The story of 2382 begins in Caracas, Venezuela, with the studio’s founder and director Luis Montenegro Lafont.
After having worked for several years in editorial design and television branding studios, he sought to bring his own creative vision to the industry and created Beta Studio, precedent of 2382. Lafont’s notion was that design is always open to interpretation.
“It was a reflection. I wanted to reflect a constant experimental status. Many studios and brands had aspirational names. I liked to assume the error, the unfinished thing. Based on my background in design, I think this is valuable,” says Montenegro.
Caroline Heredia, current executive producer at 2382, joined Beta Studio and brought her aesthetic as an architect. A few years later both Lafont and Heredia moved to Madrid. When trying to register the name of the studio, they discovered it already had been taken, so they chose the number sequence 2382, which spells the word Beta on cell-phone keypads.
“With Beta we articulated a language. The next step was to give it meaning,” says Heredia.
“After working on something experimental, we thought it was very important to convey the search for meaning. We liked that the new name is made up of numbers, because it creates some unease. It has a lot to do with our way of thinking and our interests,” says Montenegro.
“The numbers are a disruption of the syntax; they make people pause,” adds Heredia.
In the logo, the numbers are open, leaving it up to the viewer to choose their pronunciation. It’s free interpretation—twenty-three eighty-two; two, three, eight, two; two thousand three hundred and eighty-two—and it highlights the desire to deliver new meaning; to decrypt the encrypted.
At its core, 2382 is a design and production company that handles branding at all stages of development, and considers the process to be its greatest legacy.
“It’s the design with production that separates us from the rest,” says Montenegro.
“For us, the final piece is the result of something greater; of a process, of an experience by which we explore the desires of our entire team,” says Heredia.
Beginning to Blossom
Two significant projects from that first stage were for now defunct Animax Latinoamérica in 2008 and Venezuela-based Max Prime in 2012.
For Animax Latinoamérica, 2382 created promos for the film programming segment Reciclo (Recycle)—which aired movies “to watch again.” The spots were illustrated conceptually so that -each object evolved into something else, constantly acquiring a new value.
In the second project, Max Prime requested a rebrand, and 2382 proposed progressing the channel’s iconic graphic image toward live action.
“We wanted to explore, filming, so we proposed introducing a real character named Mr. Prime. It was crazy but also an opportunity,” says Montenegro.
“What we received was much more than an aesthetic and visual proposal. We found a whole definition of the male lifestyle that even got in-depth in philosophical concepts. It was almost an artistic proposal,” says Marie Claire Kusfhe, on-air and marketing senior manager at Max Networks HBO Latin America.
Mr. Prime was born as an evolution of another character the channel already had positioned.
“The previous version was an iconographic character, very flat, without nuances. One of our objectives was to reposition the male figure. Men are also sensitive and have dimensions. The image sought to be inspirational rather than aspirational,” says Kusfhe.
The rebrand was built in a chromatic palette that was bold for the time, featuring shades of orange and fine typography.
“The studio was challenged with presenting the channel’s erotic content as something stylish and premium. They created a classic man but with some avant-garde features, sure of himself and of how he wants to live life,” says Kusfhe.
The project was filmed in Madrid, recreating generic situations that could work well in different regions.
Another highlight came in 2016 when 2382 worked with Yum Yum, a format from Sony Latinoamérica based on recipes that was created to accompany series viewing. For the design, 2382 developed a fresh image composed of primary and basic colors with a flexible system to allow the network to incorporate different products in the future.
“The treatment of food is very complex. We wanted to transport it to the present, positioned, between the vintage and the new, while remaining precise. We chose 2382 for their skill in handling aesthetics and attention to detail. They have a level of sensitivity that is anchored to all of this while maintaining the same visual language,” says Sergio Moreno, regional art director, Sony Pictures Television Latin America at Sony Pictures Entertainment.
“2382 has the skills to combine worlds, mixing traditional animation techniques with different textures and volume. This approach to simplicity is complex. I really like their vision for this type of project, which involves doing something different,” says Gabriel Alvarado, creative director for Sony Pictures Enterainment Latin America.
As the franchise evolved, the system was adjusted. For example, cognac distiller Hennessy required a night look.
The company also created a corporate piece to promote Sony Pictures Television’s new advertising sales department, Sony Tandem.
“The concept of Tandem was developed to explain that both the client and our brand go together,” says Moreno.
“It’s a smart way of working together, of lending a hand. I really liked the execution of 2382’s proposal and the way they broke the mold when presenting their creative services,” says Alvarado.
Exploring Production and Original Content
More recently, 2382 has branched out into production work, providing services such as the IDs for Universal Channel Latam 100% Characters’ campaign, where it worked with Totuma studio.
2382 produced artistic installations with depth-of-field and optical effects that represented characters from the network’s series once the camera panned all the way out.
“Totuma gave us references to artists such as Bernard Pras, [known for his found-object installations] although the concept suggested a more 3D-based approach; more spatial, oriented towards revealing the character little by little until the final picture takes shape,” says Montenegro.
The installations were constructed in a scale ideal for shooting, using objects belonging to the characters, as well as other elements and all types of materials.
“We designed a system that allowed us to assemble and disassemble each sculpture in record time. In a way, the assembly of each installation was a performance in itself,” says Heredia.
Original content is another avenue the company is pursuing, such as its micro-documentary series co-produced with the Gego Foundation to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the institution. The project, which is in post-production, explains the work of Gego—a 20th century Venezuelan artist of German descent——through people who knew her or who were related to her.
“We are interested in consolidating some scripts we have been working on and from which we derive our new projects, operating both as a production company and a studio, since the term ‘studio’ by itself doesn’t covey everything we do,” says Heredia.
Version español: Creative Review: 2382