Design Legends ("DL") had the distinct honour to interview legendary designer Victor Weiss ("VW") 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.
VW : I was home-schooled by my parentes following a christian american long distance school called CLE. (Christian Light Education). At 16 I studied graphic design at a Brazilian course called Microway. I worked in support, sales and marketing in a software company called ImovelOffice for 3 years, in witch I was able to create important experience in negotiating and communication with clients and prospects. I then migrated into the design sector of the company where I would deal with clients and designers, creating briefs and directing the team, occasionally also working in specific design projects. After this, decided to start my own design studio, called Avitti Design, witch in a short period of time migrated into Victor Weiss Studio.
VW : My family has many creatives, we are 20 brothers and sisters and most of us were home-schooled so we had a lot of free-time and most of it was dedicated to learning new things. Some of us were very good at drawing/painting, others enjoyed developing abstract photoshop arts, and some of the older ones got into webdesign and programming (in the early 90's.) I remember learning Flash and Photoshop 15 years ago and thinking, wow, this is amazing, and I never stopped.
VW : Interesting question. I guess at some point I did chose to become a designer, but it wasn't my first choice. I played several instruments, such as, guitar, eletric guitar, piano, I could also sing and compose lyrics and I was very proud of this as a teenager, I participated of several rock bands and really tried to make it as a musician artist. I didn't work out for me in music as I expected and so I tried several other directions such as gastronomy, sales and marketing, webdesign, and more. But there was something in logo design that I was always very inspired by. Something about illustrating minimalism, abstracting all unnecessary elements and creating something iconic and time-proof.
VW : In my studio, we focus in visual identity designs. But we also deliver all kinds of designs to are VI clients. Such as, UI, UX, Motion, Stationary prints, packaging, and more. I'de like to continue focused in Visual Identity as I see a gap in the market for what we are capable of delivering.
VW : Don't stop. If you don't stop, at some point, it will work out. I remember selling logos for 50$ and thinking I would never be capable of growing out of that. But I didn't give up. Also study, study day and night. And by study I don't mean only books. Study how big studios are doing it, spend at least 2 hours on behance everyday, that will make your eye sharp!
VW : The ability to perceive the world through the clients eyes. And by client I don't mean only the primary client. (Payer) but specifically the consumer (secondary client) of the product/service.
VW : I base evaluation on results. A beautiful design that does not sell a product is a beautiful yet pointless service. A really good design, sells an idea, product or service.
VW : Good design can contribute to the success of a company, just as much as bad design can contribute to its failure. Ask yourself, what is the value of success?
VW : Different from most designers that normally answer "I want to make coca-colas new logo" or some other huge corporation. I'de love to redesign local brands and watch them grow. So maybe that favorite restaurant me and my wife always go, or that supermarket corp we buy in. I'de love to encounter in a daily basis my ideas in action and see the positive results.
VW : I love fashion brands, I've designed several fashion startups already such as Taurus, Barbara Melo, Ermächtigen and others. I hate to see long term brands such as D&B, Dior, Burberry, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Chanel, try to go modern and lose their essence. I'de be happy to help any of the above go forward but maintain their unique essence.
VW : There is no secret ingredient. You know, as a young designer I always thought "WOW" those big guys in the big agencies they gotta know a lot of stuff us little guys have no idea. The truth is they don't. There in no secret sauce. Just take it one day by a time, always give your best and you will go very far!
VW : Rafael Maia, Viktor Navorsky, Junior Rocha, Fernando Kulik, Mateus Morgan, Pedro Renan, Marcelo Kimura, Gilnei Silva, Everton Gargioni. These guys are not only legends, they are friends.
VW : I love the classics. Paul Rand - IBM Ivan Chermayeff - Showtime Tom Geismar - Mobile Sagi Haviv - Library of Congress Paula Scher - Citi Steff Geissbuhler - Time warner Cable Milton Glaser - I Love NY Rob Janoff - Apple Lindon Leader - FedEx Tinker Hatfield - Air Jordan Otto Firle - Lufthansa James Modarelli - NASA Henri Kay Henrion - KLM Frank Mason Robinson - Coca-Cola Alan Fletcher - V&A Anton Stankowski - Deautsche Bank Carolyn Davidson - Nike Raymond Loewy - Shell Salvador Dalí - Chupa Chups
VW : 14. What is your greatest design, which aspects of that design makes you think it is great? Hard to chose, but I love the Tríave logo. The bird, a Cotovia, Brazilian bird, many people don't even notice or know it exists. There's nothing special or amazing about this animal, and yet, its full of symbolism and the way we designed the symbol on perfect circular grids, I just really enjoy the result, and the client loved it.
VW : Take it one day at a time. If you don't have real clients, make fake ones. Just don't ever stop practicing, running tests, and studying how the best do it.
VW : I'de probably be working as a failed musician. I really love music and it was hard to stop, so I'm pretty sure if design wasn't there, music would be.
VW : I actually love the Wikipedia definition of design, its so technical and yet straight-forward. "A design is a plan or specification for the construction of an object or system or for the implementation of an activity or process, or the result of that plan or specification in the form of a prototype, product or process. The verb to design expresses the process of developing a design."
VW : My mom, my wife, my daughter.
VW : Research and practice. I see something I like, I try to reproduce it, if I can't, I find out what am I not able of doing, and I study those techniques.
VW : People always associate any kind of success to studying to become a doctor or lawyer and the truth is, in graphic design, you can make 10 times a year what any of the mentioned before do.No one says that. Design is an amazing area, full of possibilities and space to grow. The main obstacle I had was overgrowing the mentality that I could not have a serious career or company out of graphic design.
VW : I guess that depends on what kind of design we're talking about. I'll speak for graphic design as its what I do. And to explain I will use Behance as an example. If I as an employer or prospect find a project or portfolio with ONE image to show-for each project, I instantly close it and keep on moving. The bigger the presentation, the more interest I have in the project. Now that does not go for any random images or texts. It must be a big, and yet, objective and full of quality presentation. With HQ images, and well written and explained texts.
VW : From Victor Weiss Studio you can expect amazing Visual Identity projects mainly focused from clients in Arab countries, Germany, and USA. We are also starting a new project focused in packaging in partnership with Matheus Morgan. The new studio is called Weiss & Morgan, you can expect amazing packaging coming from there.
VW : To understand people.
VW : Results.
VW : Designers work at the intersection of [cultural] trends; their problems are among the key problems of the overdeveloped society. It is their dual investment in them that explains the big split among designers and their frequent guilt; the enriched muddle of ideals they variously profess and the insecurity they often feel about the practice of their craft; their often great disgust and their crippling frustration. They cannot consider well their position of formulating their credo without considering both cultural and economic trends and the shaping of total society in which these are occurring. Design plays a complex role in modern industrial societies. Besides its explicit practical functions, design has implicit social functions. Designers not only create useful products and images but they also produce and reproduce cultural meanings through those products and images. The social context within which they operate circumscribes the choices designers can make in creating and marketing ideas. Only through understanding social and cultural contexts can designers comprehend fully their own roles in society. I recommend the reading of: Jill Grant and Frank Fox on “Journal of art and design education”.
VW : We are designing and directing a visual identity and packaging, UI/UX and more for a bank called Gamma. For this project we have a 15 creatives team.
VW : I have to say our studios brand. It took us almost two years from the first ideas. It was not a linear process, we developed over 70 icons and tested and worked with 40 topographies. We are 100% happy with the result and the market approval was amazing.
VW : I think that designers must see each others as partners and even possible prospects instead of competition. I personally work hard in building a friendly creative community.
VW : We are never gonna be substituted, are value is growing by the minute and there are more prospects than capable designers out there. Who-ever is in this amazing industry will grow.
VW : We often give a 60 day deadline for normal visual identity projects. But that can be doubled or cut in half depending on the project.
VW : Studying the target audience, creating a persona.
VW : Don't fear criticism, fear stagnation. Life is a gift, but living is a choice.
VW : Everything is design, even if it doesn't have a designer. In order for something to be at trend, something has been designed.
VW : Tec plays a very important role in the twenty first century. The creation, perfectionism and distribution is surrounded by technical assets.
VW : We work mainly with Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and Dimension.
VW : Look and feel.
VW : "Why?" When people ask this simple and yet clever question, we are able to show more than art, more than beauty, but metrics.
VW : I think on the hours of labor the talented designer spent to reach this result. I enjoy quality designs as much as possible.
VW : I am currently launching a secondary studio in partnership with Mateus Morgan, we will focus 100% in packaging. So yes, I do believe in Co-design.
VW : Rafael Maia, Viktor Navorsky, Junior Rocha, Fernando Kulik, Mateus Morgan, Pedro Renan, Marcelo Kimura, Gilnei Silva, Everton Gargioni.
VW : Thinking With Type by Ellen Lupton Designing Brand Identity by Alina Wheeler Elements of Graphic Design by Alex White
VW : Studies, Tests, Time.
VW : I'de love to speak with Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. I think their design ideas influenced the world in such a way it can never be reversed back.
VW : I don't consider myself famous. But I do love recognition. To see people inspired and motivated through the studios work is amazing.
VW : Black, Gramado/RS, Lasanha, Winter, Batman, Microsoft.
VW : When my wife was pregnant, our main source of clients was Facebook ads through are very popular at the time, Facebook page. Another studio payed for bots to put bad reactions and comments in all of are posts for months. We lost important clients, and it dirtied the image of the our brand. I couldn't sleep for days, it was a terrible experience. I guess now I can laugh about it because we grew into other platforms witch took us to another level.
VW : My daughter office visits, my dogs office visits, Black coffee, Monster Energy Drink, Behance, 50's music.
VW : I don't think so. I wasn't very good drawing. (I still am bad at it, but I guess that's what people would associate as a talent or skill a child designer would have since at that time we had no computers.)
VW : I try to focus in the right now, so much going on already don't have much thoughts left for the future. But if I do picture it, I guess its a cliche image of flying cars, skyscrapers and crazy technology.
VW : Never ever give up. Design is an amazing field, you can get rich being a designer, you can buy your dream car, house, and life based on design. Don't let others tell you otherwise.
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