Featured Studio

Bakoom

October 2019

Xavier G. Lienas, co-founder of Bakoom Studio, chats to us about what they've learnt from every design job, the importance of open communication and setting expectations with clients, and the importance of being kind.

Where did you study and what were some of your first jobs?

We both came from very different backgrounds. Albert studied industrial design and took some small jobs in differents studios, until he just found himself enjoying designing music posters for an underground club where he used to work as DJ. I (Xavier) studied Multimedia because I didn’t really know what I would do between graphic, web, photography, motion graphics … my first (paid) job was as an intern at university, working as a graphic designer for some magazines they published monthly.

Later on, we started to share our passion for design, and we founded Bakoom when we got a client, a very small festival called Niu En Viu, who were looking for a new logo and some posters to promote their upcoming lineup.

What’s the worst design job you’ve ever had and how did it make you a better designer?

We didn't learn from only the worst jobs. In our opinion you learn from every decision, project, meeting and client, if you are open to it.

Usually there are a lot of things that will compete to slow down your project: a bad briefing with undefined objectives, or maybe it's the client with confusing comments, and sometimes it's the timline being affected by contradictory feedback. We've learnt something from every project we have done, and summarise it as: invest in creating a realistic and detailed briefing before every project. Talk to clients in person to be able to feel what are they really looking for, define objectives, set up realistic expectations, get commitments on deliverables for both sides, and always have a deadline and a closed budget. That’s the key to success, or at least that’s the key to not failing, in our opinion!

Who are your top five design crushes globally right now?

We recently had the opportunity at a design festival to see a Swedish design studio called Snask. We instantly fell in love with their vision of design, how they manage their studio, and the nice environment they have created between them.

For a while we have found ourselves following the work of Two Times Elliot, a London based creative design studio who works nice with type and great compositions.

We also love the work of the Catalan studio Practica based in Barcelona, a young studio founded by people with awesome backgrounds in some of the great design studios who are doing some really great projects.

One of our last great discoveries is the Belgium-based studio Vrints Kolsteren with a really great portfolio full of concept design and creative solutions.

And last but not least, Bond Agency from Finland for their conceptual approach and modern art direction in their projects.

"

You learn from every decision, project, meeting and client, if you are open to it.

"

What’s your take on internships? (do you take interns now?)

We look into every portfolio we have received, looking into concepts as we value these the most — the intention and the idea rather than the final execution. There are tons of people who can “use” the tools to make nice designs, but there are only a few of them who can think before they do anything. They're the ones we want.

Also we look into people who seem nice and who have a passion for what they do. We have already found some interns who are just starting their careers and already seem to be burnt out and tired. Come on!

What advice would you give students graduating in 2019?

To be smart and open-minded: they are living in a world in constant change and movement that needs people with tons of creativity and personality. And please, be kind and nice to other people, that’s the only way to succeed professionally and also personally.

2019 for you in a sentence.

A great year full of changes and opportunities that lead to do what we really want to do.

Website: bakoom.com

Instagram: @bakoom_studio

Twitter: @bakoom_studio

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