The Global Branding Studio Finding Beauty In Function Savvy is defined as shrewdness, knowledgeable about the realities of life and possessing know-how and understanding. Given this association it is little wonder that fashion designers, hoteliers and architects have entrusted their branding to Savvy Studio. With offices across the globe, in New York, Mexico City and Monterrey, the studio, founded five years ago by Eduardo Hernandez, Raul Salazar, Rafael Prieto, Bernardo Dominguez, and Pablo Limón came from humble beginnings. “We were just friends with a keen interest and eagerness to create, design and mould the way things were shaping up in Mexico”, explains Eduardo, “naturally, we started off working and collaborating with other friends, as well as developing our own projects”. We caught up with one of the co-founders, Eduardo, to talk about the studio’s latest projects and how social media is changing the face and future of branding. TP: We love your, The Beginning Of, project – can you talk us through how this came about? Edwardo Hernandez: The Beginning Of… Is a Fashion Brand with a very particular goal: to empower the modern woman with very versatile, extremely good quality and highly aesthetic garments. We love working on projects like this because its vision goes beyond a simple, functional goal. TBO… aims to be an ambassador of a new way of thinking, were brands learn from your expectations and way of life and offer you a precise solution that is also an exciting one. For the creation of this branding project, we started with the mental picture of a young, prepared woman who has to go shopping for a new job that starts tomorrow. How can we create a brand that is going to make her feel professional and entitled but at the same time excited for her future? TP: Can you talk us briefly through your process – from receiving a brief to completed project? EH: Our work process consists of two parallel lines that converge at a later point. The first line has to do with Research. We have worked with many different kinds of projects, from fashion lines to architecture studios, from high-end restaurants to nutritional supplements for Mexico’s most vulnerable population. So, we have to do our research. The other line comes in the shape of Emotion. Even the most calculated, business-oriented project has to do with humans, and humans are emotional beings. We have to identify those emotions in order to establish an honest and attractive dialogue. The converging point comes when research and emotion get together in a creative concept that we apply in a very dynamic way, in a form of storytelling that has the capacity to get richer and richer through time. TP: What has been the most challenging project you have worked on? EH: We have come across very difficult challenges along the way. It’s not about a specific project, it has more to do with specific situations that we never encountered before. For example, the first time we had to work on a project from a long distance because it was on the other side of the world. Every project has some specific challenges and it’s up to us to learn from them and get better because of them. TP: We can see you did the branding for the Museum of Broken Relationships – what was the brief for this? How was it working with such a universal concept? EH: The brief was to create something universal but different at the same time. Everyone has had their heart broken at some point of in their lives, so it was up to us to get rid of all the traditional visual metaphors we have been seeing through our entire lives in movies and greeting cards, and to get more into the actual feeling, what it really feels like when you end your relationship with your significant other, and then translate this very personal feeling into something attractive that everyone can understand quickly. TP: If you had one piece of advice for anyone setting up a branding agency, what would it be? EH: Embrace your strength or weakness and pick how to utilize them to work in your favour. TP: Where do you think the balance is between beauty and function? EH: The balance between beauty and function is found in well resolved projects. Beauty also has a function: to create strong emotions and empathy. And there is beauty in something that works flawlessly. Theres a quote from Alvar Alto that seem just right to me: beauty is the harmony of purpose and form TP: How do you feel social media has changed branding? EH: Well, I think social media simply sets the importance of having a good communication strategy, branding included, in an easy and more obvious way to understand. For us design studios, I think we should never work on projects just to generate more likes. That should never be our goal. I think that would be a huge, self-centered, mistake (unless that is our client’s objective). What we can do is adapt our communication strategy in order to have a better, more effective diffusion of our work along media. Doing this well will eventually attract clients that will feel emphatic to our way of thinking and doing things. Reach becomes easier. From a project’s point of view, social media is another touch point between the project and its audience, another channel where you have the opportunity to tell your story. TP: What unifies the Savvy team? EH: Strongly believing in our way of doing the things we do. TP: What’s next for Savvy? EH: Keep working, keep doing the things we love to do, the best we can.