Atlas makes the leap from Mallorca to New York
Founded in 2013 in Barcelona by Astrid Stavro and Pablo Martín, Atlas is the most awarded design consultancy in Spain. Now based in Palma de Mallorca, and recently joined by an associate, Rafa Roses, Atlas is currently in the process of opening a new studio in New York. Stavro tells us how it’s all going...
Why are you expanding to New York?
The company’s name, Atlas, reflects our studio culture and global approach to work. We work for clients all over the world, and the designers who work with us come from different cities, countries and continents. I studied graphic design in London and have lived in several other European cities, as well as Boston, New York and San Francisco.
Pablo worked with Massimo Vignelli in New York at the beginning of the 1990s. Funnily enough, we were actually going to move from Barcelona to New York before deciding on Palma. With our growing client list in the United States, South America and Europe, New York is the perfect gateway for the growth and development of our business in Europe and the Americas.
What’s been the biggest challenge of setting up an office in the US?
The European culture and way of working is intrinsically different. In New York, everything is bigger, faster and more competitive. It is more business-driven and strategic. There is no small talk in business meetings; time is money. In the US the workforce is highly specialised, while in Europe everybody does everything, people multitask all the time. Working at a faster pace brings forth a new set of challenges. There’s less time for craft and what we call ‘fine-tuning’. On the other hand, money moves faster. In Europe it is still hard to get paid properly and on time!
What stage are you at with the move?
We are currently in the process of moving. This means that we travel in and out of New York on a monthly basis to meet our clients and look for office spaces, and so on. The physical move will happen in spring 2017. Our friends and professional colleagues are being very supportive and helpful. We feel incredibly welcome without actually living there yet! New York is a city that we love and know quite well, so in that sense it feels like home.
Can you tell us about any projects you’ll be working on from the new office?
We’re working on several projects for US clients. One is a luxury, members-only, online travel agency that will be launched at the end of 2016. It originated in Mallorca, but soon attracted the interest of American investors, so the company moved to the US. Another project is a brand identity for a new hotel in upstate New York. It will be a special and unique place: a hotel with an incredible history and background. We’re working hand-in-hand with the owner, sharing ideas and insights. This open dialogue is helping the project to develop in the right direction. We can’t reveal the name of the hotel yet, but it will open next March.
Astrid Stavro is the co-founder of Atlas, an award-winning branding and design consultancy, working for clients across the globe. www.designbyatlas.com