Intervista: Xavier Encinas

Xavier Encinas 1

peter&wendy is a graphic design studio based in Paris that was founded by Xavier Encinas and Cécilia Michaud. They value close relationships with their clients and approach each project with a unique process. The studio produces a mixture of graphic projects in print, publishing and identity. Xavier Encinas took a moment to answer a few questions for AisleOne.

How long have you been designing?
Well I‘ve been designing from almost 10 years now. I started designing a website for some music I was playing with. We needed something to communicate; I was the one good with computers so I started to make a simple one. I enjoyed it so I decided to do more. I discovered print 3 years ago. It was a revelation for me. To be able to do such great “real??? things. The touch of the paper, the colours, the effects… all of it.

Who or what turned you on to graphic design?
The work of Michael C. Place and The Designers Republic really gave the inspiration to go on designing for print. I was very attracted by the modern and shiny way of TDR’s design and also the power of the simplicity in Build’s work.

Who or what are your influences??
My early print work was really influenced by Build and TDR. Now my design is very grid and type oriented. I admire the swiss graphic design and pioneers like Müller-Brockmann, Max Bill, Max Hubert, Wim Crouwel… today I try to get rid off all this history to find my own way.

What is your favorite typeface??

Xavier Encinas 2

What is your favorite color palette to work with?
Black & white, sometimes grey and pink.??

Can you explain your creative process from brief to completion?
When a new project comes to us, the first step, of course, is to understand the brief but then try to conceptualize the project as a whole. I take the time to try all of the ideas I have and experiment with different ways of executing them, before I put them on paper. Sometimes my first idea is the good one, sometimes it is not… our design is very grid-oriented so the grid helps to organize all of the elements of the design, in a way that is easy to understand.

Do you use a grid system when designing and how do you feel about them?
Grid is my way of design. For me it’s a fundamental basis for all my design from poster to business card and books. In a sense it’s a very safe environment but also very rough path. It’s always challenging to design using a grid because the need to accept to be free. For me form needs to serve the message.

Who do you feel is currently doing innovative work?
I don’t know really. I believe more in sincere design than in innovating design. For the past 50 years nothing really new appears on the graphic design field. It’s only old and fundamental design put in the “todays way???. The design technique are changing so are the designs but this doesn’t means its new. In the field of print design innovation could come from the production specifications : new material, new effect… but Helvetica is still Helvetica…

What are you working on now?
I’m currently working on several projects for a UK film maker CS Leigh ( Limited CD packaging, 1 posters, 2 books. Also working on my wedding invitation: A1 poster + A5 invitation.

Xavier Encinas 3

What is your favorite color?
Black and pink.

What is your favorite album?
There are so many album I love… Can’t say anyone in particular. I listen to jazz, hip-hop and some electro. These days my playlist included:
Patricia Baber – Verse
Stacey Kent – Breakfast on the morning tram
Jaocb Young – Evening falls
Common – Fiding Forever
Kanye West – Graduation
Nils Peter Molvaer – Khmer
Arve Henriksen – Strjon

What is your favorite movie?
Lost in translation from Sofia Coppola. This movie is just perfect. I never went to Japan (I will next year) but the feelings the 2 actors shares are so authentic and pure. It’s beautiful. The direction of photography is perfect too. I could watch this movie hundred times… I did it, anyway.

Intervista is a series of interviews conducted for AisleOne with some of todays top talents in graphic design.