Astrid Stavro

“Her work is both in­tel­lec­tu­ally and aes­thet­i­cally of the high­est or­der”


2018 has been a big year for Astrid Stavro: she’s just joined Pen­ta­gram Lon­don as a part­ner – not that she needed one of the big­gest names in de­sign to boost her CV, though. Since found­ing Astrid Stavro Stu­dio, and co-found­ing At­las around six years ago along­side her part­ner Pablo Martín, Stavro has made a name for her­self as one of the best, sharpest and smartest de­sign­ers around.

Stavro stud­ied graphic de­sign at Lon­don's Cen­tral Saint Martin and The Royal Col­lege of Art, where she is cur­rently a vis­it­ing lec­turer in the School of Vis­ual Com­mu­ni­ca­tion, as well as be­ing a mem­ber of de­sign as­so­ci­a­tion Al­liance Graphique In­ter­na­tionale (AGI).

“As a de­signer you have to be like an au­thor, too; you have to imag­ine your­self in some­one else's shoes,” Stavro has said. This idea of nar­ra­tive and “soul” is cru­cial to Stavro's de­sign work, and ex­plains why a large por­tion of At­las' port­fo­lio has cen­tered around de­sign for books and mag­a­zines, along­side cor­po­rate iden­tity and pack­ag­ing work. Stavro was be­hind a pre­vi­ous re­design of Lon­don­based arts mag­a­zine Ele­phant, bring­ing in a va­ri­ety of ex­per­i­men­tal ap­proaches to type and lay­out. She also writes for the pub­li­ca­tion, among oth­ers, and she's plan­ning on writ­ing her own novel too.

Hav­ing worked for clients rang­ing from Phaidon to Camper to The Na­tional Por­trait Gallery and the Barcelona De­sign Mu­seum, Stavro's work unites metic­u­lous craft with smart con­cep­tual ideas and im­agery that looks to en­gage the viewer on an emo­tional level. Her de­sign process al­ways be­gins away from the screen: “I sketch and draw on bits of pa­per, nap­kins or what­ever I can find as I'm hor­ri­ble with sketch­books and lose them any­way. That's where ideas hap­pen, not at a com­puter,” she's said.

“Astrid is not only a con­tem­po­rary and ac­tive voice in de­sign, but her work is both in­tel­lec­tu­ally and aes­thet­i­cally of the high­est or­der,” says Pen­ta­gram part­ner An­gus Hy­land. “We share the same val­ues around the im­por­tance of con­cep­tu­ally led work de­liv­ered with min­i­mum fuss. At a time when we are broad­en­ing Pen­ta­gram's brand with new part­ners in un­fa­mil­iar dis­ci­plines — I'm think­ing par­tic­u­larly of Yuri Suzuki — Astrid rep­re­sents a con­ti­nu­ity of qual­ity in clas­sic graphic de­sign craft.”

Top right: Ele­phant mag­a­zine de­sign com­pleted by Stavro’s At­las de­sign con­sul­tancy.Be­low: Iden­tity and print de­sign for Spain’s Teatre Prin­ci­pal in Palma, Mal­lorca, 2016-17.

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