in northern Mexico. The team is made up by designers of different disciplines. Our first intention was just to offer graphic design services, but we have had the opportunity to go further.
La Tortillería is a creative company based in Monterrey, Mexico, with a passion for images and words with the exceptional ability of turning them into an exquisite reflection of an idea. Their forte is editorial design, but have a wide range of projects. On this interview Zita Arcq talks about the studio, the background, their process and projects.
1. First of all, can you tell us about the studio and the team behind La Tortillería?
La Tortillería started as two freelance graphic designers renting a space to do art and design work. The space was an old tortilla factory on San Pedro’s downtown, therefore the name. It was almost as if we didn’t decided it, we just called it that way when we said we were going to the studio, to go to “la tortillería” or the tortilla factory.
We started designing two magazines, it was a constant project, and every now and then we had other projects.
Eleven years later we’re a team of designers, copywriters, illustrators and photographers. We focus on combining design and functionality. And we design for others, not just to ourselves.
Ministry is a design and art direction studio based in Monterrey, Mexico. They produce bold design that functions cross-platform and focuses on product design, printed matter and digital design in close collaboration with people and organizations from around the world. The studio’s culture is firmly rooted in the rich tradition of graphic design and honors it by promoting this discipline into our local context.Hello, can you start by tell us about the studio and the team behind Ministry?
Ministry is a design studio that works on branding, editorial, print and digital design projects that was founded in October of 2011. The studio’s core team is made up of its three partners André Mooij who is the Creative Director, Adrián García Chereti the Executive Director and José Antonio Domínguez the Art Director, accompanied by our designer Betty Ramones, our seasonal interns and a range of collaborators who work within other disciplines like industrial and interior design and web development.What was the motivation on starting your studio?
The main motivation behind the founding of the studio was the simple desire of becoming independent, the three of us aren’t really that good at working in other companies, we don’t mean it in like a punk-anarchist way or anything, it’s more of a creative freedom kind of thing, we feel we work better when our core-philosophy is present in our creative process rather than adopting a different methodology one could find in other design studios.Where do you find inspiration? What influences your work?
While the three of us have things in common, we do differ a bit when it comes to our influences, José is quite inspired by illustrative typography, documentary photography, minimalist grids, progressive rock and jazz, Adrián by video games, alternative music and the feminine aesthetic (however weird that might sound) and André is influenced by political movements, electronic music, dark humor, modernism and Japanese culture. So really, when it comes down to it, it’s a whole pool of influences.
Ustwo just released Monument Valley, a mobile game inspired by the work of M.C. Escher, where architecture from around the world is the main character. Guided by silent Princess Ida, the game is an exploration of mysterious monuments, hidden paths and optical illusion.
“We set out to create an interactive experience in which every screen is a piece of art worth hanging on a wall.”
The game features exquisite buildings and structures that encourages discovery and thought. The emphasis is on the environment, each stage of the game was thought as a graphic design piece of art and a medium of cultural significance.
Shaz Madani is is an independent designer and art director based in London. Her editorial work stands out for being smart and bold, one great example of this is Riposte Magazine, the most recent project on her portfolio.
The Norwegian design consultancy Heydays just updated their portfolio with 13 new projects and an amazing redesign.
Five years on, Heydays is one of most award winning graphic design studios in Norway.
RoAndCo Studio just updated their website and it’s looking good! The portfolio has a honest look with a clean and timeless user interface and it features a number of new projects.
Estudio Menta is a Valencia-based design studio specialized in design and communication, their projects range from print to identity and all the way to video and web design. Even though editorial is not their main focus, their projects in this area are strong and very well though, having participated in several books, magazines and publications, they have a bold sense of color and fresh-looking grids.
One of the projects that stands out the most is the Fragments exhibition booklet, which they have designed for the past three years, the outcome is a reflection of the state of photojournalism in Spain, and the concept behind the design is the grief felt by the current crisis in this profession. Another interesting project is the Sanz Company Profile, this is a publication for an ephemeral architecture firm, outlining their services and project reports, the result is a brochure with a bold approach in colors, and die-cut typography.
Swedish studio Lundgren+Lindqvist just updated their website with six new projects, including a total of 35 images, plus 43 publications. Make sure to check out the rest of their amazing portfolio.
The London & Zagreb-based studio Bunch designed an A5, modular concept box for Nosive Strukture, a structural engineering office in Croatia. This company presentation box can be updated with additional assignments in the future, and can hold around 7 to 10 concertina cards, each representing one project.
This amazing project is their most recent work, and is also an update to the entire Nosive Strukture identity project, characterised by it’s clean-cut lines in black and white inspired by the tensegrity concept. Now with this update we can see a more playful side of the company, without leaving the structured-chaos aside. The bold colors give the project some contrast, plus the geometric forms and editorial elements on the document cards reinforce the modular theme. These cards are different in the number of pages and printed on various stock that best fits their client’s task.
Don’t forget to check out the rest of their amazing portfolio.
Firmalt is a multidisciplinary design studio from Monterrey, Mexico. They provide unique creative solutions that develop and position brands, creating strong visual concepts that communicate clear ideas, add value, and differentiate from the competition. Firmalt has been around for exactly one year, they started operations in October 2012.
How would you describe your design style and aesthetic?
In short, we like to think our style is clean and refreshing. The longer answer would be that we try to keep our style in constant evolution, which is a challenge. Since each project has its own aesthetic and inspiration, we get different results. Sometimes it is impeccably clean and refined, other times quirky and erratic. All in all, high quality is what we want our design to represent. Precise in the details, smart in the execution.
Where do you get inspiration from?
Everything. Although it might seem like a dumb answer, allow us an explanation. We draw our main inspiration from our clients. We like to hear all about their company; their work process, products, service, and anything else relevant. We take all that information, and find a story that weaves it all together. This story can take us anywhere. Be it vintage butcher shops, extinct legal tender, or simple point to point connections, we get inspired from all kinds of things. These stories give us a clear inspiration, and are what tie all the individual elements within the brand together. With this process we are able to create brands with substance that represent a clear message and/or idea. Also, we like the Swiss.
Monterrey is a very relevant city design-wise, there has been an important movement happening in the past decade and a rise in design studios and an overall quality. Firmalt is part of this new generation of design studios, how do you feel about the context that enabled this?
Monterrey is the third largest city in Mexico. A beautiful industrial city, it has the largest number of schools, institutes, and universities per capita in the country. The result is well educated and highly motivated individuals, which leads to a city of entrepreneurs. These new businesses compete in a market that is mature, and the margin for differentiation slim. This is where this new generation of design studios come in. By providing intelligent design services, these entrepreneurs can compete and position themselves in the mind of the consumer, and effectively compete against larger and more established organizations.
Monterrey-based studio Face just launched a new project: P Magazine. Curated by photographers Cecy Young & Mariana García, P Magazine is a hardcover book with a 300-issue limited edition. It will be published annually, with almost 200 pages of exclusive photography and artwork content created by a select group of contributors across the globe regarding arts, journalism, photography, fashion and everything that is beautiful.
P Magazine is an aesthetic object-book designed as a collector’s edition.
This project has been cooking inside Face for almost a year, focusing not only on the editorial finesse and the quality of it’s content but also on beautiful print collateral like a poster and a tote-bag, available only to the first 50 collectors to get it. Embracing a raw theme for the first issue, the spreads show a keen eye for a natural and visceral aesthetic, and the glorification of universal female beauty.
The first book is a vast collection of beautiful images and words where senses collide, where a dialog between flesh and soul happens, it’s an awakening experience.
Inside you will find the work of Jacob Sadrak, Aaron Feaver, Luc Braquet, Fabiola Zamora, Michal Pudelka and many more.
Ariel Di Lisio, aka Negro™ is a graphic designer from Argentina, specialising on the craft of typography, logos, and print. His work is a fine mix between fresh and modern, always thinking about the functionality and the range of possibilities for the types he creates, showing a great love for shape and geometry. There is nothing he enjoys more than to create his own types, for both personal and commercial projects. He takes deep pleasure in the process, from making decisions about the concept and mood, through the production stage, and then seeing them on their final output.
Hello Ariel, can you tell me a little about Negro™?
Negro™ has been around for approximately 10 years. At first it had a traditional agency format with several people but eventually I decided to work by myself. This allowed me to get back to something that has always been a big itch, which is typography. I needed more time to work in a precise way in the treatment, design and development of fonts.
Today Negro™ divides its time working on design and typography. It specialises in developing Corporate Identity and Typography. Of course typography conforms an important part of my design work; practically all projects are made with my fonts. Negro™ seeks to provide quality design with a high degree of simplicity. I believe in the simple ways of saying things through design, in the right choice of typography, in a tailored colour palette for a project, and a careful respect for white space.
What are you passionate about?
Design and Typography are my main passions. When I speak of passion I’m talking about working on it for hours and hours without ever getting tired. Sometimes I feel lucky to be working for something that really excites me, it is a privilege. Also I love hanging out with friends, playing soccer, going out to eat and see shows.
I know you travel a lot, what do you like about the design culture in Argentina and the other countries you have visited?
I have traveled for work to Chile, Venezuela, México and the United States, also many other countries as tourist. Currently I’m in Buenos Aires, where I live. I like the design culture in Argentina, there is a lot going on all the time: design events, festivals, conferences, etc. It is good to have this kind of events where young designers can learn from the experience of professionals. I think these events are very helpful for the design environment and I like to connect with designer friends and talk about our realities. Besides, I admire many of them.