“It comes down to the vision we have of how to be a good designer: to allow our
job to incorporate a rigorous, rational and meditative side with an emotional,
playful and irreverent approach.”
The talented Molteni Marco, along with his dedicated partner Margherita Monguzzi, put two ambitions together to forge one enterprise—Jekyll and Hyde—a graphic design and visual communication studio with a home base in Milano, Italy.
The start-up, founded in 1996, encompassed two very different training and professional paths by each designer. According to Marco, “[My partner and I] met when we were working as freelancers in some agencies and discovered what we have in common is the way to interpret this kind of job. We both wanted to carry out projects without giving up being high; We wanted to be able to experiment with some new graphical languages and to participate with our client’s goals, while still being able to respect and interpret their needs and goals,” says the designer.
From there, a business was born, and the name aptly chosen for the studio was Jekyll and Hyde, who in the romance are the same person. Marco says: “[It comes down to the] vision we have of how to be a good designer: to allow our job to incorporate a rigorous, rational and meditative side with an emotional, playful and irreverent approach.” But all work aside, what are the graphics guru and his unparalleled partner passionate about besides design? “Being curious and trying different experiences is necessary when it comes to versatility in your field; everything is about learning something new every time. Our different stories and personalities led us to different interests, from video games to bonsai art, from travels to planning, from reading to windsurf. We do often visit contemporary art exhibitions as well” Marco explains.
Two rights can help dissuade one wrong, and when it comes to convincing a client to trust the pair's better judgment, "Our way of working is a process totally shared with the client in every phase,” says the designer. “From the beginning we try to go deep into the brief so as to obtain all the needed information, even the unexpressed—to do that we let the client join our research by asking questions, taking interviews, and playing small games. Later, we share our first analysis of the brief and our initial visual research through a report and the use of a mood board. From here, we begin developing the concepts on which we decided to work on and propose our creative solutions. At this point usually, client feedback is positive, and they reflect their thoughts in what we’ve offered. In the case the client cannot find any convincing, then he or she is able to give us precise feedback thanks to the initial research work we shared. This allows us to rapidly rework and create the best solution for him.”
The dynamic duo turns to words in order to gain insight, wisdom, and guidance. For example, when we asked about the best piece of advice heard and worth repeating, Marco responds accordingly: “We remember phrases and quotes that were probably intended for others but somehow we made our own. We are very curious individuals and we are used to finding tips, suggestions, and pieces of advice in different places: in a comic, in an interview of an old bluesman, in a movie ending, in an artwork caption, etc.,” he says. As for their physical approach to design, it’s all about balance. “We work on different communication design fields, from type design to brand identity, from editorial to web design, and we do that for different types of clients who need really distinctive designs.” In addition, “We always try to find the balance between what is beautiful and what is fair. For each project we dedicate a good amount of time to research; this is the phase in which we like to get to know the subjects we are working on, collect information and materials, and incorporate sketches and trials.”
According to Marco, “Our wish is to create something with an aesthetic ability to communicate the right message that is functional to the concept on which the project is based. We are often obsessed with details and that's a "very" hard way of work. Our goal is to have every single element in a formal relation to others and as a function of the message to communicate. We like to play with the process and let ourselves be guided by that to define the result. In conclusion, nothing is decided by personal taste,” says the Milano-based creator. As for some final words of wisdom, what do the founders of Jekyll and Hyde enjoy most about their line of work? “That we never stop learning,” explains the voice of the interview. To learn more about Molteni Marco and his partner Margherita Monguzzi, check them out their work at www.jeh.it
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