Design Legends ("DL") had the distinct honour to interview legendary designer The Reset Co. ("TRC") for their original perspective and innovative approach to design as well as their creative lifestyle, we are very pleased to share our interview with our distinguished readers.
TRC : Our philosophy is based on the development of concepts. For us, form and functionality cannot exist independently if the goal is to solve communication problems.
TRC : We became designers because it was a challenge. Design challenges you everyday and it requires you to be so many things: from dealing with clients, creating and maintaining brands, making them effective. We've realized that since we're in this discipline our heads are constantly busy and spinning around, its a personal challenge that you face everyday. And one of the biggest challenges of Graphic Design is that it requires you to connect with the human side of projects.
TRC : We both chose to become designers and pursue our careers further than a bachelors degree, which is why we studied a graphic design master's degree at Barcelona, where we met.
TRC : Our specialty as a studio is branding and editorial design. However, we work in constant experimentation to create different formulas in each project and adapting solutions from different approaches. Recently we've been expanding our work into the fields of publicity and communication strategies which was really exciting, and we look forward to keep expanding into that direction.
TRC : Research and conceptualization. A strong belief in Reset Co. is that all good design has a solid base in research and a conceptualization that unfolds from it. Research and references will make designs stand out from predictable results and take them to the next level.
TRC : The ability to question yourself with each new project that comes.
TRC : Good design solves the client's problems, it is functional and the form follows that function.
TRC : The value of good design is ubiquitous: it's in everything that sorrounds us. We think the value of good design is to be able to better peoples lives by beautifying the communication around them. Investing in good design means investing in better, thoughtful ways of living that everyone would benefit from.
TRC : We would like to design and implement solutions for a Center Pompidou exhibition, from the conceptual elements, the museography, the user experience, the identity of the event, and all the peripherals that improve the environment.
TRC : In terms of packaging we really want to design a wine bottle. A magazine that allows us more creative liberties and experimental design. And for branding we want to have more projects that create a user experience going further that just a brand and covering communication, strategy and publicity.
TRC : We work with different methodologies and design strong concepts that are based on research. We do not start to develop the visual part of projects until we have a strong developed concept, that way we do not distract ourselves with visual references that have no foundation.
TRC : We are really inspired by the fundamentals of design. Starting with Russian Constructivism, Bauhaus, Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius, Lance Wyman and Massimo Vignelli. We are also really inspired by the Catalan school of design in which the most important idea is that form follows function. The list can go on and on, but these are a few to mention that have formed us visually.
TRC : Elephant Magazine by Folch Studio, Nicollet by Pentagram, All of the projects from Stranger & Stranger. What all these projects have in common is how they dare to do different things, always experimenting and innovating.
TRC : We don't have a favorite project, however, for now, we can say that our most challenging project in these almost ten years has been the design and communication campaign of the University of Monterrey this year 2020. The objective of the 2020 campaign was to create a communication approach for the target, generation Z, since this is not identified with the old communication efforts that sought to attract other types of public. We develop all the messages, the concept, and the focus of the campaign, the styling design, to achieve a complex system.
TRC : Enjoying themselves outside of design! Living their life and hobbies with the eyes of an artist, looking for inspiration in other places and then bringing that back into your work.
TRC : Erika would have become an architect. As of me (Julián) I always knew I wanted to be a designer, but I would have become a musician.
TRC : The design for us defined in one word is "opportunities", to improve people's lives through beautiful communication speeches.
TRC : For both of us our families have been our biggest supporter. Personally my parents and sibilings, and for Erika specifically her father.
TRC : Discipline, working hard and restlessly. Never being still, always moving and facing challenges as they come.
TRC : Years ago when we first started there wasn't such a boom of design in Mexico and there wasn't really a wide offer regarding design jobs or learning programs. That's why we had to make this extra effort to go study abroad looking for something we didn't have in our hometown.
TRC : With thoughtfulness and attention to detail. Sometimes the energy curve of creating a project collapses when we get to the end result, but presenting our work, wether it be on behance, show rooms, presentations, requires lots of attention to detail that communicates what we've been talking about since the beginning: excellence in every step of the process.
TRC : We want to grow in an organic way and create different departments within our studio to professionalize each discipline. We already specialize in branding, packaging and editorial. In the future we want to have an animation and motion graphics department and a team for strategy and communication. We want to have the opportunity to create our own department of innovation where we are constantly exploring.
TRC : Growing and reaching an international exposure.
TRC : They expect functional, high quality work with deep concepts and attention to detail that solves visual communication problems through an elevated user experience.
TRC : Design solves really punctual human problems through functional and beautiful solutions that follow this function. Design betters our environment in a beautiful functional way.
TRC : We are currently still working with the communication campaign we designed for University of Monterrey but we are now applying it into all the events and institutional documents in which it bleeds to, and it is really exciting to see how all this work we made is getting applied and coming to life into the University.
TRC : Projects that allow creative freedom and where our clients have the responsibility to actually implement the design in the way we recommend them.
TRC : Specially in the times we're living right now in this pandemic, we really look forward to see how the design industry in the future can create solutions for these problems, even maybe creating virtual jobs, or design solutions that go out of aesthetic results. We look forward to a design industry that moldes into the new realities we will be living in the next decade.
TRC : We think it's really interesting how design is now expanding into fields of speculation, designing for urgency, apocaliptic approaches, etc. We think in the future the design field will move into actually turning theses speculations into realities.
TRC : It depends on the project. Each design project has its own brief, complexity and timeline, so we adapt ourselves to it.
TRC : A brief that let us know the specifics of the project, defining deliverables and setting a time frame and work plan. the brief and investigation gives you the tools to solve it.
TRC : The concepts are the basis that guides our design process and the analysis of each case. To build solutions, we review the guidelines and present custom strategies. The exchange of opinions is the key to the generation of ideas, innovation, and growth.
TRC : Design sets the trends.
TRC : Technology is the tool that allows us to speed our design processes and achieve results with meticulous attention to detail.
TRC : We work with all Adobe design programs, since they are our main tool, however we focus our solutions a lot on adapting manual tools and then integrating them into digital media.
TRC : They really do play a pretty important role in design, varying in its different fields of course. In our field of graphic design color plays a crucial part in out projects and it is one of the first tools we use uplift old designs or create systems. As of materials, they often come to be part of the last parts of the process for example in editorial or in stationery by deciding the weight or finishes these products will include. Even if materials become one of the last decisions to be made it does always follow along the lines of our investigation and concepts. From the type down to the weight of the paper you choose, every decision communicates.
TRC : We love being asked about our inspirations and concepts. Most times when people outside and inside design see creative work they like it because of the aesthetic part, but once we get to share our process and the rationale behind it people can really understand where it all comes from and it becomes way more interesting and powerful.
TRC : "I love that, How did I not think about that?"
TRC : We believe strongly about co-design, our design studio is collaborative since we are currently 6 designers and we all share ideas and compliment the work we make.
TRC : As design teachers we are always interacting with students and being nourished by their ideas. Being faculty members is something that maintains us constantly actualized, knowledgeable and more open.
TRC : For me (Julián) "The Hero and the Outlaw: Building Extraordinary Brands Through the Power of Archetypes" by Margaret Mark and Carol Pearson and "Veintidos consejos sobre tipografía" by Enric Jardi. For Erika many methodology books like Ellen Lupton's but also psychological methodologies that allow a deeper understanding of the client and encourage thinking differently.
TRC : Following our design methodologies, reading, researching, questioning our clients and innovating.
TRC : Julián: Joseph Guardiola and Jorge Valdano. Erika: Any female designer from Bauhaus and Lans Wyman.
TRC : It takes a lot of work. There is a lot of great work out there and getting noticed and it is definitely something that takes time, effort, and putting yourself out there. We had struggled to get our work noticed but with this design award we're sure there are many more to come.
TRC : For me (Julián) my favorite color is blue, favorite food is meat, favorite season is spring, favorite place is London, favorite things are plants and my favorite brand is Nike. For Erika, favorite color is yellow, favorite season: summer, favorite place: Barcelona, favorite food: meat, favorite thing: pijamas and favorite brand: Ted Baker.
TRC : One funny thing that happened to the studio as designers was when we visited a client in the United States and drove all the way to Houston, Tx. All of our journey was filled with unexpected tragedies that are really funny to look back. We arrived to the place and our driver had a low sugar so his driving was all over the place, out hotel room didn't have a bathroom, it got late for us to leave because we were enjoying our meal so we had to wander around town looking for another hotel to stay the night in. Finally, when we were driving back to our hometown a terrible storm hit and there was a lot of rain, thunder and lightning hitting the pavement while we were driving. It was really an adventure.
TRC : Challenging projects are what most keep us motivated to create. We love analyzing them, identifying their needs and adapting to them. Projects that make new questions make our days great. We also understand and aboard design projects with a human approach.
TRC : For me (Julián) it was very clear, but as we mentioned earlier Erika was going to be an architect.
TRC : We believe that technology will dilute the human part and perhaps we will not understand life as it is known today.
TRC : Never let anybody tell you you cannot do something, because you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. Always dare to achieve your goals.
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