Distinguished as a unique and timeless design, Mobles114 is a leading contemporary furniture company based in Barcelona. A firm, reference in the industrial design field, in the 40 years of its existence has counted on the participations of world renowned iconic designers like Enzo Mari, Alvaro Siza, Gerad Moline, JM Massana, Isamu Noguchi, among others. Throughout almost all the brands history, an in-house design team has been in charge of the development of Mobles114’s communication artifact, including the product catalogue: the result was always correct and functional but missed a great chance of bringing added value and emphasising the brand’s unique character. For Mobles114 communication they decided to apply the same strategy that marked their success in industrial design: collaboration. The firm partnered up with the famous industrial designer Eugeni Quitllet for the design of a new piece, the Tube Chair. As Nacho Alegre was chosen as a photographer for the shooting, Mobles114 chose Folch as the design agency to work with, motivated by our long-standing relationship with architecture, industrial and interior design. This was the first part of what later would become a serier
As we approached the conceptualization and design of the Mobles114 catalogue, we faced a peculiar circumstance: the shooting had already been done. The firm designer Eugeni Quitllet and a model had been portrayed around the new Tube Chair by photographer Nacho Alegre. The work was good both conceptually and aesthetically, playing with the dialectic between strength and sensibility, beauty and brutality. The problem we faced was deciding how to use these pictures: they were all from the same set and very similar to each other, with small variations within gestures or poses. We didn’t want to to choose between such similar pictures, so we started exploring different possibilities without achieving a satisfactory solution. Like in all good stories, the solutions come by themselves, we stumbled upon Bruno Munari’s poster Ricerca della comodità... Using repetition as a concept, and movement as a continuum across the whole publication, the small changes between each photo turned into an act of personality. And payed a subtle visual tribute to the Italian artist, designer and inventor.
Beauty, brutality and the Tube Chair.
Photography by Nacho Alegre
With the same aim of shuffling cards and using the medium of the catalogue in order to talk about M114 innovations and experiments, we turned the common order inside out. Flipping the pages of the publication, the emotional and metaphorical section—dealing with the brand value—is given by the juxtaposition of Nacho Alegre’s pictures printed on a Munken Print 90gr, a high-bulk rough product by Arctic Paper. A glossy paper insert showcases images and close ups of the product, highlighting the beauty within its details. Eventually, this symmetrical structure embraces the only real catalogue part, reduced to its minimum, featuring the products’ description and technical views across only four pages. The thickness of the Ribes embossed paper 230 grs used for this last insert, represents both conceptually and physically the core of the publication, giving a solid structure to the publication as well as representing its true aim.
Furthermore, with this kind of structure and design we limited the use of quadrichromy colour print: apart from the central pages showing different colour versions of the chair, the rest of the catalogue is printed in black and white, making the printing process more accessible and turning a limitation into a note of refinement and sobriety.
With the success of the tube chair catalogue, we continued our relationship with M114 and have since designed two additional communication pieces for them; one catalogue and one leaflet. Though the pieces are quite different from the first catalogue––less conceptual and more corporate––we stayed with a timeless yet unique design, keeping collaboration with Nacho Alegre behind the camera alongside photographers Meritxell Arjalaguer, Jordi Sarrá and Jara Varela and supported with illustrations by Pernan Goñi.