We recently caught up with New York based creative agency Apartment One about their studio and some recent projects. Check out what they had to say below.
How do you feel the studio has evolved since you started in 2005?
We have grown so much as individuals, as a team, and as a studio in the last 11 years. Some of the more overt areas of evolution include our process, our service offerings, and our clientele. However, the secret sauce that belies all of that expansion are the critical lessons we’ve learned along the way. One particular area of importance is our growth around ‘listening’. The art of how to create a space where conversation and collaboration can thrive and where we can truly ‘hear’. It can be tough as creatives to learn how to essentially ‘get out of the way’ so good work can come through. So much of the creative process involves the balance of pushing forward and letting go.
The decor of your studio resembles a home much more than an office. Why?
Space is such an important ingredient to the everyday work of creating and collaborating. We started the company in the parlor floor of a brownstone which was the inspiration for our name, Apartment One. In addition to those roots, the concept of a home is very much at the heart of our studio and our process. We work really intimately with our clients and that unique time and relationship has very much the feel of ‘home’.
Can you explain the reasoning behind the modular approach of the signage system created for the East River Esplanade?
When developing the design for the signage system, we felt that a modular solution would be the most efficient and effective option for this particular environment. The East River Esplanade runs parallel to the FDR Drive in Manhattan. The pillars of the FDR were designated for park signage and span the length of the park. Each pillar has two panels of equal size which works well as the foundation for a modular solution. We chose to use the left panel for park identification and the right panel for relevant information based on the location of the pillar. Pillars were utilised for variety of signage including wayfinding, park rules, and park amenities.
Magnitude Capital uses blue, a colour that’s often associated with the finance sector. Why did you decide to embrace it instead of turning away from it?
In this particular instance, the client came to us with this colour in their existing visual identity and wanted to keep it (or a version of it) in the evolved brand. That said, we appreciate when a client insists on certain design parameters as it often forces us to think in fresh ways. In this case, we chose a specific navy blue that was richer and more refined yet aligned with their existing colour palette.
What’s the secret to designing a good map?
For us, it’s critical to understand the unique wants and needs of the audiences utilising our maps. We start our process by working to think like our map users, not about them. From there we focus on functionality first and beauty second. When the two come together, that’s where the magic happens.
Fatherly is one of our favourite projects we featured last year. Why the red colour?
When thinking about our primary audience of fathers, the obvious colour choice was navy or black. Fatherly was looking to engage this audience differently and we felt that red was a less expected yet strong choice. This particular red also brought warmth and freshness to the design language.
Where would you like the studio to be in 10 years time?
That’s a great question! Honestly, we love what we do and would love to continue to work with incredible people doing great things in and for the world. That said, life is an amazing journey and we’re excited to see what the next decade brings. Ultimately, we’re focused on today and trust that where we end up tomorrow is exactly where we’re meant to be.
What did you think of the interview?