PORTO ROCHA’s identity for Airbnb Tyrus juxtaposes function with luscious illustration
As many creative people will know, actually creating is only half of the job. The other half, which often consists of managing clients, time and budgets, requires an entirely different set of skills which aren’t generally taught within creative education. Recognising this problem from their experience of working with a plethora of freelance illustrators over the years, Airbnb Design has launched Tyrus – a free-to-use digital toolkit that empowers freelance illustrators to build better business skills, enabling them to focus less on admin and more on their beautiful craft. The name itself pays tribute to Tyrus Wong, a Chinese immigrant who overcame a multitude of hurdles before shaping Disney’s Bambi with his remarkable illustration style.
Airbnb Design began by surveying more than 250 illustrators from every corner of the globe to find out exactly which parts of the job they struggle with. The results were extensive and eye-opening; enabling them to create a series of in-depth guides, templates and tools across four areas: ‘Nail the Brief’, ‘Champion Originality’, ‘Outwit Deadlines’ and ‘Demystify Feedback’. Tyrus addresses what is arguably the least talked about yet most time-consuming part of creative practice, and in doing so, encourages illustrators to transform the way they work.
Brought in to design Tyrus’ visual identity, New York-based design studio PORTO ROCHA focused on the contrasting requirements of a creative role by juxtaposing a robust, modular grid reminiscent of spreadsheets, forms, charts and calendars with a series of flowing and lusciously vibrant illustrations.
A distinct combination of function and play, the resulting design system offers a flexibility that allows for an array of illustration styles, content and formats. Utilising the Medium weight of Airbnb’s bespoke sans serif, Airbnb Cereal, alongside Klim Type Foundry’s editorial serif Tiempos, the typography is characterful while ultimately providing the ideal supporting partner for the enticing work of ten female illustrators.
Typefaces: Airbnb Cereal by Dalton Maag / Tiempos by Klim Type Foundry
Illustration: Sarula Bao / Manshen Lo / Molly Mendoza / Alexis Franklin / Camily Tsai / Marisa Seguin / Chia Chi Yu / Maggie Chiang / Sophia Foster-Dimino / Kaitlin Chan
Web development: Brian Harrison
Copywriting: Shoko Wanger
Photography: Sarah Hopp