If you want to better understand a design studio, don’t bother with the “About” section on its website—just look at the logo. Designers translate concepts into visuals, not words, so it’s only fitting to start by examining the identity they’ve devised for themselves. Case in point: the Sagmeister & Walsh branding conveys both a rebellious energy and monochromatic transparency, whereas the elegant typography of RoAndCo’s logo suggests a studio that’s refined and modern with an exquisite sense of taste.
Likewise, looking at the identity of Spanish interior design and branding agency Masquespacio reveals a lot about its approach. Based in Valencia, Masquespacio has a colorful, multi-faceted identity—fitting for an agency that focuses on a wide range of disciplines, including interior, branding, product design, and art direction.
Let’s take an even closer look though, starting with the name “Masquespacio.” Marketing director Christophe Penasse tells me that it comes from the Spanish sentence “mas qui espacio,” which translates to “more than space.” For simplicity, and because Penasse and co-founder Ana Milena Hernández Palacios quickly realized that non-Spanish speakers had difficulty pronouncing the studio name, the logo focuses on just the first word. The “S” is sliced in half, a detail that speaks to the studio’s interdisciplinary nature.
For cards, letters, and other print materials, different colors of paper are use to split the “S” in half, almost as if one color stands for Masquespacio’s branding work and the other its interior design. When the two papers come together, the overall composition is at its best. Similarly, I find that when Masquespacio works on both the communication and interior for a company, the outcome is strongest. Take, for example, its work for the Oslo-based ecological gastrobar, Vino. One aspect influences and enhances the other, creating a holistic, atmospheric experience.
The multiple colors of the studio’s own identity can be switched up depending on what Masquespacio want to communicate to prospective clients—pink and blue feels elegant and clean, perhaps suited to commercial brands, but orange and bright turquoise feels more idiosyncratic and relevant to arts-based clientele.
I can imagine that the studio used the latter palette when handing out calling cards and presenting its branding concept to L’Atelier Rouge, an NYC florist that takes a “floral punk” approach to design. “The company has a similar philosophy to ours,” says Penasse. “It creates tailor-made solutions for everyone from a corporate business to a creative storefront. That’s why we devised a concept that would attract different kinds of clients.”
To personalize the identity, Masquespacio took photos of staff members holding giant flowers in front of their faces. The arrangement of photography, Ernst Haeckel-esque patterns, vibrant colors, and cursive type is fantastic bouquet of a brand. Its fun and jubilant, yet still elegant, much like Masquespacio’s own versatile identity.
Masquespacio also knows that space is just as important to a prospective client’s first impression as a website or business card. For L’Atelier Rouge’s office layout, the studio drew from its visual identity, opting for bright room dividers, a mismatched chairs, fantastic floral arrangements, and a vibrant assortment of colors that culminate in a space that has something for everyone. “We start all interior design projects with the brand first because the two are inseparable,” says Penasse.