Beautiful typography, playful colour pallets and no hesitation to explore all area’s of design, Studio Reko is ticking all the inspirational design boxes! We had a chat with Frans who is one half of the Studio Reko team. Frans fills us in on some good reads to get those cogs turning!
What was your plan for graduating and what actually happened? We started Studio Reko during the first term of our last year in design school, and before that we didn’t really have a plan as to what we were going to do after graduation. A company approached us and asked if we could help them out with some design work, and to be able to do that we needed to have our own company so they could pay us. Me (Frans) and Ludwig worked together on a lot of projectsduring our school years and realised we are a good fit. So when that first project came to an end we decided to just keep going doing our own thing.
Give us the elevator pitch on what you do. Studio Reko is a multidisciplinary design studio based in Stockholm. Our work is based on traditional strict use of typography combined with more colourful, eye-catching influences from pop-culture and art. Movies and music have always been our greatest interests and therefore often find their way into our designs as well.
We are driven by a desire to explore areas of design that we are not very familiar with and therefore often end up in situations where we have undertaken a project that is not similar to anything we have done before. This results in a portfolio not only consisting of graphic design, but furniture-, set-, and other kinds of design as well.
What does a typical working day include for you right now? The studio opened up after the summer holidays a few weeks ago so we are still in the midst of getting everything up and going again. But if I was to describe a normal day of work I’d say that we usually begin the day at the studio somewhere between 9 and 10 in the morning. Often with some coffee and we talk about what needs to be done in the day and later in the week. We decide who is responsible for what and then we start working. We go home when we feel that we have everything we are working on under control. If we’re just about to start working on a new project or if we are close to deadline this description is not really true, it’s a lot more hectic during those periods.
What are your three must-read design books/blogs/podcasts and why?
1. Robert Bresson, Notes on the Cinematograph: This book in a good way describes Bresson’s view on how to approach a (your) creative profession.
2. J. Müller-Brockmann, The Graphic Artist and his Design Problems ANDGrid systems in Graphic Design: These books are full of concrete examples and assignments combined with graphic design pioneer Müller-Brockmann’s view on what graphic design is. Great go-to books when you need inspiration for classical typographic graphic design.
3. Harrell Fletcher & Miranda July, Learning To Love You More: A compilation of the original webpage where two artists ask their readers to complete assignments and send them the documented results. This book is a great example of how to turn your performance anxiety into something productive in a simple way. Really fun!
Whats your take on internships? (do you take interns now?) Internships are important. They are a great way to find out how you want to work with (in this case) graphic design. When we first started studying we kind of thought that after graduation you work at a big design- or ad-agency, and maybe you do, but by spending some time as an intern at different kinds of companies (in-house, agencies, smaller studios) you realise that they are all very different. We do not accept any interns at the moment, but I’m sure we will in the future. We think that if you accept interns you need to have the time and effort to take care of and guide them so that their time with you helps them in the future. Unfortunately, we know way too many people who have had intern experiences where they have just been treated as free labour.
What advice would you give students starting out? Study typography.