“Effort, hard work and perseverance”: N-E on its new identity for Design Market Barcelona

What constitutes great work? Miguel Naranjo, creative director of the Madrid studio N-E, gives us the low-down.

16 March 2020

N-E thrives off change. Based in Madrid, the community-based design studio has worked on a multitude of projects, seeing anything from identities to editorial, posters, websites and magazines, plus a newly published identity for Design Market Barcelona raise to the surface (and a fair few features on It’s Nice That).

Well-versed in a multidisciplinary approach, N-E believes that its success is all to do with evolution. “N-E is a constantly changing studio,” Miguel Naranjo tells It’s Nice That, “we are a community of creative minds that work on the contemporary visual culture through a strong base on concepts that generates their own language. In fact, this is our manifesto, based on change and evolution.”

With this in mind, the past year has seen several projects come to fruition – one being a commission for Omotesando, an audiovisual production company and a video artist’s collective, where the team produced a new graphic system and typeface. A further project sees an illustration book and exhibition for the Spanish artist Rafa Munárriz, titled Espacio Relativo, which sits alongside long-term projects for Loewe Perfumes and Cookbook Magazine – a project that saw guest artist Cali Thornhill Dewitt and contributors Virgil Abloh, Peter Sutherland, Matthew Williams and Tremaine Emory come together.

Here, we’re taking a look at their most recently completed identity for Design Market Barcelona, an annual event held by the association of designers ADG FAD at the Disseny Hub in Barcelona. During which, N-E played the role of art director “who is playing and experimenting”, says Miguel. “We liked the idea of being the orchestra director and playing with the instruments, the work of our six collaborators.” With complete design freedom, there was a flexible approach to the brief – an ethos that rings true to the Design Market’s aim of collaboration.

In order to reflect the diverse attitude of the Design Market, N-E opted for the curation of six new collaborators that were plucked from the thriving Spanish design scene to contribute to the campaign – this includes graphic designers Ester Arrebola, Pedro Ajo, Carlos Mayo, Clara Pessanha, Paula de Alvaro and Jose Houdini. The result is a compilation of varying typefaces, poster work and animated graphics – a completely unified yet changeable identity. “We only played with mixing their work and generating movement in the different pieces,” Miguel explains on some of the design details inputted by N-E.

As for how they got to where they are today, N-E met on a shared understanding and view on design. “N-E positioning can always be relative, an opinion,” explains Miguel, “but there is something that I do know: effort, hard work, perseverance, never giving up, daily learning and a spirit of self-improvement are the keys to achieving our goals.” The N-E is therefore consciously formed of people from different walks of life, including those hailing from graphic design and others with “self-taught profiles”, or even those who have studied other disciplines like advertising, communication, architecture, art or audiovisual. “We are always open to work with people who contribute their knowledge to N-E.”

Thus, it’s clear that the studio’s diverse portfolio is just as prevalent amongst the diversity of tis team members. On the topic of its key influences, Miguel explains how his team and himselff have an eye for everything that surrounds them. “In addition to graphic design,” he adds, “art is implicit or explicit in all our projects. Any form of artistic expression can be the origin of a project – from an exhibition, a gastronomic experience, a building, a song, a movie or a book.”

So what exactly constitutes a great project? Miguel concludes: “Travelling is also essential but a conversation with a friend can be the key or the origin of great work.”

GalleryN-E: Design Market Barcelona

GalleryN-E: Design Market Barcelona

GalleryN-E: Design Market Barcelona

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About the Author

Ayla Angelos

Ayla was an editorial assistant back in June 2017 and has continued to work with us on a freelance basis. She has spent the last seven years as a journalist, and covers a range of topics including photography, art and graphic design. Feel free to contact Ayla with any stories or new creative projects.

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