Cut, paste, drag and drop: Sometimes Always invites you to play around with footage from security cameras

For the launch of its latest issue of Dolce Stil Criollo, the studio has crafted an interactive and ingenious website to sell the publication.

Date
27 January 2022

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Sometimes Always is a familiar name here at It’s Nice That. We’ve seen the studio pop up here, there and everywhere with a gradient-infused identity for Fidéle, and a vibrant one for São Paulo bar Caracol featuring over 10 billion compositions, to name just a couple of its great projects.

Founded by Gabriel Finotti and Solenn Robic, with intern Leonie Montjarret now joining the team, the studio has, like most, undergone a few challenges over the past year or so. After moving to Marseille, finding a new office and “surviving” all the hurdles endured by the pandemic, the team had to onboard more client-based projects in order to keep afloat. But, this didn’t stop the continuation of its biannual publication Dolce Stil Criollo, made in collaboration with Christopher Rey Pérez. What first kicked off in 2013 with its debut issue Islands has now evolved with its latest issue Border Theatrics – with three issues in-between. “The project makes up a small history of the Americas,” Gabriel tells It’s Nice That. “Both our editorial line and experiments in design seek to create a reader who traverses languages.”

For this latest issue, Border Theatrics looks at the symbology, meaning and politics of the border and the idea of border control cameras. It centres itself on the work of Frantz Fanon, “in the same way Tropical Opacity was focused on Èdouard Glissant,” he says. But what really sets this one apart is the fact that they’ve never before had a website to sell the publication, and previously relied on art book fairs to get their magazine out into the world. So for the new site, the Sometimes Always team have created your less-than-typical platform. “We approached the website as a unique feature of the projects like any other session of the printed matter,” Gabriel continues. Two web developers named Leo Hoesl and Marina Cardoso assisted with the project, and with the team in place, they devised the idea of border control cameras. “There are public live cameras on multiple territory borders around the planet that can be accessed online anytime,” he says.

Sometimes Always: Dolce Stil Criollo, Border Theatrics (Copyright © Sometimes Always, 2021)

It might come as a surprise to learn that you can access footage from security cameras around the world. When the team decided to base the issue around this topic, Marina and Leo proceeded to create a “visual hacking tool” for the magazine’s website – it was the perfect subject. This means that users can play around with a plethora of different tools: drag and drop, cut and paste; air spray brush; plus stamps from the magazine made by different artists in the issue. The world, seen through the eyes of a security camera, becomes the users’ playground. “If the border plays with us, why not play with the border?”

As for the print publication, this was designed by Sometimes Always together with Brazilian designer and friend Martinica Space. As the first time bringing an outside designer to work on the issue, it turned out to be a real success. “There were literally zero moodboards created or common references researched,” says Gabriel. Instead, they decided to transfer the theme Border Theatrics into the design, in turn creating a designed format of 170 x 270 mm, an equal division of content, and a month to design it all. “During this month, we didn’t exchange a single word or image.” It was during the final stage when they had a call that they presented each other’s work, which resulted in some pleasant surprises. “It was interesting to see so many similarities but also so many differences. More than 30 typefaces were used, countless font sizes and styles, different grids and page numbering. The lack of standards and ‘abrangence’ of styles illustrates that Dolce Stil Criollo is better than anything else.”

A mash-up of multifarious styles and tastes, the printed arm of the project is just as out-there as its website counterpart. It really is a wonderfully creative project, and we’re thrilled to be welcoming back the studio for this very update. Who knows what they might be designing next, but one thing’s for sure is that, besides more commissioned graphic design work, the next issue of Dolce Stil Criollo is going to be just as riveting.

Sometimes Always: Dolce Stil Criollo, Border Theatrics (Copyright © Sometimes Always, 2021)

GallerySometimes Always: Dolce Stil Criollo, Border Theatrics (Copyright © Sometimes Always, 2021)

Sometimes Always: Dolce Stil Criollo, Border Theatrics (Copyright © Sometimes Always, 2021)

GallerySometimes Always: Dolce Stil Criollo, Border Theatrics (Copyright © Sometimes Always, 2021)

Sometimes Always: Dolce Stil Criollo, Border Theatrics (Copyright © Sometimes Always, 2021)

GallerySometimes Always: Dolce Stil Criollo, Border Theatrics (Copyright © Sometimes Always, 2021)

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Sometimes Always: Dolce Stil Criollo, Border Theatrics (Copyright © Sometimes Always, 2021)

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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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