Querida is Spanish for “beloved”, and it’s with the same adoration that this Spanish studio named themselves, as they treat their creative projects.“We love typography, illustration, colours, photography and we enjoy new technologies as much as we worship detail and craft.” Their love for what they do makes itself apparent in their work; from art direction and design for Perdiz magazine to an identity and corresponding stationery for Idep , Barcelona’s design school.
We caught up with one of the designers from the Querida studio to find out the best and worst things about working in Barcelona, what he does to unwind and the value of a good meal and good wine to Querida’s work. Also, he’s the nicest man. Read on…
Where do you work?
I work in Barcelona, and I’d like to say it’s one of the best cities in the world, but to be honest it isn’t nowadays. It is beautiful, comfortable and the quality of life is pretty high, but it’s that kind of city that you enjoy living in more than working in. Sometimes it can be rather hostile and complicated regarding the development of new projects.
We’re still trying to do our best, in spite of this, working in our studio located in a modernist edifice in the neighbourhood of Eixample, in central Barcelona. We’re very comfortable in this location due to its proximity to several points of interest, such as Barcelona’s Centre of Contemporary Culture and Barcelona’s Museum of Contemporary Art, but in fact what really makes this place special is its eclecticism. Walking down on Calle Tallers you can find everything from skate shops, rock bars and tattoo studios to vintage boutiques and vinyl shops.
How does your working day start?
Coffee-mail-coffee-mail-coffee-mail, and so it goes until I’ve answered all my e-mails. The evening before I usually plan and write down everything that needs to be done in the morning, in order to leave a little space for last minute improvisation. I function as an automaton ’til the fourth cup of coffee. I’d like to say I’m not wasting those five minutes in the morning on Facebook, but no, I’m guilty as charged.
How do you work and how has that changed?
Our main interest is to empathize as much as possible with the client. We get acquainted, talk, drink coffees (as many as necessary) until we finally understand and interiorise their needs. From there on, depending on the established timing, we develop two or three concepts. Behind the scenes in our studio, we debate and occasionally argue (but things never get bloody) about what formal development is more appropriate both for the project and the client. Finally, we transform our ideas into reality with the support of a team made up of photographers, illustrators, video directors, etc. Whatever it takes to get the job done neatly.
In Querida we always strive to bring some added value to the industry through exploration and experimentation. We’re not afraid of making mistakes, and we’re aware of the importance of the errors that could finally lead you to the right answer. We have never been big fans of the “easy way”.
Personally, I love to work with my hands. I never start a project in front of the computer. I prefer the physical, working with paper and pencil and see how everything is shaping up in a more proximate and organic way.
Where would we find you when you’re not at work?
When I’m not working I’m most probably having some drinks with my gal and my friends. I always try to dedicate the end of the day to social activities. I think it’s important to know when to stop, although sometimes it can be difficult! If you give yourself a break, take a deep breath and look at things from a different perspective it ends up having a positive effect both on the project and on myself. I like spending my leisure time with people that inspire me with their fresh views on life, whilst having a nice meal accompanied by good wine. The next day when I start working again, I’m more relaxed and my head is full of new ideas.
I’m also likely to be skating on my longboard – from that point of view, Barcelona is the perfect city. My other passion is video games, a bit of blood and entrails aren’t too bad a way to finish a working day in Querida!
Would you intern for yourself?
I think so. It wouldn’t make me rich, but I would have a very good time and I’d learn a lot. When you start something from scratch, every day is a new adventure.