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FOREAL: partners in design

Benjamin Simon and Dirk Schuster have always come as a pair. After attending design school together, the duo honed their skills at various European studios before going freelance, sharing several flats along the way. Now, as they take their first steps as independent creative agency FOREAL, they tell us about their close working relationship – both with each other and their neon Jesus.

What prompted you to start your own creative agency?
Neither of us wanted to be the whore of a creative director anymore. We were longing for self-expression and independence, which includes the choice of our location. And of course we wanted to get a bigger piece of the pie.

What’s your studio like?
Our studio is based in the historical post office of Germany’s oldest city, Trier. It’s equipped with a white casting couch, a coffee machine, a shelf with design books and a lot of retro trash, such as our pink flamingo and our neon Jesus painting.

How will you manage the workflow?
Mostly we’ll work together on our projects. We’ve established a kind of ping-pong approach – at different stages we pass the project on to the other person.

What are your aims as a design studio?
It’s important for us to create a bold and graphic overall look, and we love to put a little extra effort into the materials to get a realistic haptic feeling in the details. We aim to transform each project into delicious and unique eye candy.

Have there been any challenges so far?
There haven’t been any really big problems so far. Of course, you have to take care of taxes, handle clients who aren’t willing to pay and get up early when the previous night has been a bit longer – but those are problems every creative has.

How did you go about establishing a client base from scratch?
While we were working as freelancers we already had a lot of requests from international clients through our online portfolios and networks like Behance.

Do you have plans to expand?
As we’ve just started, we’re focusing right now on our own daily business. We both agree that we don’t want to get too big. Being a small studio means we can be more flexible, independent and to do the kind of work that we love to do.