Querida on an unconventional magazine rethink and Photoshopping a defecating horse

The Barcelona-based studio talks us through its two latest projects: the visual artwork for MJ LLergo's debut album and the design of the new arts magazine, Bound.

Date
27 March 2020
Reading Time
3 minute read

Querida has been in a constant period of change ever since the Barcelona-based studio was established. It's known for its sophisticated and pared-back style, as seen in its work for the likes of Solange, Paloma Wool, Tate Modern and the Universal Music Group, and for some time now, has been doing much more for its clients than just graphic design. Now, the acclaimed studio is just as involved in the content of the project as well as the design. “And that’s something really powerful in terms of creativity,” partner and creative director Albert Estruch tells It’s Nice That.

“We believe that this is happening because for the first time, clients are coming to us for our style,” he continues. It’s an approach exemplified in two of Querida’s latest projects: the artwork for MJ Llergo as well as the design for a new biannual publication, Bound. “These days,” Albert continues, “we are working on the kind of projects that we always wanted to, and most importantly, the way we always wanted to.” For the MJ Llergo project commissioned by Sony, the idea behind the cover was pretty straight forward. Working from a list of requirements from the artist – an emerging voice in contemporary flamenco combining the traditional with the modern – the studio was tasked with designing empowering visual assets for her debut album Sanación released earlier this year.

Referencing the universe, the planets, among a number of other things (gold for example as seen on the artist’s painted foot), Querida’s concept revolved around the deconstruction of an equestrian statue. They typically feature powerful men mounted on a horse, cast in copper and placed in an important location. MJ on the other hand is placed in front of a meteorite, posing next to a beautiful white horse that she felt “a special connection with” instantly. “Here’s an anecdote,” Albert comically goes on to tell us, “the horse was defecating while rearing in the picture we decided to use for the cover. But thank god we have Photoshop these days.”

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Querida: MJ Llergo

Alternatively, for the design for Bound, the publication was “very easy to design” as “when you are presented with great content, you don’t have to do much.” The ultimate goal is to let the content shine for itself, from the artworks of the established to the emerging, as curated by Bound’s editor-in-chief Cristina Ramos and her team. The magazine is a total rethink of Cristina Ramos and Txema Yeste’s former magazine, Dream, an object weighing around three-and-a-half pounds with 400 pages. In other words, quite difficult to read. In turn, Querida opted for a soft cover for Bound, making the magazine bigger with less pages and larger amounts of white space. “It’s basically the same content but everything looks lighter now,” Albert says of the sleek design.

“We share a common, unusual aesthetic universe with Cristina, so it was super easy to work together,” he adds. Her only request involved the cover as she didn’t want “another magazine cover.” As a consequence, the cover of the magazine is not centred around the title, but rather a thought provoking image. “She was brave enough to accept it,” says Albert on the unconventional nature of it. Each article has its own bespoke layout, despite the fact that it was a lot of extra work – but “totally worth it” in the eyes of the creative director. Other than that, the interior spreads of the debut issue certainly don’t meet expectations. The spacing between text and image is unorthodox but beautiful as a result, and leaves a memorable mark on the page in signature Querida style.

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MJ Llergo

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Querida: Bound

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About the Author

Jyni Ong

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.

jo@itsnicethat.com

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