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The mad science of Anti Laboratories
Floyd Sanchez isn't afraid of the competition — he welcomes it.
It's a marker of the city's success.
“We want competition. We want people doing really good stuff. Fresno is ripe with opportunity for those willing to step in and capitalize,” says Sanchez, a member of Anti Laboratories Design Cartel, a marketing and design upstart that's been working on a “somewhat full-time” basis for the past year.
Sanchez, along with Shane Lehman, Punit Dhesi and Jerry Buttles, do everything from video production and commercial photography, to graphic design, logos and branding. They recently created a campaign for the 5th Annual Fresno Film Festival — a hip, Web-friendly affair of print work (fliers, posters), t-shirt graphics and a series of video shorts that became quick fodder for the blogs.
The group is a collaboration of passions, Sanchez says, and each person wears a rather specific hat. He does graphic design. Lehman takes the pictures. Dhesi does the video work and Buttles does motion graphics.
Anti Laboratories works by finding and partnering with emerging talents. They weren't looking to expand when they found Dhesi.
“It wasn't like, ‘Oh man, we need to do video.' It was like, ‘Oh man, this guy is really good.' ”
In fact, the group started because Sanchez wanted to expand his visual communication tool kit with photography. He could have started taking pictures himself, he says.
“But if I took it up, I wouldn't be passionate about it.”
Anti Labs is respect for passion.
And they want to harness that in others.
“We want to inspire people to see the potential in putting something significant together,” Sanchez says. That means creating work that can compete with the best, no only in Fresno, but in markets like San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Sanchez says this, even though he knows it's cliche, because it's what people think and it's mostly true.
And there are businesses in town that can afford to pay money and go that route, pay some out-of-towner for the work. There are others that can maybe afford it.
“It might break them, but they're willing to take the risk.”
Then, there are those that can't.
“We want to be that option that doesn't exist,” Sanchez says.
But it can be a hard sell. The group gets tagged as hip-hop design. They do have the aesthetic ingrained in them. But it's also widely used, completely viable and works with what many of their clients want to portray.
And many don't see the benefit of working with design professionals. These days, everyone can get access to Photoshop. Everyone is a designer. But this is more than the collection of available technologies, Sanchez says. It's a process, a craft. A disappearing one perhaps, but still. It's been honed over hundreds of years of commercialism, and it works. People use it for a reason. And whether you're a business or a band, you shouldn't think you're the exception to the rule, Sanchez says.
“Starbucks does it. McDonald's does it. So you need to do it.”