With its beginnings in Buenos Aires and now based in London, creative consulting and graphic design studio Horror Vacui is building a refined portfolio by using simplistic, but ultimately classic, design sensibilities.
Originally started by Camilo Gonzalez and Andrés Lareu in 2014, the studio has built a client list by creating work that is both a combination and reflection of personal taste. Camilo, for example, comes from a graphic design background in the luxury market, whereas Andrés worked in architecture and fine art as well as interior design, “so we decided to unite our capabilities and disciplines in order to create an interesting product,” Camilo tells It’s Nice That.
As a result, no matter its client, Horror Vacui implements an approach of delicate design with an abundance of references. “As you may have noticed, the axis of all our work is, in some way, a tribute to the history of artisanal graphic design, using austere material sources, with great creative ideas, and a strong influence from the early 20th century avant-garde art movement to mid-century design,” its founder explains.
With an objective “to offer holistic design solutions for brands, with conceptual strength and a consistently refined aesthetic across all mediums,” research is always the beginning building block of a Horror Vacui project. Considering it their job to find “new compositions through history and art, always highlighting the more austere and artisan,” Camilo points us in the direction of the studio’s Instagram, which is open and honest about this long list of references. Its archived stories for instance look deeply into the work of artistic greats such as the Art Deco movement and Cecil Beaton, whereas its posts display monochromatic typographic references from the Braun logo created in 1952, to Comme des Garcons advertising from 1980.
Seeking out clients who are equally “passionate about modernism in all its meanings and enjoy the historical element and appreciation of the past,” Horror Vacui’s current portfolio displays its overall approach with structured and apt design gems within each project. For example its work with Daughter Products, a New York-based film production and sister company of advertising agency Mother which references 1960s directors in its branding. Another, the branding for a pop-up exhibition at The Hoxton Hotel, utilises the found object approach of Marcel Duchamp, whereas its work for Spanish knitwear brand Fiorella Pratto harks back to a bygone era simply through its bold use of typography. In all of these projects, Camilo points out, “you will see what our work is about, even though they are very different from each other.”
In working with a carefully curated selection of clients – and creating equally careful work for them – Horror Vacui is carving out a unique niche for itself in the London design scene, ultimately showing how a well-researched practice looking into the past can create an exciting future.
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