W Studio’s 2022 calendar features and is in support of our furry friends

Victor Rouve and Vérène de Hutten have turned their love of animals into a calendar featuring work from a host of international artists.

Date
10 January 2022

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You know what they say, new year, new animal-themed calendar. Right? It’s been an annual regular for photographer Daniel Gebhart de Koekkoek, and now, Parisian design studio W has joined the trend, producing a 2022 calendar that features some cute (and some not so cute, in fact, a little bit scary) furry friends.

W is the brainchild of French designers Victor Rouve, who grew up in Paris, and Vérène de Hutten who’s from Les Yvelines in the city’s suburbs. After meeting while studying graphic design, the pair went their separate ways for a few years before forming their studio in 2020 – “what a year to start a studio!” Vérène jokes. The studio’s output varies but is mostly focussed on art, fashion and music for clients including Balenciaga, Lil Nas X, Rimowa and Paper Magazine. “These areas allow us to have quite a lot of freedom in our work. We can easily go from illustration to type design or art direction,” Victor explains, to which Vérène adds: “We like to touch a bit of everything. I hate to do the same tasks so one of the reasons I went into this profession is so I could do different things every day or at least every week.”

The idea for Creatures 2022 came about after the duo realised they hadn’t worked on any printed objects in a long time. Plus the opportunity to collaborate with artists they admire was “very stimulating,” Victor tells us. A key reference was the “traditional French post-office calendar they used to sell door to door every year, it was always with pictures kittens or puppies,” Vérène says. And this combined with their shared love of animals is what led them to land on the zoological theme.

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W studio: Creatures 2022 (Copyright © W studio, 2021)

In all of their work, Victor and Vérène strive to have fun and be experimental. “I would say [our visual language is] rich and colourful and kind of humorous,” Victor outlines. Oftentimes the word “pop” is associated with what they do, although they’re not a huge fan of the term, says Vérène. Instead of chasing a specific aesthetic though, the duo simply ensures they never take themselves too seriously – “not that good design isn’t important, but we’re not saving lives either,” Vérène remarks.

That proclivity for colour and silliness is certainly reflected in the art direction of Creatures 2022. Bridging 2D illustration, 3D work, painting and more, the calendar is multifaceted in its style although equally it retains a certain frivolous personality – the direct result of the duo’s taste. “The Creatures calendar is about animal representation in all possible shapes and form,” Vèréne describes. “What comes out of this first edition is a kind of naive and joyous vision of the animal world, which matches pretty well with our frame of mind when we started this project.” In terms of how they found the contributors – including Claudia Maté, Uou_Cute and Laurent Allard – Victor explains that some are friends and others are artists they’ve been following for a while on Instagram, “so we were really excited when they accepted to contribute.” With the first iteration such a success, the pair are already looking for artists to include in the 2023 edition.

All of the profits from the calendar will be donated to the Foundation Assistance aux Animaux and the project also features two T-shirts and an exhibition. You can grab your copy of the calendar or one of the T-shirts here.

As for what’s on the immediate horizon for W, the studio is currently working on a special project with jewellery maker and artist Colombe d’Humières, producing a series of objects that will be released on its website this year and a typeface, the Giallo, which is due to be released in early 2022.

GalleryW studio: Creatures 2022 (Copyright © W studio, 2021)

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W studio: Creatures 2022 (Copyright © W studio, 2021)

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About the Author

Ruby Boddington

Ruby joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in September 2017 after graduating from the Graphic Communication Design course at Central Saint Martins. In April 2018, she became a staff writer and in August 2019, she was made associate editor. Get in contact with Ruby about ideas you may have for long-form stories on the site.

rbd@itsnicethat.com

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