Zocalo is an urbanism and space planning agency based in Toulouse, founded by Chantal Guitton. Zocalo approaches projects with sensibility: specialized in public space programming, the agency focuses on the project as a web of relationships, as much in its conception as in its result, urban planning being a key actor in the modeling of space in its political aspect. This motivated the choice of Zocalo as name: in Mexico, El Zócalo is the central square of any city, where anyone from any social class, origin, or profession can meet, becoming therefore a symbol of public space. After having witnessed this during a year-long stay in Mexico, Chantal Guitton decided to name her agency after this space she had come to love.
For the design of the website, Maison Solide had to find a way to present the texts describing the approach of Zocalo and make them as intimate and adaptable as the methodology of conception proposed by the agency. The graphic designers based the design on the association of three – sometimes colliding – elements: hand-drawn diagrams and illustrations, changing colors from one page to another, and a typeface superfamily with a great presence, Proto Grotesk and Proto Slab from Production Type. The footer displaying a large “Zocalo” in caps mixed from both subfamilies is a strong identifier of the website. Shown against different colored backgrounds, it concludes pages divided into rows. Each row is illustrated by a black-and-white image whose hand-drawn style brings evidence of a human sensitivity and evokes projects dealt at a small scale: it also pairs well with Proto Grotesk and its manual aspect that shines through in its pinched joins. A page dedicated to “Reflexions” combines type, drawings and color, when the user hovers on the different initials of the keywords “Use”, “Participation”, “Beauty” and “Flexibility”: as a drawing becomes visible, the keyword rotates at 180°, symbolizing the adaptability of Zocalo. Finally, the website is a good transposition of the philosophy of the agency, based on clarity, relationships and adaptation.