So, who is Type08?
Hello everyone! Thanks for this opportunity to present myself here. My name is Alen Pavlovic and I’m better known as Type08 . I come from Croatia where I own the company called Artra LTD. We cover areas from design and architecture to marketing and in past 11 years, since the day of company’s register, we’ve filled our portfolio with more than 300 projects. Most of those were done in Croatia, but I wanted to communicate with clients from all over the world, so for that matter decided to enter the world of freelance graphic design. And it’s been an extraordinary 8 months since I did! I’ve finished more than 30 branding/logo/graphic design projects and am ‘collecting’ satisfied clients from all over the world (Singapore, The Netherlands, Spain, Egypt, Australia, USA, UK, Mexico, Israel, Denmark, France, Czech Republic etc). I can say that design and architecture are my passion!
What makes a good logo in your opinion?
The only way a logo can be good is if it has a strong concept behind it. This concept should have a direct connection between the logo and vision of something that logo should represent. A logo is a core of visual identity and visual communication so it’ll only work if it really sends out the message it represents. And to have it original, recognizable and sustainable it has to lay on the foundations of a really strong and original concept.
What makes a good logo designer?
A designer that can execute the what was mentioned above… one that can graphically show and communicate a vision and desired message is a good logo designer. The process of designing a logo has several phases: from analysis, to ideas, concepts, sketches etc. Executing logo design using tools such as computers and software is (or should be) the last phase of that process. In my opinion, all the phases before that one are a bit more important.
What are your main methods of finding new clients and which of those methods work best?
The Internet is an amazing marketing device. Getting a lot of exposure on the internet should be the main method for all services, not just graphic design. My experience proved to me that the more exposure you have, the more chances to meet with the clients you get! Being a part of some larger communities from your area of work and being able to show your personal work in a form of portfolio are the two things that will make that communication a lot easier. The start of such an adventure is really hard and it takes months to gain some ‘respect’, but after a few satisfied clients, the designer gets a lot of successful references that can ease down the negotiation process, especially when dealing with more new offers.
What information do you gather from a client before starting a logo? Do you have some form of questionnaire?
Every designer has his own approach. A questionnaire is a nice introduction tool and it supports the brief phase at the project start-up. I always ask for some basic and simple info like the name of the company, country of origin, core language of communication, brand’s vision, design preferences and possible logo guidelines, deadlines, budget, logo applications etc. But the most important part is when the client shows you logos that you did: those are the reason they contacted YOU for this job. This defines the style theu are aiming for and makes communication between client and designer much more comfortable.
What is your typical design process when designing a logo for a new client?
First of all, at the start I always like to present my standard brief and working process details. Filling the brief really helps to define the right quote for certain projects. Meeting client’s budget is important thing, often the critical one when negotiating the collaboration. If the project gets the ‘green light’ I always ask for 50% advance transfer of the agreed amount. I call that phase ‘risk sharing’. Then I define 2 or 3 concepts and deliver preliminary designs. After a new brief with the client we go to the adjustment phase and ‘polish’ the logo until we’re all satisfied with it. When the rest of amount is being transferred I prepare the logo in vectors and sign CTS (copyright transfer statement) form. Vectors are sent via e-mail and CTS form via air-mail. And that’s about it – one more satisfied client, one more logo in portfolio, one more reference!
How do you present your concepts to your clients and how many do you usually provide? What final files do you deliver to your client?
As I said, I usually provide 2 to 3 concepts. A lot of people think that’s a very small amount but I always try hard to deliver really strong concepts. Sometimes only one is enough, especially if I get really nice, usable and inspirational info from my client. We’re getting to this concept thing again, if you can’t have a strong one, then you can make 100 proposals for the logo and none of those will work. Showing the logo in color, positive, negative and in ‘action’ (like application on the website or company’s car etc) is a standard presentation process. I deliver final files in CDR or AI formats (vectors).
Has there ever been a case when the client was not fully satisfied with the suggested logo designs? If yes, how did you handle that? Did you charge extra for the additional designs? How often does this happen?
Yep, I think every designer had that situation. I’ve had a few. I’m not quite sure about the reason, but it’s mostly the result of client not knowing the way he wants to go with it or not having a strong and original vision behind the thing he wants to communicate (it doesn’t have to be a company). But I always try to offer a solution, no matter how hard it gets. Usually, I don’t charge extra fees, but if things really get complicated, this can pop up as an possible solution (remember that ‘risk sharing’?). I’ve never walked away from a project, only in the situation when a client asked me to, and I respected that decision.
How long do you spend on average creating a logo? What are the factors that contribute to how long you spend creating a logo?
Meeting a client’s deadline is a very important thing too. If the logo has to be done in 48 hours it will be done in 48 hours. We can all sleep after that! It usually doesn’t take long if the vision and message are inspirational enough, but if things become more complex, for any reason, it takes a bit longer. On average, I think that 2 to 3 days is really enough time to prepare something you and your client can further discuss about.
How do you choose the right colour and font for each logo design project? Do you have any favourite or most used fonts that you use in your projects? Why?
Every element that creates the logo should have a reason of being there. That includes graphic forms, colors, fonts etc. Every little thing that makes logo the way it is should be somehow connected with the message that logo sends out. My style of design is something like ‘geometrical minimalism’ and I usually go with the simple yet effective solutions. That usually includes sans and modern fonts, but doesn’t exclude the other styles to (serifs, handwritten etc). When client has a short budget I pick out some of the thousands and thousands nice but free fonts available on the internet.
Do you have any main influences that affect your work?
I love minimalism. I’m a ’sucker’ for that style when it comes to design and architecture since day one! It’s beautiful how one can communicate so much with so less! My father is a product and interior designer and I’ve measured interiors and discussed his projects with him since I was 10 years old. But I remember that every time I picked out some of his magazines or books I always got impressed with the most simple things out there. Today, I try to be the part of that approach with my work and leave something behind that will maybe impress someone else tomorrow.
What is the most challenging part about logo design and how do you deal with it?
I love the concept phase. Brainstorming and ideas are my area! This is where I give the best of me when searching for a right approach to the final solution. All of the phases are exciting, the one that you get ‘high 5′ from your client as well! But making concepts is something that drives me to love this job even more.
What are your most favorite design resources? What gives you inspiration and where can we find it? How do you deal with creative blocks?
The best resource for logo design, no matter the free advertising here, is www.logopond.com. It’s the best place for logos on the Earth! I love the connection between the experts from this field there. Because of that bond, you can see their best work!
Of course, the amount of design blogs and forums gets bigger and bigger every day and I think it’s good for the business. It becomes one big ‘megasource’ of inspiration! Beside the internet, books and magazines are great sources as well, although those can’t be updated so fast because of the speed of designer popularity growth and speed of creation. When it comes to creative blocks, experts say that you have to find the reasons that are creating them! I think that gaining knowledge and experience through staying informed, researching, playing and practicing can soften those reasons down.
What are your plans for the near future and where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
My short term plans are to finally finish two of personal and most important projects. The one is reconstruction of the company’s site (www.artra.hr) and the other is personal freelance portfolio (www.type08.com). This way I’ll work even more on the quality of domestic and international communication.
Middle term plan includes gaining more work and empowering my position in this area. I also have some books on my mind, but you’ll get more info about those projects on my sites. But 10 years from now I would really love to form a strong services providing crew that could deliver the final product, no matter the form of it.
I’ve already outsourced and connected a small army of 25 people: together we deliver the final products for most of our projects (that includes presentations, education, consulting, print, interior and exterior project realization, event management, etc) but making that number closer to a 100 in the next 10 years is my goal. There’s nothing more sweet than offering the ‘whole package’ to your client, from the concept phases to realization/production ones.
Lastly, what advice would you give to an aspiring logo designer? And any last words?
Read this article! Just kidding. Be well informed. Practice a lot. Be patient. A lot of designers will tease you of not having the ‘real’ projects! Who cares. Play with design. Have fun. Form your portfolio of experiment work. Communicate. Show and practice your skills. After some time you’ll be the one that is laughing!