Anagrama is a Mexican design agency with studios in Monterrey and Mexico City. Specialising in branding and identity work, its diverse roster of clients includes restaurants, festivals and dry cleaners. Creative Director Sebastian Padilla, Project Manager Danie Garza and Producer Lucia Elizondo answered our questions.

On encouraging clients to take risks... It’s very important to know the project we’re gonna work with thoroughly and completely. We have to become experts in what the business or product is about. Thanks to our past experience we can read the client’s personality and how they expect their project to be worked on pretty quickly. Sometimes the client is too afraid of a “risky” or uncommon design proposal, even though it’s why they reach out to us in the first place. It’s up to us to remind them of this and take them by the hand, leading them and advising throughout the entire project. They must feel included in the process; it’s an enriching experience for both sides this way.

Each project brings its own unique challenge to the table; no project is the same as any other. We try to prevent any project from becoming too complicated by getting the most detailed input possible from the client. We get to know them and their vision towards their business or product. We delve into every detail of their product; how it’s made, why it’s made, who is its target market, everything. We become experts in the subject during the project's process so that when the time comes when we have to present it, every single design decision we took — risky or not — is entirely justified.

On bringing clients in at different stages... We have a moodboard session before we start the actual design process; this is where we define the do’s and don’t’s of the project. This is the stage where the client can give us their ideas and opinions and lead us towards very assertive design decisions.

After that, we start the main creative process. We’re a very large team and we all participate in brainstorming. From many ideas that come up, we focus in only the best one. We think that if we present too many we’ll only confuse the client, and that’s the last thing we want. Once we finish designing a thorough, very lovingly and tenderly-crafted proposal, we present it to the client, walking him through every design decision taken. This is where we get our second round of feedback.

Why the brief is gospel... The brief is very important, it becomes like a Bible to us. What makes up a good brief is the quality of the content and to review every single detail present in it. It’s very important to work with creative freedom and find a great solution without wandering from the brief.

Why compromise is king in both the short and long term... We like to maintain great relations with our clients, get to know them and understand them. Every project we undertake is a business card. It will speak for us and if we do a great job, that’s what people are going to see. That’s one of the strongest reasons why we like to take care of every single detail. But like in every job, there will always be moments of tension and stress. We always strive to resolve it and find a middle point, one that will work for both parties.