Today, we are joined by Feliks Marciniak .he is a Graphic Designer You can view his portfolio here.
Tell us a little about yourself and what you are currently doing – give us a brief bio.
My name is Feliks Marciniak. I was born in Russia, near the Urals, where I’ve met the taste of simple life and hard winters. After moving to Poland, when I was 9, I’ve met the other world. For me it was more modern and giving more opportunities for self progress. Here, in age of 14, I went to the art school. Later, during studies, I enjoyed painting and street art – it gave me freedom of self expression. I started my work as graphic designer just after college – I was employed in local agency and made my first commercial jobs. It was interesting period, I gained a lot of practical knowledge and I was learning from my own mistakes – it was invaluable experience. It was also the time in which I discovered that for me the most interesting stage of designing process is the moment when you’re catching the idea, which is very often intangible and it appears when you distance yourself from logical thinking. My favorite stage in working on branding is logo designing – for me it’s a heart of the brand. On this stage you can very often build a basic visual key. This stage should be prudent, but not boring. In private area a means of artistic expression which is close to me is painting and street art, here I have a space for talking about things which are important for me. Brief is not necessary here so this kind of creativity is more intuitive and emotional. My experiences in both areas – in painting and in graphic design – often are intertwined and I like it a lot . I appreciate projects in which raw graphic form is connected with elements made, drawn or painted by hand. Currently I work as a freelancer and for now this form of working with clients is the closest for me.
What are the common criticisms of identity design and is there any validity to them?
When I’m walking on the streets I can often see colorful mishmash, which is around me. The most of ads are made without any general idea and the only criterion is draw the attention of the recipient, not infrequently in aggressive way. I’m very vigilant about that. I think that what’s necessary is some kind of supervision of professionalize which can assure the higher quality of outdoor ads. In Poland it doesn’t look good, compilation of this kind of “anti-design” can be seen in publication Polish Outdoor by Marcin Rutkiewicz and Elżbieta Dymna.
Business owners often pay to have everything taken care of by professionals except their identity mark. Why should a business care about its logo?
Indeed, it’s quite common. I’ve seen a plenty of identities of corporate brands, made with lack of design consciousness. Probably this is due to treating design as “uncomfortable neccesity”. In my observations, as well as in my own working process I can often see that some clients are just trying to spare money on the stage of choosing printing materials and techniques, when prices are very diversified, depending on technology, quality of paper and additional printing variants. And how we know, the power of simple projects often lies in polished print, high quality paper, etc. The brands which rely on good designed logo first of all show that quality as well as well-considered resolutions are important for them – investing in good sign at the start can help to avoid unnecessary re-branding (and equally unnecessary spending money) in future.
What constitutes a good identity mark?
Idea is the most important, she “builds” a good sign. Connected with extensive knowledge of typography and visual structures, can give a guarantee that the sign will work good in various situations and medias, on various surfaces. Common features which signs should have are: intelligent, readable message and timelessness. They can be hidden in form, in subversive symbol, or in typographic choice. It should be also designed consciously from the technical way.
What are some common mistakes which identity designers make?
Basing only on the form which is “trendy” or proven. This kind of project at a first glance can look temptingly but when you look closer, you can see that there is no deeper sense in them.
Can you detail the identity design process and how long this usually takes?
If you work for big brand, we also talk about the strategy, quite detailed research, and it takes a lot of time and energy, it can take months. Time needed for working on identity for smaller brands is often shorter because of less detailed research. I begin my designing process from establishing good contact with the customer, I try to get the most relevant informations about emerging or existing brand.
After this stage come the first sketches and general character of the brand. Further the design process can be various in my case. If I feel mental fatigue, I go for a walk in the park, then my mind is resting and in this state I can definitely work better. It’s funny because you can have great systems to stimulate creativity and so on, but good ideas often come at the least expected moments, when you have a moment of intellectual distance and stop chasing thoughts and analyze them.
What are common challenges which identity designers encounter?
Understanding of business as well as of recipient’s needs. Fitting to the budget destined for the project.
How do you account for the great disagreement over the quality of identity marks even among identity designers ?
Everyone has different experience and approach to the designing. For one person it can be just a way of earning money, for the other – money are just a side effect of focusing on his passion. Some people have a lot of courage and are good observers thus their works are interesting, and the other – prefer more preservative and/or technical approach.
How much do top identity designers usually charge for a logo and how much is it really worth?
I don’t know, I’m not interested in how much take „top designers”, the thing which is more interesting for me is how they can surprise me with their ideas and graphic workshop. I only know that prices can be high and that price is often a value of the whole process, which is work of whole team of specialists. It depends on how many people are employed and how wide research is necessary. Is it worth to pay for it? If big brand generates big earnings, and needs, for example, the rebrand of the logo – the brand can hire external company to prepare a detailed report. It can take months, that’s why the final amount is high. Effect of this kind of research can be safe or even a bit boring but it will fit perfectly to the brief. The second thing is that top designers have a name, they are recognizable brands and for many people they just are sure investment because of it.
In your opinion who are the top five identity companies in the world?
Agencies whose approach to designing is close to me:
Sagmaister & Wolsh