Design Legends ("DL") had the distinct honour to interview legendary designer Backbone Branding ("BB") for their original perspective and innovative approach to design as well as their creative lifestyle, we are very pleased to share our interview with our distinguished readers.
BB : I have graduated with a degree in product design from the Yerevan Institute of Fine Arts. Before that I already had an interest in visual arts and especially photography which I had developed throughout the years.
BB : There is something magical and special in creating. In building a concept from scratch and seeing it getting realized in front of your bare eyes. It is wonderful what one’s imagination can produce. Also I believe in the influence and the power of design. I believe good design can make life easier, better and even change our reality by improving it. I became a designer because it was my passion even since I remember. Since I was a child, I used to draw toys and then create them with materials I found laying around me. It’s all I ever wanted to do.
BB : It was my own choice. And the only thing I ever imagined myself doing.
BB : Everything related to branding, packaging design and product design. I believe and it was proven to me throughout the results I had within the years that good branding and design are key elements in determining the success or failure of brands. As for designing, I am fascinated by the functionality and the intelligence of design in Nature, I make sure that my designs are always respectful of Nature, and efficient and practical. Less Design more Nature.
BB : Perseverance. Patience and always hard work, learning new things and keeping up with the latest trends and happening not only in design but also in the world.
BB : Of course talent is key. But also a great designer is one that never stops working on themselves, seeking ways to better their skills and learn something new at every opportunity.
BB : Really good design should be able to create an emotional link. In branding and Packaging design, one of the main reasons that a consumer chooses your product, is because you succeeded in grabbing their attention and you were able to create an impact and send him a message that spoke to him on a deeper level.
BB : Over the years, results, numbers and statistics with brands that we have worked with have shown us that good branding is a key, major and crucial element in the success of a brand. For example I can state one of our newest projects which was the rebranding of a very well known dairy product line in Armenia (Ani Dairy). Lately, the brand has been struggling and has seen its sales numbers decrease noticeably. After we have created a rebranding, by changing the whole image of the brand, and even the name and logo, the sales have skyrocketed and the brand is once again a leading position in the field.
BB : The secret ingredient for success, is to design not only to seek a beautiful result, but to also believe that your work should have a transformative impact, an effect that would change things to the better. This is the high purpose for design and understanding this is key.
BB : Always work hard, and improve yourself, and never stop learning. There is not one single thing that I did. It’s an ongoing process to always work on bettering myself.
BB : Nothing far from the visual arts field. I have always had an interest in photography which I had developed throughout the years. So, I would say a photographer.
BB : Design is a tool to make life better, less complicated and more pleasant. Design is also a companion for you in your daily life. If it’s done in a good way it would improve your reality.
BB : My passion for this field and my willingness to always evolve and persevere.
BB : This is such a competitive field, so challenges are there and there are many. And even after the Pentawards have selected us as the agency of the year in 2019, and we came at #14 in the list of top 20 all-time winners by the Pentawards, I can confirm that the challenges have not disappeared, as a matter of fact that have even become greater. Because once you reach such important achievements, you have to even work harder to stay on top of the game and keep your reputation intact and up to these international and high end standards.
BB : Although I can’t exactly reveal our coming projects, I can say that one of them would be a campaign that involves sustainability and finding waves to help save the planet and find solutions for its longevity.
BB : As an Armenian designer, my goal is to show that Aremenia can excel in design and the potential of talents we have here. As a matter of fact, last year in London, for the Pentawards, it was such a proud achievement to have not only our agency’s but our country's name stated as we received the title of Agency of the year, especially among such international and leading names in the field of design.
BB : To always come up with great design solutions for challenges and problems they are facing.
BB : Design is such an efficient and effective way of communication. The message it sends is instantaneous and straightforward, and it has a crucial role especially during those times, where visuals are more important than ever. So if you are creating a good and positive design you will be sending a powerful message that will reach people in their daily lives and transform them.
BB : It depends on the requirements of the project, and the scope of work needed. Each case is unique. Usually it takes a few to several months.
BB : We first start by a deep and meticulous research about the theme. Our team is super attentive to learn about the subject in question and see any news relating to it. Of course before this, we would be communicating with the clients on a deep level, in order to understand their vision for the project and his goals and aspirations. Because first and foremost we believe that our work relations should be based on good partnerships with our clients.
BB : Imagination for Transformation. To always use creativity to chase news ideas, go after new challenges, face them and overcome them to create efficient solutions and transform our daily reality.
BB : Both influence each other, after all design is always evolving and changing with the times and what’s new. However, design has also a strong hand in changing realities and our day to day lives. So I can say that trends and design complete and complement each other.
BB : Nowadays technology is important, and key, and simplifies the task of a designer thanks to all the new softwares and innovations happening. Therefore, it is always crucial to be updated and use it when the need arises.
BB : Design is a bunch of things that complete each other. First and foremost it’s about having a composition that is harmonious to the eye. The right colors are essential in expressing your concept, your message. Of course in Packaging design choosing the right material is crucial, and it is not an easy task. We at Backbone Branding, do many tests and trials on different materials in order to find the one that is suitable for the work in question. After all these elements complete each other, and if one of them is not the right choice for the project, then the project wouldn’t be successful. This is why a thorough study and in depth experiments are key.
BB : Our designs are always based on a strong concept and long hours of study and research, we love it when people are interested and ask questions, when they find the message of our work, or want to further understand the story behind it.
BB : It is always a great and fulfilling feeling to see a great, successful design. As a designer myself, I immediately think about the process behind the work, the techniques used and the try to decipher how it was done and thought about. The critical thinking designer in me awakes, and I start asking questions to myself about how I would have approached the work if I was doing it myself, and all the common and different ways I would have found a solution to the challenge.
BB : I believe in teamwork and I believe that good design is done by a group, where each person has a thing to add and plays their role in completing the project. At Backbone Branding, during the course of the years I understood the importance of my team and the value they bring to the work. Therefore, I do believe in co-design if a project asks for it, the only crucial point is to find the right person to be designing with.
BB : We are influenced by everything that is around us even when we do not notice it. It’s not only people, but also sounds, situations, places or even happenings. Anything and everything can play a role in affecting our subconscious in a certain way, and I believe that our designs are a way for this influence to be expressed and let out.
BB : By practicing, learning, always reading and keeping an open mind to anything. I believe that a good designer is one who is constantly evolving and absorbing what’s around them.
BB : I wouldn’t say I am personally famous. All the awards, recognition and distinctions we have received, we received because of our works, because of what we have produced and continue on producing. And all of this happened not due to the efforts of an individual, but the hard work and talent of a team. At Backbone we always emphasize on the value of teamwork, because we know that everyone of us has a key and essential role to play. Pentawards gave us the title of Agency of the Year 2019 and I am very well aware that we have achieved this success thanks to the fact that I have such a talented team, which therefore makes a strong Agency.
BB : Motivation is key in all the work we do. And as a founder and creative director, I believe that my role is not only to motivate myself, but also to get my team always feel their best and ready to face any design challenges and work difficulties they come across. What fuels my drive is the ambition to always find the new idea, chasing the concept that will surpass everything previously achieved and bring something new to the table in terms of design, innovation and creativity.
BB : As a child, I used to spend hours drawing, creating illustrations of toys and planning their structural form, and then try to create them with any material I could find around me. As long as I remember design has been my true passion and calling.
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