stelu and ana have just opened their own graphic design studio, in bucharest.

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one cold late autumn evening, we met and i got all the details.

what is loot?

loot is a bucharest-based graphic design studio built on a western model and adapted to local context. an attempt to hijack some of the old bad habits of the land. loot is an experiment, we’d like to see if and how we can improve standards for small studios in the industry and educate clients in order to make them appreciate authentic and powerful solutions. in a nutshell, it’s a way for us to see if we can create our own dream job.

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who is loot?

we are two young, enthusiastic partners trying to start a creative fire in bucharest.

loot is basically us but we are aiming to become a collective: we know our limits and when a brief exceeds them, we call for help. this is the network we’re trying to create. if agencies have a hoard of people on call, we have our own pool of local talent available, ready to be assembled if a big project comes along.

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what is loot supposed to do? 

technically, what we do goes in three directions of visual communication: the first one is branding, aimed towards businesses (this includes identity, packaging, printed and crafted materials). the second one covers the cultural spectrum: illustration, editorials, video and animation for magazines, brands and ad campaigns. the third one is our intention to produce our own design artifacts, whether it’s a magazine, 3D printed objects or an interactive projection.

there are lots of things surrounding us that are un-designed.  because of the absence of a small studio culture, the market is filled with low quality work. we are not sure who or what to blame, but we know that there’s gotta be someone out there doing it differently. we’re very confident in the power of example.

also, we believe in community. there’s lots of gifted people roaming around, that have the occasional big client every now and then, but the general feel is that we’re isolated from one another. this has damaging effects on how all of us work and on how romanian design is perceived. we’d like to help connect local creatives, not because we aim to improve the system but because a united creative community would help us directly, professionally speaking.

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what is loot going to become in the future?

someone has recently asked us the classic where do you see yourselves in 5 years? question. there are not that many start ups like ours around. if our carefully planned predictions prove to be right, more people will soon follow this path and, hopefully, we’re going to be one of the sparks that ignited it all. presently, it’s a pretty lonely world, business-wise, so a few more good studios, decent people and motivating competition would help. more than just making a living, it’s about doing what you like and being your own boss, you know, hip-hop style.

we’ve launched officially about a month now, but the reactions we’ve been getting sound pretty good. as far as work goes, we’ve been very busy and we’re planning to bring all sorts of goodies to the local industry. people seem interested in what we do; for example, creative review has just asked us to participate in a special issue for newly founded studios around the world.

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who is the perfect loot client?

the one who reads our manifesto and is on the same page.

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break a leg, guys!

photo credits: loot