It’s great to connect with you! To kick things off can you give us a quick lowdown of who you are and what type of work you create?
Hello everyone! My name is Alen Pavlovic, probably more known by my alias "Type08". It's my nickname coined almost 30 years ago, but it's still handy for a catchy brand name used in modern communication. As you've already mentioned, I always represent myself as a "logo designer and brand builder“ and that's what I do – I help individuals, companies and organisations, existing and new ones, to define or refine their visual identities and their approach to visual communication.
Have you had a particular situation where you’ve been asked to create design work that you felt wasn’t a good fit for your morals, and how did you go about resolving it?
I'll try to answer this with a bit of the context first. I started working in the graphic design field back in 1996-1997 and in 2008 I decided to start freelancing and offering my logo design services on the global scale. At that point, I was already pretty certain that I'd like to avoid clients coming from 3 different areas: porn, politics and religion. My reasons for this are simple: I didn't want any potential work done for any of these types of clients to influence someone's opinion on hiring me for the next job. And, in these past 12 years I've managed to stick to my principles and avoid working in these areas, apart from time where I nearly got caught out: I had a client from Italy who I thought was developing a “dating“ site but during the process I found out that it was a bit more than that...
Fortunately enough, it was nothing illegal, but, I still decided to finish the project in full. Except for that little bump on the road, I've managed to keep my integrity and put morals and principles before money and make it a priority.
When it comes to sticking to your morals and making sure that you don’t get distracted by clients who don’t fit with what your passionate about, what are some of the key things you would suggest to designers starting out ?
Through my own experience I've found that these situations can be broken up into 3 different scenarios a) as mentioned above, your client is simply coming from an industry or niche that you already feel uncomfortable working with, b) doesn't quite fit your service offering, or c) The project is a bit out of your comfort zone or doesn't quite suit your style. I'll try to share a few tips for each of those scenarios.
Tip 1 – Stick to your preferred industries, but do what you have to do to survive
This one is more or less clear, either you're ready to stick to your principles and morals or you're not. The main motive that usually brings this into question is money, so the dilemma is pretty much non-existing if everything is financially OK at that moment, right? If it's not, as many of designers experienced during this strange year of Covid19 pandemic, you still have bills to pay and no one will blame you, except yourself, for accepting such a gig. At the end of the day, you can decide not to put it in your portfolio and keep it on the low – it should/could keep similar clients away. Here's the mentioned "dating" service logo which I ultimately didn't use in my portfolio!
Tip 2 – Showcase your preferred style
Saying that you're being a part of the graphic design industry is a really abstract statement for an average client, especially ones who are not that familiar with the field after all. Creative fields in graphic design are endless: from web design to illustration, from typography to animation, from icons to logos, packaging to editorial, and so on. More and more designers are deciding to specialise in niches or even micro-niches and the main tip is: make sure that your online portfolio and overall presence is a clean and clear showcase of only the work/services that you are offering and being equipped to complete and deliver. Posting a personal project, fan-art or even a real-client project from the field that you're not passionate about will potentially bring in clients interested in such services. I am not a web designer but here's an example of a personal project shown in my portfolio that, paradoxically but "unfortunately", brought in a lot of web-design-related inquiries which isn't my go to style of design.
Tip 3 – Don't be a jack of all trades
I will be perfectly honest here and say that one of the mentioned micro-niches that I am probably only okay at, but not great, is calligraphy-based logos. I find that field of design really interesting and browsing through work of talented lettering designers is always inspiring and lures me in to practicing more and more, testing my skills and abilities. I've gotten better over the years and I've delivered some pretty nice solutions, but I'm also building my portfolio around the idea that this micro-niche is still not my forte, to put it that way. Here are some examples of solutions that I personally wasn't quite happy with, even though the clients were.
Type08 (Alen Pavlovic) is a logo designer and brand builder creating logos and identities for brands across the globe. Featured in multiple logo and brand books, Type08 has fast become one of the most influential logo designers within the design community.
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