Baillat Studio on the thinking behind their stencil-driven rebrand and fashion-focused direction
Baillat Studio is a multi-platform design studio whose work spans branding, creative direction, motion and show content. As part of their rebrand, which marks their fifth anniversary, the Montreal-based studio developed a bespoke stencil typeface alongside Coppers and Brasses and a celebratory short film named ‘The Clock.’ To find out more, we spoke to the team about the process behind their rebrand, the value of collaboration and what they have in mind for the future.
PT Hi there! How are things in the studio?
BS Things are busy but we think this time is really inspiring for the studio. We are getting into bigger projects and we find it really exciting.
PT How has the creative DNA of Baillat evolved in the last few years?
BS In the last few years, we have gained a lot of clarity regarding the studio’s strengths. The rebranding process was motivated by a desire to focus our practice around the collaborative notion of the studio, but also to separate our service offering and expertise into two main areas: identity design and experience design.
We also took advantage of this moment to redefine our image and to show ourselves as a collaborator of choice for premium clients.
PT You mention that “design and emotional experiences play a crucial role in bringing humans closer together” – has the pandemic affected this mindset?
BS Collaboration has always been central to the studio’s creative process, as has our proximity to the cultural milieu. The pandemic period has forced us to redefine the way we approach human relationships.
PT Are there any creative directions that you’re keen to pursue?
BS Currently, the studio is working to develop collaborators in the fashion industry, a field that inspires us greatly and allows us to mix exploration and tradition. At the same time, the studio is also developing expertise for more technological projects related to Web 3.0. We find that it is a very dynamic environment where great design opportunities are created, and very quickly.
The pandemic period has forced us to redefine the way we approach human relationships.
PT What technology-driven innovations in the creative industries are you most excited about?
BS We are currently working on a virtual museum project. We find that the meeting between virtual and real offers great possibilities for designers. This reflection was sparked by the pandemic context.
PT What was the catalyst behind your studio rebrand?
BS Before Baillat Studio, existed Baillat, and Baillat Cardell and Fils before that. As the studio is rapidly growing, we felt like five years was a good time to initiate this change. The period from Baillat really signified the end of that era, but as the team is growing and the notion of team grew more important, we also felt that that emphasis became more and more crucial.
We are definitely invested in the entire process.
PT Your website says that you decided on the stencil due to its ‘handcrafted nature,’ do you usually take a hands-on approach to your projects?
BS We are definitely invested in the entire process of a project with our clients, whether it’s solution-finding, collaborating or making sure that their goals are met. In that sense, we are hands-on because we want to make sure that the client feels like we're there for them and that we’re there for each other.
Speaking of collaboration, we wanted to represent that in our custom type through unusual ligatures. The typography features a set of square and organic ligatures that ties between letters. In addition, by using two traditionally separate typographic features, we were able to illustrate the duality of our expertise and our love of contrast.
PT Did you face any hurdles when orchestrating this new identity?
BS The rebranding project began almost a year and a half before its unveiling. During its conception, there was a lot of reorientation and changes in approach. However, with a little bit of perspective, we find that when put together, all of the elements are very cohesive and create a strong narrative that tells the story of the brand and express our desire to give the studio a new fashion feel. At the beginning, we were very ambitious, but as the project progressed we realised that it was important to focus on a few elements to finally concentrate on the craft and the execution.
A symbol that signals change, growth, energy and a new era.
PT Where did the idea for The Clock come from?
BS The Clock was tied to our identity rebrand and with that intention, it features the new logo embedded in a circular clock design. A symbol that signals change, growth, energy and a new era. It is a captivating reflection, all in tension, on temporality; the weather masters the movement that guides creation. We believe that everything can be unique given enough love. In our creative process, this means giving it enough time and attention so that it achieves its full potential.
PT As an invitation for your film premiere, you designed a series of boxes containing silk scarves. What inspired your decision to choose silk scarves?
BS To celebrate the studio’s anniversary in the past, we have always created promotional material that lies between pure graphic design posters and a unique fashion item (neon raincoat for our 3rd year). With our desire to work in the fashion industry and with the new identity, we took this opportunity to merge these ideas to create a design item that is wearable and/or displayable.