In the Studio with Astrid Stavro
Binissalem, Majorca, Spain
Working here since
1,615 square feet
Getting ready for a two-week holiday
One word that describes your space
Best thing in the studio
One thing you would change
The phone ringing
What does your typical day look like?
I take my son to school in Puerto Portals (a 30-minute drive), drive back, cycle to the bar next door in my black Brompton and eat a pa amb oli de jamón serrano (dry-cured Spanish ham on bread, with tomato and oil) for breakfast, meet everyone in the studio to review projects, lock myself in my office to check e-mails, work, meet individual designers, go for a quick lunch at the other bar downstairs, and back into the studio until 5 p.m., when I have to go pick up my son at school. Driving to and from my son’s school is where most of the thinking happens.
Can’t work without
How do you procrastinate?
Ride my bike
What’s on your desk?
Reference books, my laptop, glasses, pencil and paper, and a series of books I am sending to Design Observer for the 50 Books/50 Covers design competition
What do you pack when you travel?
A book, a camera, a sketchbook, my iPad, and, if it’s a long-haul flight, sleeping pills!
I like silence when I work and listen to music when driving.
Best place for a coffee break
Sitting at my desk, looking at the Serra de Tramuntana out of the window
Does Majorca feel isolating at all?
One of the great things about Majorca is that it is incredibly well connected. Barcelona is a 30-minute flight; Madrid, 45 minutes. I fly on a weekly basis in the morning for meetings and fly back by lunchtime. Distance from certain clients stimulates their respect for our work. They come to us because they want to work with us, wherever we are. Some clients seem to confuse quality with quantity, creativity and production with slavery. This shift in time management brings a healthy sense of freedom, with distance working as a protective shield, allowing us to concentrate more selectively and efficiently.
Is working here different from working in your Barcelona office?
Barcelona has cars, traffic, pollution, and noise. Here we have birds, olive trees, bougainvilleas, and beautiful views.
You’re moving soon. What will you miss most about this space?
The views! And the great air-conditioning system.
Judging by your bookshelf, you seem to read quite a bit of design theory.
I read a lot, in general: newspapers, online archives and journals, literature, and a lot of design theory. I am a curious person by nature and have always been very bookish. Perhaps the fact that my father is a printer, editor, and publisher accounts for something here. As a kid, my playground was his printing presses. In this sense, the smell of ink and paper has been a part of my life long before I became a graphic designer.
The straw hat became a lamp accidentally when I hung it on the lightbulb, and has stayed there ever since. The amazing thing is that it doesn’t ignite! I used to wear the hat when going for walks in the countryside next to the studio. “El Ralampago” is part of our collection of printer proofs from the beginning of the 20th century, made with wood type. They belonged to a printing press in Barcelona that closed down at the end of the 1990s.
Photographs by Toni Amengual