Meet the Creatives: Another Collective

05 / 09 / 2019
For more information, visit Another Collective website.  
It’s due to “a weakness for branding and editorial design” combined with an intense passion for each of their projects that Bruno Soares and Eduardo Rodrigues seek to give shape to visually appealing narratives, contributing to the visibility of renowned national and international brands. Through efficient and lasting design, the design agency based in Matosinhos, Portugal, is responsible for an ever-more diverse portfolio, currently focussed on the restaurant and hospitality sectors. Being awarded gold on the occasion of their sixth Graphis Brand Award – for the Fava Tonka project – offers proof positive of this. We chatted with the collective about the challenges and ambitions driving their creativity.

What can you tell us about each of the creatives behind Another Collective?
At the moment, responsibility for the creative side is taken by two people, although this isn’t a hermetic process, since each project has its specific needs. We rely on a team of creatives that revolve around the studio, bringing new ideas, contributing to the maturing of the projects through different languages. It’s something we’ve worked on and which we intend to consolidate, maintaining a small and balanced team, and which provides the creative lead. Our academic background is in Communication Design and, because of that, we acknowledge our limitations, surrounding ourselves with people from different backgrounds and with an ability to interpret each project in a different way.

With services that include branding, editorial design, web design and illustration, would you say that the creative process changes frequently, or are there aspects common to all your projects?
There are basic principles which we consider fundamental and which, naturally, are common to all our projects. These same principles, which we seek to apply to different realities, contribute to a greater security and to a more confident approach when we come across obstacles. Even so, we always seek to incorporate new values in our methodology, since we see each project as an opportunity for on-going learning.

 
Your portfolio already includes a vast number of clients, ranging from Municipal Councils to Super Bock, of from Sogrape to numerous restaurants. Would you highlight any project in particular and why?
The truth is that, because we work in different areas, there are always projects that make an impression on us for very different reasons. I think that the projects that we have been developing with Super Bock are really gratifying, not only because of the process but, also, because of the final result. The creative freedom we enjoy turns them almost into an escape from routines, due to their exploratory character, often being transformed from mere projects into quasi-installations. So, we think those projects that most mark us are those that demand greater involvement from us, beginning with a strategic consultation, then leading to the definition of the concept of the space and, finally, the execution of these ideas, such as the case of Fava Tonka. For us, as an agency, it is much more rewarding to take on a project like this, which involves working on all the stages, especially because it makes us grow hugely, both personally and professionally.

Winning gold in the Graphis awards in the Branding category, due to the work developed for Fava Tonka, represents your sixth distinction in this competition and also reinforces your growing preference for the restaurant and hospitality sectors. Do you think working for a restaurant is different from working for any other institution?
The truth is that we have worked a lot in the restaurant and hospitality areas, which almost came about by chance, but which has become almost the hallmark of our agency. Through the experiences which we have been amassing it is quite different working for this area for a variety of reasons: the background of the clients is different, the approach and even the rhythm of the people that deal with the projects is quite different. By this, we don’t necessarily mean to say they are better or worse, they are just naturally different, for all the specific aspects of the area, which often reveal parallel realities within the same universe.

In this specific case, in what way is the concept of the restaurant conveyed through the branding carried out?
In the case of Fava Tonka, the options we went for in terms of graphics ended up being what we had expected. From the outset, it was crucial to use materials which respected a more natural character, with a minimum of human interference. The application of the brand on the exterior of the space, making use of part of a trunk, which also acts as a counter indoors, is a paradigmatic example of this. This way, we feel we are showing the clients the indoor space, even before they have gone inside, through contact with the materials. We decided to use layers, construction grids that don’t seem to exist, shapes that come across as imperfect. Basically, we constructed a concept based on organised chaos, finding these perfect imperfections that Nature offers us.

 
 
Where does your creativity find inspiration?
Going beyond the obvious, such as the internet or magazines, much of what we create is the result of a constant process of debating and confronting ideas. Our ideas emerge, fundamentally, from chewing over the information that we stumble across in the mundane aspects of our present world. Additionally, travel is essential in order to promote new ideas. It’s always fascinating when we visit a given space, and we have the opportunity to confront pre-defined ideas with the experience of being in and feeling a given place. Since some of our work is outside the office, there is nothing better than getting inspiration through contact with new realities.

And on those days when you feel uninspired, how do you overcome that state?
More uninspiring days are a reality that we have to know how to face, if possible by not insisting blindly when we find ourselves up a dead-end alley. Handing the project over to another person, with a different perspective, who can bring a new approach, or moving on to another project, anything that might snap us out of our momentary stagnation. It’s rare to spend one day entirely on one project. This oscillation between projects contributes to those moments of stagnation being less frequent, since we are constantly obliged to rethink what we are doing and how we are doing it.

Regarding future projects connected to restaurants in Portugal and Spain, what else can you reveal?
We’re currently working on a series of projects in the restaurant and hospitality areas, including two hotels in Porto city centre, which have been extremely gratifying since we have been an integral part of the process since the beginning. Also in Porto, we are developing two more projects for restaurants, one of them is already at the final stages, and is scheduled to be inaugurated in September. By the end of the year, we also expect to present two more projects in the restaurant sector, namely in Braga and Lisbon. Regarding the Spanish market, we have been working on consultancy and branding projects, with both Portuguese and Spanish clients. We are currently, working in partnership with a Portuguese group expanding in the Spanish market, and we hope to see this project being materialised in the first semester of 2020.