Duration: We started the studio back in 2015, taking on work between working full-time for other studios. In 2018, we were able to start devoting our full attention to Forth + Back. We have been a fully functioning studio for about two years.
Location: Glendale, California.
Education: We both have BFAs in graphic design from California State University, Long Beach, which is where we met.
Design practice: We are a multidisciplinary studio and enjoy projects of all kinds, especially establishing visual identities and expanding upon that foundation with services like art direction and environmental design. As far as our typical clients go, we are passionate about the arts and cultural sectors. However, we have worked on projects in numerous fields and would like to explore a multitude of different arenas.
Cultural influences: In our school’s design program, we both gravitated towards the study of more traditional identity design while also being drawn to interdisciplinary crossovers. We have always been intrigued by many different forms of creation such as film, music and painting. Those things were some of our first loves and, in many ways, brought us to our profession.
We strongly pull—intentionally or unintentionally—from creative sources that fuel our curiosity, like the genre of hip hop and its rich history of sampling the gamut of musical output to create an ever-changing form of expression. We continually revisit the idea of sampling in how the reusing of familiar things in new ways may end up feeling strange and fresh again.
Favorite projects: The work we did for UCR ARTS, an art museum and cultural center affiliated with the University of California, Riverside. The project proved difficult since the institution was comprised of two separate buildings, each housing a different type of art. The identity system we developed aided in unifying not only the two buildings under one roof, but also the museum with the campus. We continue to work with UCR ARTS, and to be able to watch the identity live and grow within the institution is hugely rewarding.
Work environment: Our studio is a modest space with many windows. We surround ourselves with books and occasionally throw on records. We always listen to music as we work—sometimes at extremely loud volumes. You may spot an action figure or two scattered around on the desks. We highly encourage open communication and will engage regularly with each other throughout the day on topics of all kinds.
Approach: Our process has a lot to do with our partnership and the relationship we want to establish with our clients. These become crucial as we navigate each project’s varied progression, often stopping to bat an idea around or to exchange thoughts on an interesting finding. Staying alert throughout the entire lifespan of a project enables us to stumble upon these unique rhythms that turn good ideas into great ones. A client that supports this sometimes sporadic process will help nurture our best work. Relationships like this are what we strive for.
Aspirations: We love being a smaller studio as our working style benefits from a tight team that can move in sync, with agility and gut feeling. We hope to stay on the smaller side as we move forward, only growing the team when absolutely necessary. We would like to continue working within the arts and cultural fields, but we’ll always stay open to new adventures.
Philosophy: Keep it simple, be bold and stay curious. Rock to the rhythm.