Obby&Jappari on how personal projects and working after hours informed their 'multidimensional' style
Obby&Jappari is a Frankfurt-based studio that’s created ‘multidimensional’ work for some of the world’s largest and most innovative companies, including Apple, Nike and Under Armour. We caught up with them to find out about their background, design approach and more.
EM How did you the three of you come together to form the studio?
O&J Our studio Obby & Jappari is based in Frankfurt, Germany. The story of our studio begins with two of the founders, Obby (Marcel) and Jappari (Wacho). They were both living in different cities in Germany. Jappari is originally from Georgia, Obby is from Germany. They both had jobs which had nothing to do with design and started designing after hours (Obby did that at night). They found out about each other’s work on social media where they started to collaborate. Since the cooperation worked so well, they have continued working together since then.
M I became kind of obsessed with designing and I just wanted to learn more about it. When I realised that this is my mission in life, I quit my job ‘overnight’ and directly moved to Frankfurt to study art at HfG Offenbach together with Jappari.
W We then started working together on personal projects every day for like 10 hours. For our first big project – a campaign for Under Armour – we worked with the third founder Pia for the first time. The project welded us together and we officially founded the studio.
P I’m mainly working as a 2D animator and illustrator, and help the two guys with animation jobs and with all the organisation stuff. We have very good cooperation and motivate and help each other.
EM Do you have any advice on how to approach personal projects?
O&J The best thing about personal projects is that you can decide freely what you want to do. There are no rules or limitations. In personal work, you can experiment and try out things you’ve never done before and you always wanted to do. This is a good way to develop new creative approaches.
In personal work, you can experiment and try out things you’ve never done before and you always wanted to do.
EM The studio describes its approach as multidimensional. Can you tell us more about your approach to design?
O&J For us, multidimensionality means staying open to new, unusual design approaches. In addition to the graphic design and the 3D imagery we offer, we try to explore even more fields of design and get inspiration from everywhere e.g. product design, fashion, interior design, animation. We are in constant exchange with other creatives, mindsets and ideas, to generate new perspectives on the design process. Our studio tries to overcome limits and conventional boundaries, in terms of creative boundaries as well as spatial boundaries. Since we founded our studio, we had the opportunity to work with designers from all over the world, and international brands like Apple, Nike, Under Armour, Universal, Sony Music, Highsnobiety, Tunica Magazine, Crack Magazine.
EM There’s a real understanding of classic typography in your work alongside surreal and futuristic experimentation. Is there anyone, historic or current, that triggered this way of thinking?
O&J Actually there is no one specific who triggered this way of thinking. Maybe it‘s more about the number of possibilities we have nowadays to do all kind of things, which inspired us to think that way. In our studio, we all work in different fields of design and we are in constant exchange with other creatives, mindsets and ideas, to generate new perspectives on the design process. That’s how the multidimensional thing came up.
EM What inspired you to work this way?
O&J It was always our aim to find a new design approach that fits well with today’s zeitgeist. Of course, it was a long way full of experimentation and testing until we found this kind of aesthetic. By combining classic graphic design and 3D imagery, we have created a new contemporary style. In our work, we try to explore digital and analogue imagery – and the contrast between these. We are questioning what beauty means in the 21st century, in the future and in an information-rich, digitalised, fast world. How does the relation to the body change with digitality? We’re interested in the utopias of digital corporeality, its chances and risks. We also include nostalgic elements in our work by bringing styles of the past decades into a new modern context.
EM Global campaigns, magazines, clothing, album artwork and products are just a few things of the things you’ve worked on. Do you have a favourite?
O&J It is of course not easy to find an exact answer to this question since we love all of our projects. The diversity of the areas in which we work keeps work always exciting for us because there are so many things to explore.
EM Maybe favourite was the wrong word! Do you have a project you are most proud of?
O&J Maybe the Vapormax Campaign we created. Since we started to do commercial work, one of our main goals was to do an international Nike campaign. Additionally, we are very proud of the outcome of the campaign and the art direction.
Platforms like Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr are really practical since you can directly get in touch with potential clients.
EM You choose to operate without a traditional website. Why so?
O&J Platforms like Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr are really practical since you can directly get in touch with potential clients, other designers and colleagues. Especially on Instagram, communication is so easy and fast. This is the main reason why we use this tool so intensively. Nevertheless, we still see the website as an important medium. Our next long term project will be creating a studio website. Large projects, in particular, may need a different medium in order to be presented to customers appropriately.
EM So at the moment, your relationships with clients such as Nike and Under Armour have developed through social media?
O&J Yes, definitely. But we also have a lot of offline connections meanwhile.