Yarza Twins: A Graphic Duo From Vigo, Spain

Hi Marta & Eva. You are the founders of Yarza Twins, a Spanish art & design duo based in London. Tell us a bit about your story and how you two found the studio.

We've studied both very different degrees, Eva, Fine Arts and Marta, Architecture. After we finished University, there was a big crisis all over the world, that hit very strongly Spain. We both decided so, to study Graphic Design at Central Saint Martins. We found ourselves collaborating while we worked in other studios, and eventually, it didn’t make sense to don’t open our own studio. We opened it a year ago and we are really happy with how it’s going.

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Twins in real life and in design: how does collaborate with each other work on a daily basis?

It’s a bit of a challenge sometimes, but at the same time, we really understand each other, and so, can be very honest with our feedbacks. We also share the same vibe towards what works and what doesn’t, so it makes things easier. The strength of our studio is trust.

One of your most successful works - Panificadora - consisted in a campaign against the demolition of the Brutalist building in your hometown. How did you come across the project and go through its development? 

We discovered that Panificadora (Vigo, Spain), was going to be demolished when we were 18. We couldn’t understand why the city wasn’t following examples of reconversion such as Tate Modern, so we created a campaign that collected enough signatures to save the building. Years after, we discovered Graphic Design, and the building was still abandoned, so we launched a fictitious branding of it as if it was saved. This fictitious branding started to become viral, the story of Panificadora started to be shared, and eventually, the mayor of Vigo decided to invest on saving this building. The works will start very soon.

This campaign not only saved Panificadora, but also launched us as a rocket to have our own design studio.

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You've recently launched your own typeface, Hilario, along a beautifully printed publication. This was your third time adventuring in the world of typography - what was the idea behind Hilario?

We just felt we wanted to create a new typeface, and we got inspired first by looking at the eyes of the goats on a farm in London. Their pupils have some kind of oval shape, and so, we first created the 'O' letter of this alphabet. Afterwards, we created the whole set, which reminded us to have an eastern European vibe. All alphabets start with a letter and ours was O.

Hilario is also a publication of poetry about the meaning of art - is there a particular reason you chose this topic and what are your thoughts and inspiration behind the poems?

When we finished Hilario we wanted to publish it in a more creative way than a classic spec book, that is when we thought that the lines written on it would need to have a meaning and to express our voice. We had all these poems that we had been writing in the past and we thought it would be amazing to be finally able to publish it through the promotion of our very own typeface.

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A few months ago, you were offered the project of re-branding the small city of Oia, Spain - a city you both knew very well from time in your home country. Was it strange to look at a familiar city with "new eyes"? How did the brand of the city evolve? 

Rebranding Oia was brilliant because it was a big challenge. Without a big budget and being a small town, we really had to learn how to sell the concept to them and how to apply it without extra costs. The brand has evolved greatly, they are currently making little statues of the logo to give as awards and are still implementing the website. The brand is really working on their social media and newspaper so that is great!

You're a design duo based in London, but originally from Spain. Was your move to London motivated by the many design opportunities the city has to offer? Did you find many differences - design wise - in London compared to what it was like in Spain?

We moved to London because it was absolutely impossible for young people to get a job in Spain different than in retail or restaurants since the year 2006. Marta was earning more money working in the stockrooms of Zara than as an Architect, so we felt that we didn’t want a life in that poverty that was offered to millennials. Moving to London not only gave us the chance to enter faster into the industry but also to be more confident in our designs and to do it better. As well, here you can meet the best ones and learn how to be professional. Now Spain is much better than 5 years ago, Madrid is suffering an explosion of creativity, millennials are getting better works and we are happy to be part of both worlds. 

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Finally, where do you see the future of the studio and do you have any exciting upcoming projects you'd like to talk us about? 

In the future we would like to grow a little bit, for the moment it is just the two of us, but ideally, there will be 4 or 5 in the studio. We have just been working as a studio for a year and we are quite happy with how things are going for the moment, for us the future is very exciting. We do have some projects, but we cannot really speak about them. These are very varied, from packaging and branding to editorial. We love being able to work in such different worlds.

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You can look at Marta and Eva's work at Yarzatwins.com and follow them @yarza_twins