In the studio: Yawn Creative

Craft-focused creatives making waves in London’s design scene, Yawn are the tripod of designers doing things a little differently

Specialising in identity, packaging, and creating digital and retail environments, the multidisciplinary studio, Yawn Creative, hailing from The Arts Building in North London, has developed a stand-out aesthetic, evoking the perfect balance of meticulous craft and disruptive design.

At their essence, Yawn Creative is a graphic studio producing thoughtful and contemporary solutions in the varied domain of commerce and culture. From concept, design to realisation, the studio offers a full creative service. Since its inception in 2010, the studio has worked on a wide range of projects in equally as many industries.

We caught up with the founders of Yawn Creative to talk inspirations and aesthetics.

Tell us about some of your professional or personal experiences that led you all into this venture. How did Yawn Creative come to fruition?

Yawn was born after the summer of 2010 – fresh out of uni and keen to get out in the big bad world. The recession had hit hard and getting work experience, let alone a job, was near on impossible!

After a string of unsuccessful job applications, we took things into our own hands. Getting together initially under the pretense of expanding our portfolios, one or two jobs later and we started to think we might actually be able to turn this into something more long-term. Youth and naivety on our sides we thought fuck it let’s give it a go!

Now, a few long years later, we’re out of our parent’s garage in Acton and in our permanent home in Finsbury Park with all the brand and agency knowledge of the wonderful Charlotte who joined us from Design Bridge. We haven’t looked back since.

Yawn Creative: Something To Hate On
How long have you been working on Yawn? What’s it been like to get the studio/collective started and out there?

Yawn is coming up to its 7th anniversary. I’m sure anyone who’s ever owned or run their own business will agree it’s not easy and every day is different but it’s one of the most satisfying and rewarding things you can do.

We’ve been fortunate enough that our growth has been a very organic process with client recommendations, word of mouth, and repeat business being at the heart of getting our name out there.

We’ve deliberately kept the team small, with just 3 of us at the heart of the company, our size is our strength. We’re small yet agile.

Founded and run by designers, all our clients are talking and liaising directly with the people executing their work.

Where did the name come from? 

Our main goal right from the outset was to create original, disruptive design, design which challenges the category and gets noticed. We were becoming increasingly unsatisfied with the tired and mundane brand design permeating the industry. We wanted to awaken brands. For us, “Yawn” was challenging the norm and disrupting what was already out there.

What are some of your influences for design and how do you incorporate them into your process? 

As each brief and client is different we find new inspiration each time, it can appear in the strangest places or at the strangest times. Being in such a creative bubble that is London all you need to do is look around, you’re never far from an inspirational gold mine.

Taking the process off the computer is key for us. Freeing yourself of the constraints of the computer, in turn, frees the imagination.

Working with tangible materials is also important, whether it’s pencil and paper, paint and brushes or scissors and paper, experimentation with textures and different mediums is at the core of our creative process.

Yawn Creative: Ciao
What interests you about modern design and trends? And how do you respond to what you see out there in the market today? 

With the ever-changing nature of modern design and the speed at which it evolves, it’s an exciting time to be working in the design industry. Staying in tune with evolving aesthetics is key, however, we feel it’s essential not to be too trend-driven or trend-led because at the end of the day what we’re trying to do is create brands with longevity.

Additionally, our interest in modern design doesn’t start and end at ‘Graphic Design’ – it’s all-encompassing. Fashion, photography, exhibitions we’ve seen recently, the food and drink we’ve had at the weekend, the digital world, more traditional print formats, the packaging we interact with every day, what’s currently going in society – it all plays a role in answering our client’s design needs.


Text: Hannah Vasdekys
Photography: Matt Monfredi