We had some questions for Bienal, a creative studio based in Yucatán, Mexico that was founded in 2006. Check out what they had to say below.
How does the design culture in Yucatán compare to other parts of Mexico?
Design in Yucatán is a mixture; a cultural blend of many ideas and concepts of Mayan origins, European influence and a pinch of Caribbean. We have ‘sisters cities’ such as La Havana in Cuba and New Orleans in The United States. Our gastronomy, architecture and traditions have made us very independent with a very strong differentiation, we are like a country inside a country. We believe that by simply being aware of our roots we have been able to grow creatively and have been able to do different things in design.
What is the thinking behind the colour palette of Petén Seaside Community?
Our first objective is to create brands with such a profound experience that the consumer can immerse in a different world from the first contact. Petén Seaside Community is a project where we needed to convey this experience from afar, as it is very likely that the buyer has never visited Yucatán, so this goal became twice as important. We rely on colours and textures to present in the flora and fauna of Sisal, a mythical port in our state. Helping the consumer recreate an image of the environment; gold representing the sun’s reflection on the sea, orange as the flamboyant tree flowers, blue as the colour of the ocean, green for the mangrove, last but not least the texture of craft paper to convey the feeling of the sand on your feet. It is like taking a lifestyle sample on print.
“It is like taking a lifestyle sample on print.”
How did you craft the branding to reference Mayan culture?
Sisal is a reboot, a place to find oneself. The brand is based on our roots, in the legacy, but not only on the Maya’s legacy, but also the legacy from other cultures. For example, as inspiration for the personality is Ernest Hemingway, his adventurous and passionate spirit; he always looked for a connection to the communities he visited. Conveying key elements in the history and culture of Sisal using a graphic style that can be reproduced in a simple way by creating drawings on the sand.
Each of the symbols is linked to a key concept in Petén Seaside Community. The sun, the magical nature of Sisal, ‘where everything is possible’, its shores witness both dawn and dusk, the water. The community develops in an ecosystem surrounded by water with 3 main sources: the sea, lakes and marsh. Historically, Henequen left a legacy in Sisal because it was the main port of Yucatán in the 16th century, where all the Henequen got shipped out, and where the moon was a purifying element of spirit for the Mayan people; invites us to be reborn and free from the things that you no longer need. When we change, the world changes.
Which of your projects do you feel has made the biggest impact?
The first project that helped define Bienal in a radical way was the branding for El Gran Museo Maya. It was the beginning of a structure that generated brands that then would turn in to awards, media coverage and an overall impact. Rice Now is another brand, making a very strong impact outside Yucatán, opening doors nationally with clients that had very different and interesting projects like Pico de Gallo, taking us into international projects, collaborations and engagements with interior decoration design and signage. All of these projects along with many more have helped us a lot and made us learn more about our work.
Estudio Marte, Dilo Bonito, WorkCenterMéxico are some other examples of projects that have had a very good impact on digital media and the design world. Malahat is one of our dearest because it helped us develop the base and the concept from the very deep; therefore our projects come very well defined from the beginning, it has also been an excellent reference of our work as a project that has been chosen in prizes, books and others.
“Emoción is a short film we made as an experiment, we are planning on showing it at 2017 film festivals.”
Why did you decide to style the Volkswagen in 3D form instead of vector for the Emoción identity?
Emoción is a short film we made as an experiment, we are planning on showing it at 2017 film festivals, we did this project to prove ourselves and to have fun. We think that the making of a film is very similar to the making of branding as you have a lot of professional people, experts in different areas and responsibilities. These people are very well linked in their different ways but in the same path that leads to the same goal.
The Volkswagen ‘Safari’ as it is known in Mexico, is the third protagonist of the film, and as we have always liked different materials and organic elements in design, we had a hard time getting a replica on internet but we made it and it is what we use as the brandmark of the branding, like a live action introduction.
Combining the materials and organic elements in the digital area, giving it a greater depth, texture and certain qualities that we like when creating.
Who are your favourite studios and designers from around the world?
They are not studios, but we get motivated by schools, art groups and manifestos that generated really significant changes and that were not only temporary designs. One of our most important references is the Bauhaus as well as the DADA, from their manifesto to their work and actions. The Factory is also on the top-of-mind, as it is a container of artists and creatives interacting and creating with a lot of passion and madness.
The Estudio Marte branding combines a lot of different elements that probably shouldn’t work with each other. What brings it all together to make it such a neatly crafted identity?
Estudio Marte is a brand that combines a lot of elements that are not likely to work together. Nevertheless they are carefully placed, as if they were hand picked and placed specifically.
Marte is a unique and special identity because it is actually a person. The brand´s DNA is the studio’s founder, a person with a very eclectic, lively and versatile personality. Her life is an eternal combination of contradictory elements, which probably should not be together but her attitude and charm make them work perfectly. We believe it’s the same with the brand, it goes beyond the graphics. It has a soul, movement and owns a personality that just works.
Can you explain the typeface choice for Buyán Apartments and the decision to use the subtle letter spacing in the wordmark?
Buyán is a place for people with an intellectual, development oriented and a dissemination of culture lifestyle, which seeks innovation based on traditional knowledge; concepts that influenced a lot when choosing Grandee CP as the main typography. The intention was to create Buyán Apartments as the perfect neighborhood, where a homogeneous community with similar tastes are tenants and can interact and coexist without compromising their privacy and individuality. The space between the letters reflects that, despite the encouragement of using common areas with artwork, each department is a separate and private space, a sacred island.