Eps51 is an internationally active graphic design studio developing visual concepts with a strong focus on typography and bilingual design. Here’s what they have to say!
Graphic design in Berlin
In Barcelona, it’s been quite some time since people first talked about a notable decline regarding conditions and quality of graphic design and about how clients value our work. Do you have the same impression? And why?
Unfortunately we often have to deal with a decreasing valuation of good graphic design. It is not always easy to make clients understand what good design is really worth. The appreciation of individual consulting and communication is absolutely necessary for the process of a successful collaboration.
However it’s not always only the clients to blame — many designers out there sell themselves below value simply because they don’t know what their own work is worth.
Do you specialize in a particular domain (branding, packaging, web design…) or do you offer a more generalized service?
Rather than specialising in a particular service we always aim for individual and conceptually strong solutions. Our work ranges from developing brands and visual identities, designing websites and books to organising cultural events. Throughout the past years we’ve managed to only work on projects we’re interested in – ranging from the fields of culture, art and design to gastronomy and music.
A little specialty of Eps51 is certainly working multi-lingual.
Do you work mainly for the same clients or do you get selected assignments?
Of course we have clients we regularly work for but we’re also regularly approached by new costumers with new projects. From time to time we also work on self-initiated projects such as books or exhibitions.
Do you hunt for clients or do clients contact you? Do you follow a commercial sales or a customer fidelity strategy?
Our strategy is to deliver great work. So far we never had to actively hunt for clients.
If customers are happy with what you do it will spread word of mouth which works just fine for us.
How many designs do you usually suggest to a client?
Style & trends
Does a graphic designer need to have his own style or, for example, they have to follow the trends? Should a design be timeless, open for evolution or rather be adapted to the trends?
Trends come and go and will be reinterpreted again and again after a while, so we don’t really care too much about trends but rather approach each project individually according to its contentual needs. Adding some visual spice can’t hurt, can it.
So would you say that Berlin is innovative, has its own style or just copying designs that already exist?
The Berlin design scene has grown immensely over the past years – sometimes it’s almost too much – we like to call Berlin a creative ghetto. The large creative crowd however has for sure brought forward some great designers and fantastic work. So yes I would call it innovative in this sense. There are for sure a few copycats as well – but I guess this simply belongs to every movement and scene.
Do you know about graphic design in Barcelona? Do you think it has its own style?
To be honest we haven’t been following the design scene in Barcelona lately – but we did in the past. From what we remember the style is very illustrative and playful.
The designer of the future
Does the profession of graphic design need a facelift? What could we improve?
Graphic design constantly “facelifts” itself already. Due to technical advancements graphic design is always on the move. As designer you either jump on the train or fall by the wayside.
With the boom of digital marketing and its focus on quantifiable results, many companies decide to raise their budget for this kind of service. How do you explain to your clients the benefits from investing in graphic design?
The clients we work for are very well aware of the positive effects of good graphic design – otherwise we would not be working for them.
Should we make changes to the vocational training / academic career of a graphic designer in schools / universities, and if so, which?
After all graphic design education in Germany is not that bad – however there is one issue that is completely missing which should definitely be an integral part – the value of graphic design.
What is good design — conceptually and also commercially — really worth?