• Top

    Introducing: Querida

Graphic Design

Introducing: Barcelona-based studio Querida tell us about their working day

Posted by Maisie Skidmore,

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…

  • 2

    Querida: Idep Barcelona

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.

  • 3

    Querida: Idep Barcelona

  • 4

    Querida: Idep Barcelona

  • 5

    Querida: Idep Barcelona

  • 6

    Querida: Idep Barcelona, Art Direction

  • 10

    Querida: Perdiz Magazine Issue #3

  • 11

    Querida: Perdiz Magazine Issue #3

  • 12

    Querida: Perdiz Magazine Issue #3

  • 14

    Querida: Perdiz Magazine Issue #3

  • 15

    Querida: Perdiz Magazine Issue #3

  • 1

    Querida: Still life for Perdiz Magazine, art direction

  • 7

    Querida: Idep Catalogue

  • 8

    Querida: Idep Catalogue

  • 9

    Querida: Idep Catalogue

Ms-300

Posted by Maisie Skidmore

Assistant Editor Maisie joined It’s Nice That fresh out of university in the summer of 2013 and has stayed with us ever since. She has a particular interest in art, fashion and photography and is a regular on our Studio Audience podcast.

Most Recent: Graphic Design View Archive

  1. Carolineroberts-graphicdesignvisionaries-itsnicethat-list

    As someone who came into design journalism from the outside, it was a challenge to get to grips with the famous graphic designers blithely referenced in talks or other publications. Who were they? What did they do? And maybe most importantly, why are they important? How I could have done with a book like this new auditor to the Laurence King Visionaries series, which contains profiles of 75 graphic design luminaries alongside large, full-colour reproductions of their significant and groundbreaking work.

  2. Claudia_basel_doing_fashion_4_it's_nice_that_list

    Monochrome design can sometimes fall flat next to brighter projects, but looking through Claudia Basel’s vast repertoire of impressive print work, its fresh, forward-looking art direction for Doing Fashion Paper really holds its own. Helmed by Roland John, Thomas Bircher and Jiri Oplatek, for the last five years the Swiss studio based in Basel have designed each issue of the Institute of Fashion Design’s annual publication showcasing student’s work. Like its posters for the young art fair in Basel, Liste we featured last year, the bold alphabet spreads and nudes overlaid with text for Doing Fashion Paper stand out from what is fast becoming an overflowing, first-rate portfolio.

  3. Linaforsgren-satisfactionguaranteed-itsnicethat-list

    Nowadays we consumers are pretty savvy about how we’re manipulated by the advertising and marketing industries, but does this make us better-placed to resist or merely more complicit in our exploitation? It’s this idea that Swedish designer Lina Forsgren explored in her graduation project at Beckmans College through an installation, film and publication that questioned our own role in the commercial process.

  4. Lundgrenlindqvist-hbtqrethink-itsnicethat-list

    Icon magazine’s Rethink feature – which challenges studios to redesign a well-known identity or industry – has long been a source of innovation and inspiration. In the past we’ve covered Design by St’s fish packaging, Manual’s new US road signage and Studio Makgill’s funeral parlours.

  5. Studiobaer-thomaslohr-itsnicethat-list

    When Studio Baer’s gorgeous book of Thomas Lohr’s plumage photographs arrived in the studio last week, I waxed lyrical about its Japanese paper cover, which felt unlike anything I have ever had the good fortune to stroke before. Add in the subtle, debossed title and I was in publication heaven, but the rest of the editorial team wasn’t so sure –“like weird rubber/reminds me of fingernails down a blackboard/gives me goose pimples” those philistines mewled.

  6. Groszcolab_ascuiandco_itsnicethat_list

    The power of colour and its ability to influence our visual language is fascinating. Using colours to signal change and progression is Australian studio Grosz Co. Lab and their identity for architecture firm Ascui & Co. Architect.

  7. Sea-aiap-fedrigoni-madeinitaly-itsnicethat-list

    Europe has a fine graphic design tradition but certain countries – Switzerland, The Netherlands, and the UK – tend to predominate when it comes to coverage. And so we’re always keen to hear about initiatives that celebrate lesser known design scenes, such as SEA and Fedrigoni’s upcoming exploration of Italy’s graphics heritage. Made In Italy showcases post-war Italian graphic design by way of a show in east London and a series of monographs focussing on some of the most interesting practitioners – Ilio Negri, Heinz Waibl, Franco Grignani and Giancarlo Iliprandi. With amazing access to the Aiap archives in Milan, SEA has also put together a book for the show with the explicit aim of putting this “untapped” subject firmly in the spotlight.

  8. Eddie-opara-pentagram-frida-kaho-its-nice-that-list

    While there’s no shortage of Pentagram projects on It’s Nice That, a partner whose work we don’t show too often is Eddie Opara. We’re not sure why, but remedying that we bring you this lovely project from Eddie and his team in the form of the catalogue for Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera: Mexican Modern Art. Showing the famously monobrowed mistress of 20th Century painting and her husband and fellow artist Diego Rivera and letting the imagery speak for itself, the design is simple, strong and confident, using a bright blue for the book’s spine inspired by Casa Azul, the couple’s home in Mexico City. Elsewhere the palette draws on the colours of Mexican folk art, while the striking large portraits on the front and back covers look to “position the pair as icons,” according to Pentagram. The catalogue accompanies an exhibition entitled Kahlo, Rivera and Mexican Modern Art, currently on show at the Nova Southeastern University Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale.

  9. 5173

    As the creative world digests last night’s big D&AD winners (those that scooped Black and White Pencils), there was a host of interesting work recognised in the 44 Yellow Pencils given out at the London awards bash. In total, the D&AD juries considered 847 projects this year and so less than one in 20 made the prestigious Yellow Pencil cut. Here’s our rundown of those winners that caught our eye for one reason or another – you can see the full list of winners over on the D&AD site here.

  10. The-plant-art-15-its-nice-that-list-

    Staying two seasons ahead (calendar-wise, at least) of the autumn art fair scrum, Art 15 takes place this week over in west London, heralded by some unmissably bright new branding by The Plant. The annual fair – now in its third outing – used to take place in February, and its new look aims to reflect its sunnier spot on the calendar. “As it’s spring and it’s a fairly new fair, we felt [the new identity] needed to look quite bold,” says Matt Utber, founder of The Plant, who also designed the fair’s initial identity. “We chose colours that were very bright and vibrant because of that light change – it reflects new life, flowers bursting into existence, it’s that kind of feel.”

  11. Thomaswilliams-bolo-itsnicethat-list

    Australian designer Thomas Williams’ work has appeared on the site several times over the years, in the shape of his editorial work for MADE, Nourished Journal and The Process Journal. He has recently decamped to Los Angeles and set up his own studio, Thomas Williams & Co., which comes complete with a newly updated site on which you can peruse his publication work alongside all manner of considered and communicative identity projects.

  12. Chwast_nose_08-1020x1600its-nice-that-list

    I don’t use the word “iconic” lightly, but in the case of designer Seymour Chwast, it fits. Co-founder of Push Pin studios, Seymour shaped what graphic design and being a graphic designer meant in the 20th Century, creating images that not only looked incredible, but distilled a message that could be anything from a light-hearted comment on design itself to an anti-smoking poster. His much-imitated graphic and illustration style still holds up brilliantly today, as proved by a fantastic new online resource, the Seymour Chwast archive.

  13. List-naonori_yago_laforet_itsnicethat_1

    I’m all for a bargain but when I hear about people queuing up at 4:30am for the big Next sale every year I can’t help but sigh. Surely sleeping is more preferable to numb lips chapping in the wind as you stand next to other haggard shoppers? Even bigger than Next’s sale is Japanese department store Laforet HARAJUKU’s annual “Grand Bazar,” which has taken sale shopping to a new level.