For Jose Godino and Christian Rodríguez of graphic design studio Cárter, collaboration and experimentation have been important parts on the journey to define what their visual signature language will be. The Madrid based studio has worked with a range of exciting clients within creative disciplines such as Fashion, Art, Culture and Music. “In the studio we are always trying out new ways and techniques to develop our work”, Jose and Christian tell Collide24, “From the beginning on, what we didn’t want at all was to be stuck in a concrete style. Within the concept of each project we try to push us to think out of the box in order to keep making progress personally and work-wise.” In the last couple of months, the duo has worked on a bundle of new collaborations and projects, among them the identity for T.A. by Telsha Anderson, a multi-brand apparel store that caters to the young female community in Manhattan – a project, they are “really proud of”.
Jose and Christian met while studying together in Barcelona. After a few fruitful collaborations together, they soon realized that they shared a similar work approach and came up with the idea of founding a design studio in the future. Before the actual launch of Cárter Studio, the duo has worked in the industry for several years at various studios and agencies. “I think the most important turning point in our career was when we finally decided to start Cárter Studio and leave behind the other jobs we had at the moment. This was the most enriching moment, when we fully started developing our creative career as its best and had all the freedom to do whatever we wanted or what felt like it was the right thing to do”, the designers state.
While some people assume the name of the studio is inspired by Vince Carter, Jay Z or Jimmy Carter, the story behind it is actually quite simple. “There is not an interesting story behind or meaning for it”, Jose and Christian tell us, “Cárter means ‘Crankcase’ in Spanish, which is a piece of an engine. We spend a whole noon to come up with that but just took it because it sounded nice to us.”
With a creative process that is never the same, the studio has a strong emphasis on creating bold and contemporary identities for companies and institutions, including their work for Telsha Anderson, the jewelry label Timeless Pearly, Heaps & Woods and many more. “The way to approach brand design is always very different from client to client. The first steps are always the same, we talk calmly and deeply with the client taking all the time we need”, Jose and Christian guide us through their working process, “Later on, they fill out an extensive briefing questionnaire, answering all the questions very calmly. From that moment on, all the processes are quite different and motley. This process changes depending on the requirements, the complexity and the scope of every project.” As many of their projects are rooted in the world of fashion, the duo aims at exploring more and more other cultural fields in the future, such as music and art, in order to “keep learning and make progress”.
One of their recent projects is a collaboration with photographer Kito Muñoz on some spreads for the fourth edition of Ansinth Magazine, an exciting combination of photographs and graphical elements. “We applied the subtitles creating conversations between the characters in the editorial. We went for a super simple approach with a twist in the typographic choice, Apax by Optimo foundry. The typeface has different variations of the ‘s’ and the ‘a’ which makes this grotesque very special and unique”, the duo tells us about the visual language of the artworks.
From working together during their studies to leading their own design studio, collaboration has always been an important part of Jose and Christian’s practice. “Collaborating is about adding ideas and ways of thinking, the approach will be more interesting when it comes from different point of views”, the two designers explain, “It means putting your ego aside to make something that represents the sum of its creators. We get better each day as individuals by engaging in challenging conversations with each other. In our field, it allows to create a network and to support each other. We are always open to work and to share inspiration with other creatives and friends.”
Looking into the future, Cárter Studio has some exciting, upcoming releases in the pipeline. Describing it as some of the most ”gratifying projects” to them, the duo has developed the identity for Soul to Soul, a Maryland-based Organization that seeks to bring changemakers together to provide resources enhancing the wellbeing of the black community. “We couldn’t be any happier to help and contribute to this community”, Jose and Christian state. Apart from several identities and a photographic book, the duo will soon launch a collaborative project with different creatives from various fields – once again emphasizing the importance to collaboration for their practice.