Since we last wrote about Paris-based graphic designers Zoo, a lot has changed for the studio. It’s expanded to now include five members and calls a larger studio home. But one thing remains the same: a desire to create work with strong content, concepts and collaborations.
Founded in 2013 by Baptiste de l’Espinay, Julie Galand and Valentine Thébaut, Zoo now includes Léa Milteau and Marine Stephan. Together, they specialise in print design but also create websites and signage with no less proficiency. “Projects with strong content are what motivates us the most,” Baptiste tells us. “Whether it’s a small, one-shot or large-scale project, only intelligent content can give birth to an interesting project.”
It’s an attitude that means Zoo often gets to work with interesting clients, whether it’s museums and galleries, publishers, architects or fashion designers. No matter what the project, however, the team tries to collaborate with “young and gifted designers to bring fresh air” to its work, adding “we love to collaborate with skilled and involved persons, whether they’re a publisher, designer, artist, printer, curator or philosopher.”
Beyond process, when it comes to aesthetics, the studio is no less specific on what it wants to achieve. “We claim an international aesthetic that combines a pop language with a strongly rigorous approach to typography,” Baptiste describes. This is not to say that Zoo’s projects follow a prescribed visual language, however. Instead, the studio allows content and concepts to inform its decisions. “We never want to impose a recurring style, it would be too boring for everyone,” Baptise continues.
Zoo’s recent project titled Millecamps is a testament to this fact. The studio was asked by Les Musées d’Angers to design the campaign, catalogue and exhibition design for an exhibition showcasing the work for Yves Millecamps. A painter and sculptor, Millecamps is best known for his tapestries, particularly those made during the 1960s and 70s. “When we discovered his work we were really surprised,” Baptiste recalls, “his very strong style was avant-garde at the time but today it looks very settled in this 70s period.”
In direct response to this interesting space that Millecamps work sits in, Zoo wanted to create a contemporary interpretation of his work. Working with both the curator and the artist himself (“he’s 90 years old!”), the studio settled on a bold and extended typeface which complemented Millecamp’s “strong visual universe”.
Clearly adept when it comes to understanding references and channelling outside influences into proficient designs, Zoo is a studio you can trust to make the right decisions. In terms of what’s next for the studio, Baptise tells us: “We will keep working on new projects with bigger scopes, scales, stakes and new challenges.”
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