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.

DL: Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?

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.

DL: What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?

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.

DL: Did you choose to become a designer, or you were forced to become one?

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.

DL: What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?

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.

DL: What should young designers do to become a design legend like you?

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.

DL: What distinguishes between a good designer and a great designer?

TRC : The ability to question yourself with each new project that comes.

DL: What makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?

TRC : Good design solves the client's problems, it is functional and the form follows that function.

DL: What is the value of good design? Why should everyone invest in good design?

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.

DL: What would you design and who would you design for if you had the time?

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.

DL: What is the dream project you haven’t yet had time to realize?

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.

DL: What is your secret recipe of success in design, what is your secret ingredient?

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.

DL: Who are some other design masters and legends you get inspired from?

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.

DL: What are your favorite designs by other designers, why do you like them?

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.

DL: What is your greatest design, which aspects of that design makes you think it is great?

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.

DL: How could people improve themselves to be better designers, what did you do?

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.

DL: If you hadn’t become a designer, what would you have done?

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.

DL: How do you define design, what is design for you?

TRC : The design for us defined in one word is "opportunities", to improve people's lives through beautiful communication speeches.

DL: Who helped you to reach these heights, who was your biggest supporter?

TRC : For both of us our families have been our biggest supporter. Personally my parents and sibilings, and for Erika specifically her father.

DL: What helped you to become a great designer?

TRC : Discipline, working hard and restlessly. Never being still, always moving and facing challenges as they come.

DL: What were the obstacles you faced before becoming a design master?

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.

DL: How do you think designers should present their work?

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.

DL: What’s your next design project, what should we expect from you in future?

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.

DL: What’s your ultimate goal as a designer?

TRC : Growing and reaching an international exposure.

DL: What people expect from an esteemed designer such as yourself?

TRC : They expect functional, high quality work with deep concepts and attention to detail that solves visual communication problems through an elevated user experience.

DL: How does design help create a better society?

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.

DL: What are you currently working on that you are especially excited about?

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.

DL: Which design projects gave you the most satisfaction, why?

TRC : Projects that allow creative freedom and where our clients have the responsibility to actually implement the design in the way we recommend them.

DL: What would you like to see changed in design industry in the coming years?

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.

DL: Where do you think the design field is headed next?

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.

DL: How long does it take you to finalize a design project?

TRC : It depends on the project. Each design project has its own brief, complexity and timeline, so we adapt ourselves to it.

DL: When you have a new design project, where do you start?

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.

DL: What is your life motto as a designer?

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.

DL: Do you think design sets the trends or trends set the designs?

TRC : Design sets the trends.

DL: What is the role of technology when you design?

TRC : Technology is the tool that allows us to speed our design processes and achieve results with meticulous attention to detail.

DL: What kind of design software and equipment do you use in your work?

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.

DL: What is the role of the color, materials and ambient in design?

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.

DL: What do you wish people to ask about your design?

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.

DL: When you see a new great design or product what comes into your mind?

TRC : "I love that, How did I not think about that?"

DL: Who is your ideal design partner? Do you believe in co-design?

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.

DL: Which people you interacted had the most influence on your design?

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.

DL: Which books you read had the most effect on your design?

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.

DL: How did you develop your skills as a master designer?

TRC : Following our design methodologies, reading, researching, questioning our clients and innovating.

DL: Irrelative of time and space, who you would want to meet, talk and discuss with?

TRC : Julián: Joseph Guardiola and Jorge Valdano. Erika: Any female designer from Bauhaus and Lans Wyman.

DL: How do you feel about all the awards and recognition you had, is it hard to be famous?

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.

DL: What is your favorite color, place, food, season, thing and brand?

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.

DL: Please tell us a little memoir, a funny thing you had experienced as a designer?

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.

DL: What makes your day great as a designer, how do you motivate yourself?

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.

DL: When you were a little child, was it obvious that you would become a great designer?

TRC : For me (Julián) it was very clear, but as we mentioned earlier Erika was going to be an architect.

DL: What do you think about future; what do you see will happen in thousand years from now?

TRC : We believe that technology will dilute the human part and perhaps we will not understand life as it is known today.

DL: Please tell us anything you wish your fans to know about you, your design and anything else?

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.



Texts  From Graphics

Texts From Graphics by The Reset Co.

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