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PEOPLEText: Naoko Fukushi

A cover design of this month is created by a creative studio Vasava based in Barcelona, Spain which raise up the team from only two to eleven members since its establishment in 1997. We ask to Bruno Selles, one of the founder, about their secret of success and the creative posture to manage various projects keeping the balance between commercial and non-profit work.

Photographed by Leila Mendez

Could you introduce yourself explaining how you set up Vasava?

Vasava came into life in the summer of 1997. Initially, it was founded by Bruno Selles and Toni Selles. Toni has been a graphic designer and advertising art director for many years and Bruno came from an illustration and graffiti background.

We both left our previous jobs because we got fed up with the usual graphic/ad studio methods and decided to set up our own studio, a place to work in the way we like and where we can control every aspect of the final product.

In these seven years the studio grew up and now the team is composed of 11 persons, with profiles divided between graphic designers, animators, programmers and a project manager, Enric Godes, who joined as partner in 2002. We don’t have secretaries or account people and manage every task on our own. However, due to the very different source of our activities we count on a large net of freelance collaborators to work with.

What is your activity?

We are not a studio specialised in any particular field, we have always enjoyed and been very eager to stimulate ourselves with challenging new goals. We have been developing projects in many different fields such as identity, typography, interactive design, publishing and film. Our feature is that we always try to have a balance between commercially commissioned projects -such a festival identity or a logo- and our own projects – such as Place or Vasava Fonts. We have a new way of dealing with the creative process based on experiment and commitment, and the search for new communication values, trends and fresh ideas is what inspires us.

How do you work on a project from the point of view the process? There are eight members so do you often clash with each other over different ideas?

We all have different skills, but we match in the way we like to spread a message, during the first few steps of a project we do brainstorm to find the basic concept of it, and the idea could come from anybody in the studio, once it is clear we manage to share the project tasks until it’s done. We never clone previous experiences because we like to give custom made solutions instead of predictable and standard solutions.

Please introduce the latest project?

For commercial work I should mention “1X1. Pixel based graphic design and Illustration“, 320 pages book covering all range of pixel applications, from mosaic or cross-stitch (analogic) to interface design or illustration (digital). It includes the work of 73 outstanding worldwide artists and it’s available in VALeisure.

For non-profit work, we are finishing a one and a half year project called Place. It is a travel book (290 x 370 mms) that itself travels around, packed with a video camera and a blank T-shirt visiting 36 designers of all over the earth, these artists use these three items to give us their own vision of the culture surrounding them and how it influences the work they do. The project will end with the Place exhibition in Barcelona in November 2004 and the publishing of the Place book. On the website you can see an up-to-date view of how the project is currently developing. Place is a Vasava project sponsored by Caroche Jeans.

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