Agenturporträt: ‏Royal Studio

PAGE gefällt ...: Royal Studio aus Portugal, das so furios und fantastisch in seinem Design ist - und auch in seinen Statements, dass wir diese ausnahmsweise im Original belassen. Ihre Selbstdarstellung und ihr Werk sind eine Tour de Force, die Eigensinn mit namhaften Kunden verbindet.

Name Royal Studio

Location Porto, Portugal


Schwerpunkte Stepping a bit beyond the focus areas it feels quite comfortable to assume the term »visual system« to each designed object: being as complex as a complete branding or campaign or quite simple as single poster because every item tends to be designed by nature as the birth for a bigger-than-itself project in which the details can be fed to fit a different final result. Talking about emphasis: oh my! Going above and beyond each project, the main fire-line that each project needs to resist is just a simple literary question made with actual words: »Is it honest?«. If the work at hands is suited for a specific client’s need then the honesty comes into play if the project can live up to the idea, public, mood, need and necessity that was implied from the beginning – which we starve to achieve. On the other hand all the self-initiated projects are filled with meanings, feelings & messages to look forward to. The bottom line to the message-question is quite simple: to be as utterly and mentally critic as possible and raise a monumental fire to be the arena for a bloodshed round of discussion, controversy and learning. Also, we just created a channel for podcasts in which The Royal explores Design without actual graphics: a training round for a wonderful romance and a stage for our project and emotional train-wrecks as a way to fall in love again with communication. Uh! Let it dance!

Start Graffiti: from a one man show to the community, that was the birth of the revolution. It was as a solo writer that the founder of The Royal João Castro understood the power of style, composition, public and collaboration. As soon as it came the sooner it went. Feeling it while limited the next logic step was to let go the authorship and embrace the client. – Communication: The interest grew bigger when the understanding came that graffiti was a training ground for something much wilder: the designer—client—public relationship and the tool to express ideas while behind a thick window of layers. The idea that communication can be understood while remaining critical and gut-powered was the ultimate route to freedom-from-the-spray and on to media-play with traditional and digital mediums for the world. The Royal was born from the idea of a one-man-graffiti-show to a collaborational studio that revolves around the same individual embracing the plural.

Struktur The Royal is insane. Brainless. Heartless. Mental. It is a stone-cold-restless nerve with attitude. And Joy. And Blood. A ranging team of boiling creatives that constantly changes in number from 1 to 22. Grown in Oporto to the world, it is a governmental instrument. It is recalled as problem-solver but one would say the gut takes it to the underworld of sub-cultures. It was nurtured in the wind and crisis: creature of the industry. Addicted to fuel and medicine, enlightened by history and poisoned manifests it springs to life out of necessity and excess. Act wild; Think wise; Move fast & Create value. It breathes from the eyes and it is thirsty in the brain: hands held tight they’ll burn common-sense and build the future on emotion for everyday communication. The Royal is anxious. It stares with cruel addictiveness. It is ruthless for routines and strives for the perfection of perception. It is collaborative in nature. Sharing projects and area in the We Came From Space allows us to be flexible. The team changes according to the project’s needs and that is the major characteristic that allows budgets to fit very tiny projects, self-initiated ones, small clients or huge brands. Day-to-day the routine is the enemy. The copy, the development, the illustration and whatever crazy-media department is held tight via a good network of collaborators that integrate the team, while the design department and project management is kept in house.

Inspiration The whole process is filled with a good studio-client relationship ultimately built in a coffee shop with healthy sweets and drinks. We believe inspiration should come first-hand by good conversation where you can find the place and the melody to dance and sing to. After the tone is set, usually inspiration comes via a good visit to the cinema, a poetic research through architecture and the perfect beat to shout to. 
Once you discover the best soundtrack for the project and the ideal place for it to unfold, in the end an extensive visual research, both historical and visually trendsetting, it is always the best way to kickstart the moodboard: with fashion, architecture, music, illustration and similar projects from the designer point of view.

Arbeitsweise Science! Science! It is all still about scientific method: Define the problem; Learn and research information & backgrounds; Create an hypothesis; Test the hypothesis; Analyse the results; Interpret results and engage in usage-test; Develop results; Retest all of the above until exhaustion and then: Question the hypothesis; Analyse the graphics; Deliver & Publishing. It is as careful as it is OCD’ish. As ruthless and as nerve-racking as violence and premeditated to the energy of the gut-feeling. The design process always start in a piece of paper. Not with graphics nor with sketches: with careful words. We start every project by laying all the goals on an extensive list – with verbs. After all of those melodies are sorted in a fruitful song, The Royal starts by building a visual moodboard dedicated to the general aesthetic feeling of the strategy to follow. After that stage, We start to build a team for the project and for studio: this is where the guidelines are built either for an independent approach or a collaborative project both for the print strategy and the digital playground with designers, illustrators, photographers and developers.

Helden Main thought to strive to: always be on the verge of sheer extinction. Losing the grip on reality and focusing on ultimate goals for the concepts is the best way to rock to your own beat. A good basis for temporary heroes should always be set, and I’ll get to that in a paragraph, but I’d state the »idol« is the enemy of the »perfection« when it comes to inspiration. To follow an idol doesn’t unfold in trendsetter, the reference coffee shop is the one you’ll find in your doormat but the perfect is miles away, perhaps, a flight away from home hand to hand to the jazzy feel of the sandblasts in Turkey or a midnight fever in Paris. Barcelona pizzas are nowhere near Milan and London breathes the air that Switzerland wouldn’t begin to understand. A cloud memory of lifestyle fashion and narratives are the best references one can bring to the daily grind of the studio routine. Go senseless on the visuals and grab the core to the objective. Other than good books I’d bring an honest belief on the unfulfilled futurist Manifests from Italy’s Marinetti and Portugal’s Almada Negreiros. On the literature sense I’d recommend to dig deep in the core of Alvaro de Campos and take a sip from the industrial excess on the »Ode Triunfal«. On a positive resourceful hand give design a hand on the much tested and always relevant Elements of Typographic Style by Josef Müller-Brockmann. For inspiration throw First Things First Manifesto to the fire and breathe down Andrew Blauvelt spine in »Towards Relational Design« on the Design Observer – actually, lay there for a while until the spinning wheels of criticism start to unfold your visual mysteries. Being that at this moment one’s eyes are restless and dumb, I’d recommend shredding your sketch book and sprint through Adobe’s Illustrator and/or Maxon’s Cinema4D for exploration and fuelling illustrated sketches. If your coder mind is in place please do give Processing a go, and if your inner-monster is still alive maybe your best media-friends are a handful of spray cans on your favourite city walls after the much needed beer-powered sketching round wireframes. That’s some media: restlessness.


Für wen wir einmal arbeiten möchten Once? Most surely we’d love to work overtime on a flexible system for a client that allows constant development of the brand direction. Picking an ideal client most surely we’d focus on multi-media cross-platform technology-bending trendsetter entity such as Google and it’s sub-divisions in insane knowledge-breaking projects. Naming respect, graphics, culture & loyalty to ideals it would be a tremendous honor to let emotions roll with the extremely warm Sagmeister & Walsh to build culture.

Kunden We really don’t feel to confident about client lists. They tend to overrate bigger clients over bright project that sometimes can be amazing via a small or unknown client. Despite that, highlighting recognition and big names we’d feel confident naming Yahoo, Refinery 29, FC Porto & CIN as interesting clients on big projects overtime!

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