Yarza Twins: bold, colourful and a bit wild
Yarza Twins is an award-winning London-based design studio by Eva and Marta Yarza. With their international practice, the two sisters have a lifelong experience in graphic design, branding, animation, illustration and typography. The iconic duo attended Us by Night, a three-day design and creativity festival in Antwerp. On the Living Room stage, the sisters were able to share their designs and experience with working for brands such as Converse, Vice, Smirnoff and MTV.
This is Antwerp: Knowing it is your first time exploring Antwerp, how do you feel about Belgian artists?
Marta Yarza: “We have noticed that there is a big art scene in Antwerp. We heard about The Antwerp Six, a group of six famous fashion designers. We saw that there are a lot of fashion designers and graphic artists. The Belgian fashion designer Martin Margiela is my favorite. We are also a big fan of the painter Van Eyck, such a classic artist. We are so impressed by this city and feel very grateful to speak at the Us by Night event as well.”
Eva Yarza: “We love the posters of the All Red Line Transatlantic company of ships of your city. Actually, our first typography was in a way inspired by Belgium. We got inspiration from those posters and later created our very own typeface with it called Batavier.”
TiA: Making art must have challenged you both as a duo.
Marta: “Exactly, as an artist you have to stand out if you want to be relevant in this industry. It is difficult to stand out sometimes because the industry is constantly developing and whatever is cool now is not cool anymore after a week. You need to be wise with what you do and don’t.”
Eva: “As Spanish immigrants living in London it was quite though sometimes. Although it was hard in the beginning, we try to be unique with our designs and illustrations in order to stand out more.”
TiA: Yarza Twins was proclaimed as one of the 15 emerging visual artists under 30’ and in 2016 your brand won an award for your design studio in London. What is the Yarza Twins’ secret for success?
Eva: “We try to give importance to every project that crosses our path. Fun fact, we have actually scored this place in the top fifteen ranking before our own design studio in London was opened.”
Marta: “This gave us the confidence and validation that what we were doing was good and made us carry on with our work. While working on a project, we try not to repeat ourselves. We want to be original for our clients at all times. Speaking at events such as Us by Night give us inspiration to continue creating new things.”
TiA: Describe your art style in three words.
Both: “Bold, colorful and a bit wild.”
TiA: It is known that your mantra is K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Stupid). How do you interpret this mantra into your designs and illustrations?
(Both laughing) Eva: “That is true. We use this mantra on a daily basis. For the Neo2 magazine we made a specific typeface. Although it might look busy, in reality it was very simple. We just got rid of the grids and said we wanted to make five typefaces and the photography and that’s it. An advice for designers is to just do whatever you find simple and works for you. That doesn’t mean your work is boring.”
TiA: What do you find most important when trying to inspire someone with your art?
Marta: “It is our main goal to provoke a feeling of uniqueness in someone else and to inspire others to learn and do new things by developing themselves.”
Eva: “We find new ideas from anywhere we go. From the work of graphic designers to different disciplines within art and by going outside or to museums and even by scrolling on Instagram. For our typeface Panificadora we even used activism to express ourselves. This prevented the Panificadora (an architectural building in Vigo, Spain) from getting demolished. In terms of activism we currently find Greta Thunberg very inspiring. We want to make people aware what design is and what it can be. You need to make design so visible, beautiful, impressive or weird so people notice there’s something there.”
Text and pics by Anne-Sophie Verkoyen