Portugal’s Royal Studio are not just winningly adept at creating bold, interesting and creatively ambitious visual treatments – they’re also terrific at writing the most intriguing project summaries I think I’ve ever seen. There’s a fine line between being weird and funny on the one hand, and gratuitously wacky on the other but these guys manage to pull off descriptions that mirror the invention, and occasional iconoclasm, in their work. Take The Dishonest Manifest, a series which seems to be ridiculing the preoccupation with how posters look as opposed to how well they do their job. The clearest indication of this is a long, thin creation with the phrase “Don’t give a fuck about content” repeated over and over again.
Here’s how they describe it over on their Bechance page: “The unknown is the key. Taking it as a manifesto regarding the global language, the beauty of globalisation, and how pure form tends to overlap conceptual meaning. You’ll enjoy it for the visuals. If you get the language, you’ll notice the poster is in fact the acknowledgement of not knowing a single detail about it. All of them. Ultimately we are telling you how ignorant you might be: though it doesn’t matter – you’ll love it.
“Single-handedly, this would be funny. Though they are a serious compilation of posters for single events and clients. You may never eat cheese, Palestine may never find understanding, Europe may never be on time, Berlin and Vienna may never play it fair, we may never speak Japanese in the day nor at night, and we may not give a fuck about content.”
The project reminds me of Grafik BS, a fantastic hoax perpetuated by young Irish designer Amy West which used a fake Dutch studio to lampoon the online community’s vacuous way of engaging with graphic design as a discipline (and yes we realise that sites like ours were probably among the targets). Royal Studio have brought a nice level of attention-to-detail to a similar idea, and you have to admit these posters do look great, which both is and isn’t exactly the point.
About the Author
Rob joined It’s Nice That as Online Editor in July 2011 before becoming Editor-in-Chief and working across all editorial projects including itsnicethat.com, Printed Pages, Here and Nicer Tuesdays. Rob left It’s Nice That in June 2015.