Poetry and matter.
A chat with Borja Martinez / Lo Siento
Interview Fabio Guida
All of your projects are so different one from another: what is it that inspires you the most in your life, any passion or interest?
Everything I am surrounded by. Films, Food, architecture, art, people, life experiences, and humour. Not typical things, but the ones that are very different, lawbreaker and fresh.
What’s your working method? How many people work in your studio?
Lo Siento has a team of 5 people, two designers, an artisan / craftsman, a studio manager anda creative director. We have the support 1 or 2 interns each quarter. The method is quite simple, once the order arrives, I make and white down the first guidelines to follow… The first step is the analysis phase of the project / product or service, then we do the research and development of possible creative ways to respond to the briefing we ordered. We tried to personify the project for a better understand and to get ideas that bring us closer to a proper work process. Once we have a clear idea of the general concept, we work into the production and technique phase of these ideas through the craftsmanship applied to typography. The result is almost always lead us to touch solutions, with a manual and physical component that turns out to be nice, clever and warm for the viewer.
How would you describe the path (planning) of a new project?
The most important thing is to empathize with the client in order to extract the basic and the most information needed to start charting the first lines. Once we have a clear idea, we began to sketch, and from there we filter the ideas we believe that work the best to start riding and polish them better and better. We try as many options as we can in order to find the solution that convinces us more, to deliver the one we believe is successful for the client. Normally the first idea of the project is generated by me, because I had the experience of sympathizing with clients and makes me understand what he really needs / wants. Then I pass a clearer sketch to the team of designers so they can define and design the parts of the corresponding applications.
Could you tell us what is your own concept of “multidisciplinary approach”?
I had an original and clear concept from the begining, in the sense that as soon as I began to study graphic design in London it was clear from the outset. I wanted to bring something different to the field of graphic design mixing two disciplines such as industrial design (physical) and graphic design (digital) but In a very intuitive and almost impulsive way. I started to experiment with the idea of creating a multidisciplinary language based on communicating through textures, objects or actual 3D elementsand turn them into a print or digital material.The idea of being able to recover traditional processes (many of them are disappearing) was one of the first stimulations I’ve got to understand that I could work in a purely graphic piece from a n craft starting point. I want to talk and design through my hands rather that a computer keyboard. The computer is a miraculous tool and contains everything you will need… but it’s just an extension of what we have, or we want to manipulate. Is not part of your body…. it is just another tool (powerful tool, I know). For me, reality is different, and the approach to materials and handling them, gives me the experience of riding, build and draw in a real way, in order to be more pure and honest.
What would you suggest or recommend to young designers for their professional education?
Find different ways to express what do you do through graphic design. Try different disciplines, that will gives you a different perspective, to build a creative behaviour. That will affect the outcome of what you design. Break the rules. Working in a graphic design studio it is important obviously, to know the established basics and functions in the market, but what gives you a different touch, is the miscegenation, the fusion, that makes the discipline of a designer a generator of new expressive languages. Why if you try working with a chef? or a carpenter? or a figurative painter? Maybe you can merge into the world of floral art and understand the basics of what we are as a graphic designers. The graphic design is in all over, you can mix it and get the best pairing to find a unique tone, and a personal language. Your touch, your way of expressing things…. test it! try it!
How much do you invest in research and self-production?
Quite a lot, it happens all the time in the studio. There are always ideas and concepts that we want to explore, make, and try,apart from the commercial projects. I always say that it’s important to keep doing gymnastics before going out to compete. Gymnastics helps you to test, to analyze new working methods. We are always seeking how to learn from mistakes. We finally find interesting solutions that help us to have a broader dimension of possibilities that prepare us to new challenges.
In which ways design can help the cultural and social process?
In all of them. The design is a form of translation and synthesis of what represents and wants to communicate something specific. The graphic synthesis should narrate and explain emotionally what represents our society or culture. The role of graphic design it is very important because speaks about the behaviour, style or attitude of a particular emotion behind a culture. Also this discipline helps people to communicate their thoughts through brands to communicate in a particular way.
Could you name a project designed by someone else that you would have realized yourself?
Uh, that is a difficult answer…. Probably one of my favourites was a packaging project for Selfridges food hall made a long time ago by a company called r-design and designed by Dave Richmond in the UK. It is a great project, based on the design of a whole range of products for the department stores: Selfridges in London. The project its about a white label brand of packagings such as crackers, pasta, olive oils, jams, etc… The result is a magnificent piece of design, harmonic and well balanced, and it brings out clearly on the shelves of the food hall. They dare to use black as a base color and combine it with the color in the typography, that brings you especial project and a great graphic example of consistency and simplicity a wonderful visual impact through typography and colour.