“One could say that we are specialists in book design and typography,” explain the founding designers of Bizzarri-Rodriguez. The independent Paris-based studio was formed back in 2010 when the former classmates and friends first moved to the French capital from Lyon. Since then, the studio has made a name for itself for its refined and sophisticated design output; predominantly within the cultural sector both locally and abroad.
On top of this, the pair of designers also pride themselves on being teachers. “We include teaching in all our projects,” founding designers Thomas Bizzarri and Alain Rodriguez tell It’s Nice That. “We’re both teachers in art schools and it’s another way to practice graphic design. We see it as a way to take a step back and think about design in a different way.”
Since establishing a studio nine years ago, Thomas and Alain have focused their practice on the book as a medium as well as the practice of typography. “It’s probably one of the most all-encompassing design exercises you can find,” explains Thomas. “Designing a book involves so much knowledge and so many different practices; it is everything except a science.”
The designers try and learn something new every day, keeping in mind what has or hasn’t worked previously and trying out new ways of working to deliver the best possible outcomes within design. “Maybe it’s not the most efficient business model,” says Thomas on the studio’s empirical creative process. “But each project is a new story for us.”
With cultural clients such as Musée d’Orsay, Jeu de Paume and the Centre national des arts plastiques; one common element that ties all Bazarri Rodriguez projects together is the consistent references to design history. “All our artistic influences come from the world of design and design history,” explain the founding designers. “It’s part of our subconscious and design history is always with us because we know it so well. We think it’s easy to identify different design schools within our work, from the Swiss style to the history of the French book and French typography.”
Beyond these traceable styles and graphic shapes however, Thomas and Alain are fundamentally interested in the experience that a book provides. Depending on a publication’s structure and materiality, the creative pair are interested in creating a printed object which defines a new way to see the contents. Whether it’s carefully crafted text wound tight into a perfect circle, Thomas and Alain consistently find interesting ways to display information.
Additionally, they also invite other practitioners such as photographers or artists to collaborate on designs, informing the studio on differing working methods to open new possibilities and enhance the design further. As for the future, “One thing is for sure,” says Thomas. “We would like to do more type design and create a space for this part of our growing practice.”
About the Author
Jyni became a staff writer in March 2019 having previously joined the team as an editorial assistant in August 2018. She graduated from The Glasgow School of Art with a degree in Communication Design in 2017 and her previous roles include Glasgow Women’s Library designer in residence and The Glasgow School of Art’s Graduate Illustrator.