Brand Research & Analysis

Étude started 60 miles offshore, because life is too short for boring.

Gonzalo Alatorre

Founder/Creative Principal, étude Digital

When we started to feel the itch to rebrand, it was evident to us that not only we are in the people business, but we are also in the business of making people fall in love with what they are looking at. So we started this journey to find perfection–whatever that means. As it usually happens, we found inspiration in the least expected and predictable place.

For every project we do, we obsess about every detail: from finding the right typography, the new colours, use of white space, usability, and making sure our work is elevating our clients’ brands. This is an essential part of every branding project. However, in this case, we also focused on one thing that we’ve never thought of before:

Making our brand’s light, and most importantly, the light the website emits, spectacular.

We understand that this new dimension we brought into the website’s design is not for every project, as some projects may require us to create a user experience that is much more corporate and hence restrained. We have never been afraid of bright and bold colours. Just as life is too short for bad wine, life is too short for boring.

A couple of years ago, I was vacationing in Mazatlan, Mexico; the day was full of colours that really captured my attention. We were fishing 60 miles offshore, and around 1 pm, the water was dead calm, so calm it was a sheet of glass–like a mirror. At that point, I decided to share with my son one of my favourite things to do in life: swim in deep water in the open ocean.

So, I jumped into the water (you know, as one does) followed by my boy– by the way, other people followed once they saw we were not eaten by hungry sharks (yes, you know who you are). What a moment! Swimming 60 miles off-shore, in water that was close to 1km deep. On land, we think of things being close or far from us, but here, in this place, you realize that it is us that are far or close, not the world around us. Immersing yourself (sorry) in a truly wild place eliminates anthropocentrism, turning into being aware of every second and every sense in your body. You have never seen, heard, smelled, or breathed better. Time seems to slow down.

However, one thing stood out: if you looked down yonder to the depths of the sea, the colour of the water was an absolutely crazy-vibrant electric blue.  But it wasn’t just that the colour was spectacular; it was the light it emitted. It was special. It felt like it would touch you.

The same day we were fortunate enough to catch a blue marlin, which we fought for at least a couple of hours. One thing that stood out about this magnificent fish that was now going to feed my entire family, the boat crew and their families, and our compadres, is how vivid it was with the same electric blue across its back. It was the same colour as the water, yet somehow even more electric, like it was alive.

Later on, that evening, relaxing at one of those infinity pools that only seem to exist in the tropics, and sharing fishing stories of the day (by then the marlin had at least doubled in size), the way the sunset hit the water and the blue tiles of the pool, created the same electric blue, but with really vibrant rays of orange light mixed in perfect harmony. That day, I knew these were going to be the colours of our new identity. Life is too short for boring.

I made it my mission to capture the light’s colours and vibrancy for our work and new identity.

When you are looking at our website, we invite you to bring up your monitor’s brightness. We invite you to look at it on your phone with the brightness turned all the way up and try to feel the light.

Let me know if you feel the same magic I felt that day; if you feel the blue light touching you.

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Gonzalo Alatorre

Founder/Creative Principal

AKA “El Presidente” - Gonzalo is credited with discovering the Rolling Stones 40 years after everyone else.
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