Experimental Jetset in Unit Editions’ Studio Culture

In a couple of places you have talked about being ‘overworked’ and ‘stressed’. Why do you think this is? Does the stress come from your own self-imposed demands?

We think that this feeling of being constantly overworked is a very personal problem. We have been designing for 12 years now, and we are planning to do this for the rest of our lives, but at the same time we realise we’re not really the right people to be designers. The constant pressure, the daily deadlines, the high expectations that clients have of us; it’s very hard for us to deal with. So we have a very difficult relationship with graphic design: we wouldn’t want to do anything else, but at the same time it sometimes hurts us. It is very much in the nature of graphic design. On one hand, you are expected to put your soul in it, one the other side, your are expected to compromise, to make concessions. So it’s a very difficult balancing act: you have to dedicate yourself fully to your design, while at the same time being prepared to kill some of your babies along the way. It’s not something that will ever be easy.

But we fully realise that there are billions of people worse off than we are. We are not working in the mines, or in some sort of third-world sweatshop. In fact, that is exactly what we say to each other continuously: ‘at least we are not working in the mines’. We are the lucky ones, and we believe that we don’t have the right to feel so bad, which makes us feel bad about feeling bad. Complicated.