In these unusual and unsure occasions, making an attempt to maneuver ahead in your profession and carving out a path as a inventive could be… daunting, to say the least. Behind each twist and switch lurk dreaded “what if’s”. What if my strategy is stale? What if I’m not completely different sufficient? What if the competitors blows me out of the water? What if?
Designer Damjan Ćorić (he/his) is fearless. A seasoned and completely self-taught designer, his tutorial background in psychology has made him this manner. He is aware of that constructing a stable model goes past the brand. It’s rather more concerning the feelings and group the model evokes in those that work together with it. Taking a collaborative strategy with purchasers and ensuring they perceive the “why” behind his aesthetic choices, he guides them to complete model identities with longevity and energy.
His designs lean into the nostalgic and punk rock, and are very a lot a nod to his private pursuits. However what actually units him aside is how he shares his information with fellow creatives and purchasers in an effort to teach others and construct his community. In spite of everything, information is energy. And he has a whole lot of it.
Learn on to get a crash course in heraldry, Instagram and Damjan’s finest recommendation for designers navigating the trade.
Hey Damjan! Are you able to begin by telling us a bit about your self?
Hey, 99designs! I’m a 27-year-old psychologist from Bosnia and Herzegovina, presently dwelling between Mostar and Trebinje with my spouse. As a child, I beloved spending time outdoor with my grandad and caring for the numerous animals we had. After I found music, particularly punk, in my teenagers, I used to be captivated! It formed the way in which I feel and strategy life and actually made me who I’m at the moment. That’s why I all the time attempt to help the punk scene as a lot as I can.
In school, I first studied sociology and psychology as somebody fascinated with native heritage and the human thoughts. This tied in nicely with my new-found ardour, heraldry, which I’ve actively taken up as a member of The Serbian Genealogical Society.
Do you know…
Using heraldic symbols as a method of identification unfold all through the European the Aristocracy within the thirteenth century. It originated when most individuals have been illiterate however may simply acknowledge a daring, putting and easy design.
through Encyclopedia Britannica
What evokes you?
My inspiration comes from a wide range of sources, largely from the historical past of graphic expression. Issues like classic posters, historic monograms, medieval manuscripts and heraldry to call a number of. I learn lots about anthropology, linguistics, psychology and sociology which sparks my creativeness and offers me matters to ruminate on. As for the sting, I consider it comes from my character that’s been formed by counterculture.
As a self-taught designer, do you bear in mind the second you realized design was the suitable path for you?
I’m unsure if I can pinpoint the precise second. It appears like design got here naturally to me. For so long as I can bear in mind, I used to be all the time drawing—in sketchbooks, notebooks, textbooks, on partitions—you title it.
Later I attended a technical highschool and discovered the fundamentals of CorelDRAW. I continued to discover the software program in my spare time, creating t-shirt graphics and gig posters.
One among my classmates observed I used to be getting the hold of it and inspired me to enroll in 99designs. I wasn’t anticipating a lot from it however I believed, “why not?”
As loopy as that sounds, I ended up profitable the very first contest I submitted designs to. Perhaps it was newbie’s luck, however on the time it really reassured me that I used to be heading in the right direction.
I’ve observed you share a ton of helpful details about branding and design on Instagram. Every part from explainers about various kinds of logos, to basic design recommendation. When did you resolve to start out doing that, and why?
Instagram isn’t one thing I’ve all the time been in keeping with. Nevertheless, earlier this yr, after I obtained my Grasp’s diploma, I spotted I had sufficient time on my fingers to maintain up with a frequent posting schedule.
At first, I used to be simply sharing my favourite items to get suggestions from fellow creatives and market my enterprise. Then I began getting so many DMs from younger designers searching for recommendation about growing private type, completely different trade requirements, and processes. I used to be speaking with them 1-on-1 for some time when it struck me that by creating instructional content material, I can share my experiences and assist others as nicely. It does take time and power nevertheless it’s tremendous rewarding to learn feedback and messages from younger designers saying they discover my content material worthwhile.
It struck me that by creating instructional content material, I can share my experiences and assist others as nicely. It’s tremendous rewarding to learn feedback and messages from younger designers saying they discover my content material worthwhile.
With out revealing any of your commerce secrets and techniques, what function does the community have in bringing you purchasers or trade connections?
Instagram is the #1 spot for networking for me. The platform is only visible and facilitates dialog which makes it excellent for designers and artists, and it’s nice for lead technology as a result of it has a worldwide attain and an enormous person base. As we speak it’s important for me to get purchasers, achieve insights and develop my model.
I’m energetic on 6 social networks in the intervening time (LinkedIn, Fb, and Pinterest other than these talked about earlier) and constantly creating new content material for them can get troublesome and time-consuming. To keep away from getting overwhelmed, I take it simple and do my finest. That’s all I actually can do.
Effectively, we love studying your suggestions for designers. What’s a branding pattern you foresee taking off within the close to future?
Nostalgic branding for positive. The reason being easy: folks naturally attain for nostalgia when in disaster. The pandemic was a serious disaster, the type that’s exhausting to totally get better from. Now that its finish is in sight, the entire world goes by a difficult time.
Nostalgia helps us address troublesome chapters as a result of it evokes emotions of consolation and reminds us of ‘the great outdated days’. For manufacturers, easy old-school aesthetics could make them appear pleasant, relatable, and dependable—which is strictly what their clients need.
Plus, even new companies get to leverage the loyalty of established manufacturers in the event that they go for a classic look.
Lots of people suppose that nostalgic branding is simply proper if the audience is older. Nevertheless, younger customers discover it interesting and memorable, too.
Analysis reveals that younger adults take distance from manufacturers that appear faux and search genuine ones they’ll join with on a deeper, emotional degree.
Traits are shifting quicker than ever, and maintaining with them has change into tiring and irritating. Nostalgic branding presents a special manner, one which represents a response towards modernity and capitalism and the exaggerated consumption of mass-produced items.
Thanks for the insights, Damjan. Now, paint us an image: what does a typical day in your life seem like?
The very first thing I do each morning is play some music and make a contemporary cup of espresso. I do a few mild stretches after which spend an hour or so researching one thing non-work associated that pursuits me on-line. This places me in a superb temper and makes the remainder of the day much less traumatic.
After I’m able to get to work, I write up an inventory of duties I wish to full. I all the time begin with essentially the most demanding one as I’m rather more energized and inventive within the morning. After breakfast, I attempt to learn in silence for at the least half-hour earlier than delving again into shopper work (with one other cup of espresso in fact). If I discover that my thoughts is wandering, I take a brief nap to get again into productiveness mode and push by till dinnertime. As soon as it rolls round, I take a stroll with my spouse earlier than we eat and watch a few episodes of no matter TV sequence we’re into in the intervening time.
I’ve to say that I wasn’t all the time the kind to have a routine. Now that I’m older I undoubtedly perceive how helpful it’s. After I’m touring or busy and I fall out of my routine, I are inclined to get a bit anxious.
What do you suppose has been essentially the most rewarding a part of being inventive? What has been the proudest second of your profession?
For me, it’s merely doing what I really like. I get up within the morning and look ahead to work! Actually, I discover it therapeutic. And if that isn’t a privilege, I don’t know what’s.
As a contract designer, I get to collaborate with so many alternative companies, construct distinctive manufacturers that foster native economies, and assist my purchasers thrive of their entrepreneurial endeavors.
This supplies nice studying alternatives for me as branding design requires a great deal of analysis. Plus, it allows me to satisfy and befriend folks from everywhere in the world.
I all the time really feel proud after I see the manufacturers I designed come to life. Typically it feels unreal and it’s undoubtedly a humbling expertise. It’s additionally unimaginable that I had the possibility to work with a number of the bands I grew up with. Nevertheless, the proudest second of my profession should be after I obtained the 99designs award for Greatest Branding Design in 2021. It impressed me to work even tougher and undoubtedly helped my enterprise develop.
What’s your favourite trade to design for? Your favourite challenge? Any purchasers you wish to shout out?
My favorites are manufacturers within the craft beer and spirit market, adopted by the choice trend trade as that’s the place I can get most inventive.
I really like working with manufacturers in all industries that present curated, small-batch items or worthwhile, personalised companies to their clients.
My design type is classic, edgy and uncooked, and I feel it really works finest with manufacturers that nurture values like craftsmanship, authenticity, originality and historical past, whichever trade they’re in.
When it comes to tasks, it’s very exhausting to select a favourite as they’re all distinctive. If I needed to title a number of, I’d point out the branding for “Witching Hour Brewing” from 2021, and the brand for Thirty One thing File’s Vinyl Assortment “From Metropolis to Metropolis” from 2022. Each of those tasks went so easily! The purchasers and I hit it off proper from the beginning. They beloved the primary proposal I despatched over and the designs didn’t want a whole lot of tweaking earlier than finalization.
As for purchasers that deserve a shout-out, one involves thoughts instantly: Gia Adams Wheeler, the founding father of sister manufacturers Adamo1987 and Business Instincts. We created the brand for Business Instincts from scratch and refreshed the brand for Adamo1987 earlier this yr. Collaborating along with her was such a pleasure all through the method, from conception to supply.
What music formed your life?
I grew up listening to basic British road punk (bands like Cock Sparrer, Cockney Rejects, The Enterprise, Blitz, and many others.) and punk bands from ex-Yugoslavia. With time, I expanded my horizons to completely different genres. Now I additionally take pleasure in blues, ska, bluegrass, steel, psychedelic rock, darkish wave and ethnic music, relying on my temper.
It wasn’t simple narrowing down the playlist to 10 songs, however I attempted to select tunes I’ve been jamming to most recently. Hope you want them, too!
Do you may have one piece of recommendation to go on to fellow designers?
Good design isn’t solely about execution and the technical facet of issues. An enormous a part of good design is the idea, the thought behind it, and the message it communicates to the viewers it’s meant for. The conditions for creating wonderful ideas are a familiarity with advertising and marketing psychology and a superb grasp of basic information. On high of that, thorough analysis when beginning any challenge is an absolute should.