by Mark Tungate
The main emotion that drives Vasava is boredom. Boredom with the ordinary. The run of the mill. The “just OK.” Vasava hate that stuff. They like to run riot with ideas, trample convention and turn the upside down upside down.
Here’s the evidence. First, their name. Type it into Google and you get the agency first. Then you get an Indian deity, also known as Indra. Vasava liked the name’s sonority – the way you can’t quite write it backwards. Some even claim that Vasava are the deities of design – but the agency is far too modest to comment.
Actually, “agency” isn’t quite the right word. Nor is “studio”. Vasava has elements of both, plus something else. When you visit them it feels more like a kitchen: a joyous and slightly anarchic space where a disparate group of talents cook up multifaceted creations. Vasava has clients all over the world, but its soul is a former parking garage in Barcelona. Which may explain certain employees’ enthusiasm for muscle cars. When you look at their work, you wonder if they’re high on exhaust fumes.
In 1997 there were just two of them: Bruno and his dad Toni. When Enric joined a few years later, he became the third member of a dynamic trio. Hence their logo, an inverted triangle with a never-ending Escher quality: an impossible logo for a trio who thrive on the unreasonable.
Vasava was part of a new wave of independent studios that popped up during the 1990s. They still feel squeaky new, even though they’ve grown in size and experience. In fact Vasava has become a kind of school: the Hogwarts of communications wizardry. Its “alumni” populate other well-known studios, always with a nod of thanks to the mother agency.
Today, 17 people work at Vasava, and everything is done in-house. They don’t outsource. From design to illustration to video to animation, it’s all home made. And if they don’t know how to do something, they’ll teach themselves. One of Vasava’s unwritten rules is “learn like kids.” They love exploring. They love to get messy. You’ll often find them covered in ink, paint and glue.
Their commercial success is largely due to this need to experiment, at work and at home. Their personal design and art projects have been shown in books and exhibitions around the world. They’ve spoken at events in Los Angeles and Stockholm, Beijing and Buenos Aires, and just about everywhere in between.
Their approach has earned them the loyalty and respect of clients such as Nike, Hennessy, Adobe, Diesel, 55DSL, Mango, Budweiser and Red Bull. Magazines often give them a call. Not just for interviews, either. They’ve designed pages for Billboard and Fast Company and covers for Variety.
But it’s not just about headline names. Vasava design book covers and album sleeves and festival posters; they design for charities and for friends and family.
Above all, they design because they can’t stop. It’s what they do. It’s who they are. For Vasava, every project is important, and every process is a playground. Any other approach would simply be too…well, boring.