Hello Matthew, Emelie!
CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELVES AND WHERE YOU MET?
We are an Irish and Swedish creative duo with backgrounds in graphic design and photography. We met in Dublin but have been living in Malmo, Sweden for the last eight years. Together we run a design studio under the name M&E, where we create everything from design and illustration to photography and film.
We work on projects for a wide range of clients, from cultural institutions and record labels to brands. We started out creating record covers and posters for our friends. Then the word of mouth continued to spread and we began to work full time within music, art and culture. Working within these areas allowed us the opportunity to develop our own style and work methods.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE WHAT YOU DO TO YOUR FRIENDS?
We run a design company that sometimes work with unconventional methods. We explore, we build things and we experiment with materials. We sometimes go off the deep end but always with the end result in mind. We have a great love for the work we do and are always hungry to learn new processes which inspire us.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE METHOD AND MADNESS TO YOUR FRIENDS?
It’s a brand that’s not afraid to try something new but always on the solid foundation of tradition and knowledge. It’s a brand that will surprise you but always stay true to this foundation. It’s a brand created by people with a lot of knowledge and love for what they do.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU WHEN WORKING FOR METHOD AND MADNESS ?
The juxtaposition between the two themes was a very interesting starting point. We wanted to make a bottle that celebrates the liquid and the process behind it. In particular we drew great inspiration from the casks, and wanted to reflect the craft that goes into them in the design of the bottle. We wanted to create a bottle with a touch of minimalism and a slight laboratory influence.
FOR YOU AS DESIGNERS WAS IT EXCITING TO WORK WITH A BIT OF METHOD AND BIT OF MADNESS?
Yes! But this is usually the way we work too. We like to set up strict parameters in which a material or process is given a certain freedom and the chance to show it’s potential and surprise us. This gives a life and a sense of experimentation to our work.
HOW DOES IT FEEL TO WORK NOT ONLY FOR A NEW PRODUCT, BUT TO DESIGN A COMPLETELY NEW BRAND?
It was an amazing opportunity to be a part of a new brand coming to life. The challenge of translating the love and hard work behind the brand into a visual identity was a great experience.
WHAT WERE YOUR MAIN CONCERNS BEFORE STARTING WORK ON THIS PROJECT?
How can we create something that will reflect classic and new at the same time? How can we create an exact balance between the Method and the Madness in the design? How can we create something which will encompass a wide range of spirits and that will stand the test of time?
WHAT ELEMENT OF THE PROJECT WAS MOST PLEASING FOR YOU?
We are very happy with the bottle itself. We love its small tactile elements and we love how the light refracts through it and brings out the details. We also like the labels and the way equal importance is given to the Method and the Madness. We like the playfulness and colours of the patterns and that they vary with each release.
YOU WORK IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY ALSO; IS THERE ANYTHING IN COMMON THERE WITH THE DRINKS INDUSTRY?
Creating a visual representation of music is very similar to creating imagery for a liquid. They are both very fluid and abstract things. They conjure up images and memories in the mind of the listener or drinker. The challenge is to find their true voice and translate that visually.
WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR INSPIRATION?
We find it everywhere. In people, in nature, art, science and in visions you see every day such as reflections and changes in light. When we work on a project we find inspiration in the project itself, the themes and challenges of whatever subject we are working on.
Trying to tell a story or solve a problem is inspirational in itself!
HOW DO YOU FIND WORKING TOGETHER AS HUSBAND AND WIFE?
We really enjoy working together and our close conne-ction is an amazing resource which we tap into everyday. Together we have created our dream job, and it’s great to have someone by your side who und-erstands the joys and challenges of what you are doing.
I KNOW YOU’RE BASED IN SWEDEN; HOW IS THE ENVIRONMENT FOR DESIGN THERE IN COMPARISON WITH IRELAND OR OTHER EUROPEAN COUNTRIES?
There is a lot of amazing interior and industrial design coming out of Sweden at the moment, which is very interesting and inspiring. In Ireland we feel that there are a lot of great events where the community can meet up and things are happening at a faster pace. It’s great to be part of two communities and we appreciate them both!
WHERE WILL YOU KEEP YOUR FIRST METHOD AND MADNESS BOTTLE?
We will keep all four bottles in a glass display cabinet by the door to our studio. The 31 year old will obviously be kept under lock and key.
WHAT WILL SEEING METHOD AND MADNESS IN A BAR MEAN TO YOU?
It will mean that it’s a good bar! It means we succeeded in making something beautiful that people will share and enjoy together. It will mean the world to us to see people sharing it. Hopefully they will enjoy it as much as we do! The bottle’s unconventional shape was also designed to catch your eye from behind a bar, so this image was always in our minds.
WHO WILL YOU SHARE YOUR FIRST METHOD AND MADNESS BOTTLE WITH?
Each other! And we will invite our closest friends and family to share the first bottle with us.
AND FINALLY – WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE METHOD AND MADNESS TO DO NEXT?
We look forward to more blends and new ideas, and how to interpret these new releases and help bring them to life.
You can find out more about M&E and their other projects at their website www.me-me-me.se