Design Around the World: Barcelona

To coincide with this year’s April International Design Annual, we decided to pull back the grid of latitude and longitude even further and hear, firsthand, what designers in these different countries have to say about design—how their location impacts their work, how clients embrace their creativity, what’s inspiring them and what kinds of projects keep them busy.

Here, Martin Lorenz from Twopoints.Net talks about design the city where legend has it that Hercules himself was founder.

Barcelona, Spain

Where are you located, and why do you enjoy being there?
I have seen many places around the world; I was born in Hanover (Lower Saxony, Germany) and moved to The Netherlands where I graduated from the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague. But I liked Barcelona the best. The city, the people, the weather, the food—all the things that make life worth living—I found here in Barcelona. So I learned Spanish, moved to Spain and founded a corporation specialized in strategic design and communication.

How would you describe your style?
Diverse. Based on content. Functional.

What kinds of design does your firm specialize in?
We specialize in visual identities for corporate designs, brands or campaigns. We have our own clients, but work as well for event and advertisement agencies.

What things influence your work? Where do you get your inspiration?
Every single job contains all the inspiration we need. Before we start to work, we analyze the parameters of the work and the content that has to be transmitted. All this can lead to an effective inspiration and a very special solution.

How do you think your community and clients view design?
Spain’s approach on design is very much related to advertisement. It is still the metaphor, the idea that is the starting point for most of the designs. From what I’ve seen, heard and read, we all fight more or less with a misunderstanding of the designers’ profession, function and opportunities. We must push the limits with every job we do. We must show the market how much better it would work with designers’ help.

Do you think there’s anything that sets your location’s design aesthetic apart from other places?
Barcelona is a very international place. Some call it the Mediterranean New York City. Germans, Dutch, Japanese, Swiss and French all brought their different aesthetic styles with them and made this a very diverse source of inspiration.

Is there any cultural proverb or saying that influences the way you approach your work?
"A forgotten mistake will be committed twice."

If you were a color, what color would you be?
Grey. Printed with cyan, magenta and yellow.

Other interviews in the series
AUTUMN:01: Sydney, Australia
BLOK DESIGN: Mexico City, Mexico
Laboratorium: Zagreb, Croatia
LeBoYe: Jakarta, Indonesia
Steinbranding: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Third World Media: Nairobi, Kenya Barcelona, Spain Hamburg, Germany
Yellow Octopus Pte Ltd: Singapore
Zetalab: Milan, Italy

HOW April 2007