I can still remember when I first fell in love with a design studio.
I had seen a beautiful macaron-inspired project for Theurel & Thomas, with its minimal design and abstract pops of colour. I’m sure at the time the French patisserie helped, but Anagrama has been my design crush ever since.
When you look forward to seeing a new project uploaded and can spot one of their works instantly in your ever growing Feedly list, you know you have a problem. Well, not so much a problem, rather an infatuation.
For me, with Theurel & Thomas it was the clean, white design with the surprise of colour – and this translated right through from stationery and uniforms, to the interior design of the flagship store in San Pedro, Mexico. Colour plays a big part in Anagrama’s design, with an emphasis on using it as a graphic device in itself, thus keeping the number of different elements within the design to a minimum.
I have an adoration for surface design and patterning (one that I lovingly blame William Morris, Marian Bantjes and Paperchase for), and Anagrama often adds co-ordinating patterns to their branding concepts. This is not solely for graphic emphasis, but also to reinforce the brand and add some personality, creating a cohesive brand identity that really stands out.
Anagrama clearly take their inspirations from all forms of subject matter (design and non-design alike). I think this is one of the reasons behind the success of their projects – and the main reason I admire their work. Thinking laterally allows you to step outside of the norm and bring a unique set of ideas to the table. Ideas that usually may not have been considered.
Caramela takes its influence from Monterrey’s history in manufacturing steel to sell their chocolates. The industrial feel of cardboard boxes and packaging tape quirkily modernised with bright pink elements. Amado by Hyatt’s concept mixes the two contrasting styles of classic poetry (Amado Nervo) with modernist architecture (Luis Barragán). This is visualised in the layering of bold colours with gold foil detail. The design for Fundación Capital is inspired by bees and location pins. A clever logo and colour palette that references hard work, organisation and their international reach.
This mix of unconventional thinking and bold use of colour and pattern (all whilst keeping a clean design) is what makes me stop scrolling through Pinterest or Designspiration every time. Minimal design does not have to be monochromatic, and colourful design does not have to be busy. A design aesthetic owned wholeheartedly by the self-professed ‘Creative Juggernauts’, and one I always keep my eye out for more of.