LIVING + WORKING IN LONDON: JOE + BARNS FURR

We sat down with Joe and Barns Furr, brothers and the creative masterminds behind AVER’s visual identity. Joe, the eldest, founded Point Studio, London based design studio specialising in breathing life into young ambitious brands. Barns is the super talented graphics man, who has recently set up on his own…

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We sat down with Joe and Barns Furr, brothers and the creative masterminds behind AVER’s visual identity.

Joe, the eldest, founded Point Studio, London based design studio specialising in breathing life into young ambitious brands. Barns is the super talented graphics man, who has recently set up on his own following working as Editorial Designer at Gentleman’s Journal.

WHAT ABOUT London LIVING DO YOU FIND HARD TO DEAL WITH?

J: Don’t get me wrong, living in the city is great, but there’s no way you can call it natural. The speed. The population. The pollution. The density of the environment. These things make life more stressful and they have a compounding effect. With each day that passes without respite you can be left feeling desperate for a more natural lifestyle.

B: It’s manmade in its entirety, fast paced and polluted with chemicals and noise. It’s only when I leave the city, and experience life being lived slower, quieter and with a smaller population, do I really notice how busy cities like London can feel mechanical.

HOW HAS LONDON AFFECTED YOU?

J: London for me has been incredibly mind expanding. Meeting people of many different backgrounds, hearing new ideas and being exposed to a different way of approaching nearly everything. But all the stimulus London offers can be counteracted if you’re not careful. I have definitely sacrificed my mental and physical health at times in order to work on a dream project or chase the night.

B: I’m English, so I’ll start with the negative. Like the majority of Londoner’s, I’ve spent a good chunk of my time commuting to work in Robot-mode: earphones in, phone in hand, neck bent to 45 degrees taking extra care not to look into our fellow commuters robot eyes for about an hour and 30 minutes, two times a day, for over 3 years. In my experience, that lifestyle has brought me stress, anxiety and less motivation to cook, which meant more unhealthy takeaways from Nando’s (half-chicken wrap, peri-salted chips, perinaise… in case you were wondering). Life gets really stale like this after sometime and it put a strain on my creative work, personal life and health. After going freelance at the start of 2019, it helped me rest and get back to 100% physically and mentally. I’m now able to replace an air-polluted commute for a slower morning and a slightly less air-polluted walk down the canal.

HOW DOES LONDON AFFECT YOUR PRODUCTIVITY AND CREATIVE PROCESS?

J: The great thing about London is the people. Everyone is unique, and nobody is afraid to show who they are or what they think. That creates an environment filled with inspiration. We’re surrounded with new stimuli all the time, you just have to be in the right frame of mind to observe it.

B: I’d say it’s the energy of the people I know and meet. Most people I know in London are creatives, working across really varied industries, so if I’m ever in a creative rut or feeling un-inspired, I’ve found that after meeting with them, and hearing about what they’re creating, I come away from that experience feeling energised and excited about my own work.

What do you love about living in LONDON?

J: You always have something new to do. A different cuisine. New products to adopt. The latest ‘fun thing’ to try. You’re first in line to try the worlds best stuff (well, in line along with 9 million other Londoners).

The diversity of it. One day I could be walking down past the market stalls on Ridley Road in Dalston, the next I could be having a meeting in Knightsbridge. Each borough has its individual nuances, so it feels like there’s always something new to find.

WHAT DOES BURNOUT MEAN TO YOU?

J: The culmination and compounding effect of stress and anxiety over a period of time with no respite, resulting in a total inability to function as a normal person. The no respite is crucial in this equation – lots of people are stressed but not burnt out. We all need people in our lives and things to live for that give us purpose and positivity away from the day to day stresses.

B: Waking up in the morning and immediately dreading the things needed to be done that day. Lack of good quality ideas, irritability and laziness and generally being mentally exhausted.

HOW DOES LONDON LIVING CONTRIBUTE TO YOUR BURNOUT? 

J: To some degree we are all a product of our environment. And we know that city life brings with it many downsides. Due to ambitions, distractions, and lack of perspective we can find ourselves living lives that attract the downsides of city life, and ignore the positives that brought us here in the first place. If you don’t recognise and rebalance this, it becomes the driving force for burn out.

B: My routine daily commute was up there for being the main cause. Doing the same tedious journey everyday, confined to a packed train, then sitting down for 8 hours in front of a computer. Also, the noise pollution from cars drives me insane.

How did LONDON influence the way you thought about AVER’s visual identity?

J: The city was central to our thinking. Not only capturing the feeling of the city, but also how the city affects us as individuals. We wanted to create a brand that demonstrated the need for a balanced lifestyle whilst living in an environment with so many ups and downs.

Our moods, health and energy levels are constantly in flux when living in a city and AVER’s Boost and Calm products keep you aligned, so the identity very much focused on this need for a balanced lifestyle.