How many of you are there now at Hey?
We are four, and one intern – we always try to have one intern. I’m the founder and director, and Ricardo started with me from the beginning more or less. He’s more illustration focused, Eva is a graphic designer and Paula is the studio manager.
Are there plans to grow, or do you like keeping things small?
I like to keep it small because I think we have a very strong style, and if the studio grows maybe we would lose that style. When you’re small you have more control over that.
How would you describe that style?
I always say it’s not just a style, it’s an attitude: it’s something open, fresh and simple with a strong idea behind it and very bold graphics. I believe design is for everyone, not just a specific target, so that’s why it’s so direct and fresh.
What’s your studio space like?
We’ve been in our new place for a year before we were in a very, very small space. This one is more professional, and we share it with a graphic design friend of mine – we studied together. The environment is like a family, as we’re a small studio. Space is big but as there are only a few of us if one person is angry or feels bad you know about it.
We try to keep a good environment, so on Mondays, we cook pasta. It started as a competition and every week two people cook, so when you cook you do that and clean it up and make the coffee, and the others don’t do anything. Sometimes we have music on, but most of the time we work with headphones as we all like different music. In the same building, we’ve got friends downstairs, one is a photographer who took our pictures for the website, so it’s good as it's very easy.
Do you socialise with each other a lot?
Of course, we do sometimes, but not so often. In the UK I think you do this more, like going for drinks on Friday, but in Barcelona, it’s different, more focused on work.
If you were hiring at Hey, what sort of person would you be looking for?
It’s very difficult because of the size of the studio. It’s very important they’re a good designer and illustrator, someone who loves typography and loves colour; but designers now have to be able to do a lot of things. It’s not just about making a poster, so they need to know all the fields we work in. But 50% designs and 50% is attitude.
You work on a lot of personal projects, like the Hey shop, as well as client work: how do you balance the two?
We try to do personal projects when we have time, so for example if there’s a more relaxed month we can invest time in them. The shop is part of the studio, so maybe sometimes we stop and say that for the next three days we’re working on the shop and try to get ideas for it.
With personal projects, if someone has an idea we listen, we talk, and if you invest time in it I never feel I’m losing time on client work as it will give me things in the future, maybe new clients. Personal projects are where we can explore new styles. Sometimes a client says they want something they've already seen, and you have no chance to explore new styles.