Interview – Estudio Yeye
Interview – Estudio Yeye
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.
2. Where does the name Yeye comes from?
In a very informal way, the idea came from admiring Serge Gainsbourg and the pop musical movement from the 60’s called Yeye. Aesthetically and intellectually this idea seemed attractive. The yeye girls were pretty but also smart, and that was an element we wanted to highlight when making a project.
3. On your website you talk about having a compromise with culture, why is this and where does Yeye comes into play?
Culturally you can see a uniformity on a global level, I feel this happens in the way we communicate online; but things happen differently in real life. Our compromise lies in conducting a democratic use of design, and transform it into an effective tool locally. Chihuahua is a state that has so much to say, and we would like to place it on a new map, other than one about violence and insecurity.
4. What’s it like to be a design studio in Chihuahua?
It is difficult, just as it is in any underdeveloped state. I think that the opportunity to survive and stand apart lies in changing radically the idea of design as an accessory, turn it into a necessity. We need to ask questions like: Does Mexico really needs another pretty chair made by an upscale designer? Is this our reality? How much are we affected by being so close to the US? Those are the kind of thinks we ask ourselves while working in the middle of nowhere.
5. Your projects have a multidisciplinary approach. What kind of work do you enjoy the most?
Something we have learned is to enjoy the process more than the outcome. If the process was interesting, then the project was worth it. Being a multidisciplinary studio involves a lot of responsibility, up to the point where you end up engaging with the fabrication of pieces, assembling, installation, printing, or developing artistic pieces. The intriguing and ever-changing design process that arises on each new project, that is what we love.
6. It seems like you have a lot of Asian influence, where do you find inspiration?
I have never though about it that way, I guess it’s like an unconscious part. We admire Asia, their freedom and their thirst to constantly evolve. Now you got me thinking about this.
7. Can you tell us about your process?
The process is basically elimination, research, ideas, chaos and execution. The truth is it often happens in a different order, but the important part is to have fun. That a project is enjoyable is something basic. I think humor in Mexico is a tool that makes us closer, and we try to pay homage every chance we get to the cultural multiverse we have in front of us.
8. To end the interview, tell us about what is next for Yeye?
We want to get closer to educational projects. Our dream would be to design a media library for children, or a cultural center. Other than that, just to keep working.