Alreis x Two Of Three
We sat down with Jake, Terry and Adam from Two Of Three, Perth’s most intuitive, creative and coolest design company! We have been chillin’ with these guys for a while, mainly because they’re so damn cool! We love hanging out and just being kids. They actually got the whole story how we met in their website, so if you want to know more about how we became friends. Visit their blog: http://twoofthree.com/portfolio/2011/10/03/alreis-x-two-of-three-summer-2012/
Only recently that we agreed to do a collaboration. It was mainly because we like their designs and artwork. I’m telling you, these guys are GENIUS! After the great work they’ve done with our website, we wanted to do more work with them. So then we decided to collaborate and give them the creative control to design 3 styles of tees for us.
Picture from left to right: Terry, Jake, and Adam.
Alreis sat down with the Two of Three boys for a quick interview. Here is how it goes.
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A: How did you come up with the name Two of Three?
What’s the story behind it?
Terry: Well in short, Two Of Three references that two of the three names we’ve had were binned. Our first name conflicted with a recurring nightclub event, you know those ones where they ‘brand’ their nightclub night and take photos using wide angle lenses then Photoshop the shit out of them. The second name we came up with meant ‘art’ in another language – it just so happened to sound like an incredibly offensive English word. We thought we were pretty clever but our government benefactors didn’t really see it the same way, so we had to bin a few thousand business cards, get a new website and a business name. So yeah that’s the story.
Adam: It’ll work out better for us in the long run though because we could have potentially alienated some of our more prudish clients.
Jake: Yeah that is true, people kept telling us it was a little risky to have an offensive name but we were pretty hard headed and we’re going to resurrect it later because it’s still pretty clever. It’s worked really well though, because there are three of us; it’s the democratic system within the office. If two of us make a decision it over rules the third haha. We sometimes shut down the third person with “Two Of Three!”, it’s all fun and games.
There’s a tonne of other design decisions we made about the name before finally landing the pin on Two Of Three but we’d have to write an essay. I’ll give you an example though just so we can sound clever: the name can appear in various media which ends up being a subliminal reference to our company, free advertising. For example I sent a few texts the other day and my phone said “Two of three messages delivered”, we like being up in your daily business. It’s like the HBF slogan “I feel better now” and McDonalds “I’m lovin’ it”, it just comes up in your life sometimes. I guess we need a stupid little jingle for it now too haha. Terry wanted the slash in the ‘O’, that came out okay too I guess.
A: How did you meet each other? How did you get started?
Terry: I’ve known Jake for like 15 years, we used to live next door – and I went to both high school and university with Adam. A lot of my friends after highschool pursued careers in design; web, graphic etc – even I did Industrial Design. Everyone was quite talented but getting anywhere as a freelancer seemed to be pretty difficult. I figured I’d get a few people together and see if we could form a business – I made a few calls and named a time and place. Some people didn’t even show up to the initial meeting, those that did sat around for most of the night, we all got pretty excited at the idea of forming a business – I really wasn’t sure what to expect from that meeting – but it turned out great!
Jake: I was the only one that turned up on time, or brought paper. So now I’m basically the scribe at our meetings. But Terry’s the one that got this all going, we all serve our purpose. It all came together quite smoothly, maybe too smoothly.
A: What does your company do?
Jake: Design, mostly… haha; which pretty much sums us up. Our skills fall in print and web design for the most part but we’re constantly broadening our skill set and trying to take on jobs that will inspire us to branch out.
Terry: I think we’d like to move into photography and videography too. We hosted a car event earlier this year called Sunday Mass, I wouldn’t mind exploring that further and try to bring some freshness to the car scene. I also used to sit around a lot on Facebook in the office until Jake blocked it. Dick.
Jake: Our company knows how to block Facebook to improve work output when it isn’t being used in moderation.
Adam: We always try to make really cool shit.
A: What projects are you currently working on?
Jake: We’re working on a couple of websites, more shirts designs and some stickers. We don’t want to give too much away because we’re still early days but keep an eye on twoofthree.com for what we’re doing. If you come talk to use we’re sure to spill some beans though!
A: What/Who are your major influences?
Terry: I’ve got a few different influences – the big ones are the Japanese and German car scenes and cafe racer motorbikes. The Deus guys in Sydney are doing amazing things with cafe culture at the moment, as far as cars go the whole stance movement over in the US has really brought a new flavour to the car scene – I got really into that over here but my car kept getting defected. As of late I’ve really begun to appreciate architecture and urban design as well, I guess you could say I’m leaning more towards the physical aspects of design, rather than the graphic side.
Jake: Dieter Rams is a really big influence for me, his idea of design is one that I strongly agree with; I feel like it comes up in all aspects of my daily life not just my design work. There’s an artist of whom I’ve regrettably forgotten the name of who uses this methodology of repetition to refine his work, he basically just does the same thing over and over again choosing the best iterations and expanding upon that success. I’d say it’s almost like evolution for design, survival of the fittest, which sounds pretty cheesy I know but I really love the natural method. I require a lot of methodical and logical thinking for designing and I need to be organised, I’ve read a lot of Leo Babauta’s work during the course of my web career and I’d say it’s helped me significantly. Check him out at zenhabits.net, seriously. I could write about my influences all day but I won’t get carried away.
Adam: I’d say my main influences are the street artists turned graphic designers like One Two Three Clan and Grotesk but the internet is so saturated with graphic design these days that you can really take inspiration from anywhere.
Jake: I have to mention as well that there’s a slogan from a small company I forget the name of that hit home for me, if you’re reading this guys props, anyway their slogan is “Great clients, hard work, stay small.” I really think that makes sense to me, I’m sure we don’t all agree on staying small but great clients and hard work will never go wrong.
A: With Alreis x Two of Three collaboration, what inspired you to come up with these designs? Please briefly explain where you got the idea for each design.
Adam: The first design which is the Legit Apparel shirt was, I don’t know how to say this, basically you were doing that varsity shirt and I said I’d do it for you instead. I think everyone knows what the varsity style is? I took a look at some Elwood shirts even though I was trying to stay away from that douche bro aesthetic. I basically sat down and went through a bunch of variations until I got one that I was happy with.
In keeping with the college theme of the first design I wanted to do a script [type] logo. This almost immediately seeded the idea of a shoelace. The direction was in respect to your obvious love of sneakers haha. That went through a bunch of colour-ways that’ll hopefully come out in the future. Thanks heaps for the one off black and gold colour-way guys, shame it never made it passed sample stage but I love having a limited of one of one!
Thirdly the record design eludes to the heavily music and hip hop inspired themes that Alreis has always presented.
We tried to keep the designs clean and simple for the concepts because it’s more in line with the Alreis philosophy.We’ve got some sweet ideas in the pipeline so stay tuned!
Jake: We love the fact that at Alreis you’re pushing that your brand is the communities brand, that they own it as much as you do. You guys really understand the culture. I think that influenced the varsity shirt to be a little more ‘posse’ like with the baseball bats and the chains. Hey I just realised that two of three of the designs we did for you guys are out, see how that name just drops in haha.
Adam:I also used the number 6000 in two of the designs since we are quite proud Perthicans as we know you guys are as well, Alreis to us will always be a local brand first. Also I have to say because the BBoy scene is shadowed by so many alpha males it’s refreshing to see such a fruity couple on the scene, hahaha just kidding, life partners.
A: What’s next for Two Of Three? What is your vision for the company, the direction you’d like to go?
Jake: The vision for our company is really to live and breathe what we love doing, to make things that we’re proud of and to enjoy ourselves while doing it; I mean the majority of your life is spent working so if you’re not enjoying it you’re wasting your life.
At the onset of our company I was really amped to start writing articles on interesting people for an eventual magazine; the guys were pretty keen on that too. It’s evident on the website with the magazine section which hasn’t really had the gun put to its head yet. We’ve just been focused on our core skills so the side projects have been neglected. I really hope to get some interesting writing started though to make Two Of Three a website where you’ll want to check in at least once a week to have a read. I’d love to have people talking about our articles and it really does serve as a good way to get traffic to the website, as opposed to just straight up marketing of which I’m not a huge fan.
Terry: Yeah there’s a few things in the pipeline, I don’t like to talk about them until they’re actually ready though – there’s one in particular that if all goes to plan will be the holy grail of jobs. Time will tell with that one though. For me as the business manager, I’d love to see us move into a proper office, complete with a studio to do photography work and maybe take on additional employees.
Adam: More money and more jobs that are creatively rewarding like doing work for you guys. I want to look back in a few years time and see a portfolio of designs that I’m proud of and hopefully heaps of people have in their wardrobe.
Jake: We’ve also got a little bit of a mission happening; let’s just say you’ll probably be seeing our name around town.
Also, Alreis is the bomb! Rock their clothes! There was a funny moment in the office the other day when we all came in wearing the lace shirt, awkward.
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