Design Legends ("DL") had the distinct honour to interview legendary designer Nikola Vucicevic ("NV") 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.
NV : In 2004 I completed a Masters degree in Graphic Design from the Faculty of Applied Arts at the leading educational center in Serbia: The University of Belgrade. In 2007 I completed Auto Desk Courses for Computer Graphics Software Maya in Chiron. That was my formal education. But I continued my education in attending various classes, seminars and programs. I have almost 2 decades of experience in the marketing industry, which has given me the opportunity to work with many prestigious agencies including New Moment Agency, McCann Erickson and Leo Burnett. In 2005 I opened my own studio and have collaborated with a variety of clients from over 27 countries, including the Serbian Government. When I moved to the US in 2013, the new chapter in my career began. I earned my green card based on extraordinary abilities in the field of graphic design and I started promoting my work as a Designer and Gentleman.
NV : I've always been passionate about people and communication. Also, my interest was in helping people solve problems using creative solutions and delivering better experiences. This brand-product-consumer-action relationship enables me to explore and be part of the whole process.
NV : When I was a kid I considered myself a young artist. It turned out that I found my path in communication design rather than fine arts. But I would have never been able to be as successful as I have been if this passion didn’t come from within.
NV : I am interested in any field of design; branding, digital branding, graphic communications, web, advertising, product and package design. I tried to prove myself in every one of these design disciplines so I can turn a vision into a practical product or campaign. I would like to do more of personal branding for competitive athletes all around the world and make Heart Plate project even more successful.
NV : Don’t be like me, be yourself. Be unique! Get inspired and find your own way to improve the market that interests you. Also, be available to listen to your clients and their consumers. Define short-term goals and long-term goals, have a strategy and try to go as far as you can in your career.
NV : Ability to trully understand people needs. And find the best possible soultion to resolve their problems. Also, creativeness, conceptual thinking and skills counts. Furthermore, having the ability to stand by an idea and capture the trust and respect of clients to allow the designer to follow through with that idea is what also makes a great designer.
NV : By the level of success. Design does not always have to be beautiful and elegant. But what is key is that it provokes a proper call to action. If you can do that and get financially rewarded for it, then you have achieved success and than you know: are good designer.
NV : A good design should bring new value to the brand and therefore the ROI is always obtained, whether through raising brand awareness or financially through a campaign.
NV : For the right client I always find the time! Maybe you are the next one! I am available for whatever you need as long as you are not in Tabaco industry.
NV : My dream project is my next project.
NV : Deep, conceptual thinking. Listening to my client and learning about the market. I try to incorporate different cultures and predict the future. I put my heart into all I do. Without passion, hard work and the great team, there is no success.
NV : The other is not relevant. Sasa Vidakovic, Vladan Srdic, Slavimir Stojanovic, Mirko Ilic, Balsa Garcevic, Goran Milanovic, Michael Bierut, Milos Zlatanovic, Miroslav Vujovic, James Joyce, Marc Johns, David Carson, Milton Glaser, Davor Bruketa, Nikola Zinic, Paula Scher, Stella McCartney, David Turner, Bruce Duckworth.
NV : VAIO Logo, Stella McCartney for Adidas, I LOVE NY; Slavimir Stojanovic: You Are an Idiot. Please Act Acordinaly. Vladan Srdic: Larry Thompson: A Tragedy Of A Youth; Mirko Ilic Poster: Shakti; Balsa Gracevic: Knjaz Milos Project; Goran Milanovic: Coca-Cola projects, Milos Zlatanovic: Font Kanibal etc
NV : Heart Plate™. I believe it’s going to be a game changer in the food industry. According to the statistic from 2017. every third person in the USA is considered obese. It’s use and financial potential is huge. You can learn more on www.heartplateproject.com
NV : Work hard and have a lot of discipline. Wake up as a designer and go to sleep as one and never stop dreaming.
NV : I would have been a competitive athlete.
NV : Design brings new value to quality of living. It can be seen and felt, and it eventually becomes an experience. Design has the power to change peoples habits, perception and therefore, the world itself. Design has the ability to make the relationship better between understanding how things work and people’s needs.
NV : My wife and family.
NV : My focus, determination and self-improvement.
NV : Thank you for “master” label. First, there was the financial challenge. I am always improving the quality of idea/concept, which itself is not an obstacle but finding the time while working on projects as well as juggling a family is sometimes challenging.
NV : Depending on the circumstances and audience, there are different ways that one work can be presented. Sometimes a rough sketch is enough, other times, something more detailed such as a catalog or movie is better. Different platform reacts differently to the different media formats... Some platforms respond to text, others to images or videos... So, learn about the presentation environment, follow the rules and try to maximize your impact. Whatever works to engage the clients and close the deal. It's important to be able to communicate in a way that people outside of the design industry will be able to understand.
NV : Developing personal branding for competitive athletes, work on a Heart Plate, grow my business.
NV : To improve myself as much as I can, to work with he-end clients and enjoy it along the way.
NV : Expectations are big and my clients always anticipate that I have new and innovative ideas.
NV : By improving the quality of living. That’s why I strongly believe that my Heart Plate will make a powerful impact on eating habits, diet, and health, primarily in US.
NV : My next project.
NV : I enjoy what I do and every client is a unique experience for me. Maybe because I put my heart into these projects they become my personal statement which communicates or touches people all around the world. That is the power of design.
NV : In the next 5 years, every relevant product will have "smart" components and everything will be connected in a way.
NV : In the future, design will include more smart components and an eco friendly character. Environment friendly biodegradable materials will take over other non-eco friendly materials.
NV : Depends of the project. For a Platinum Award, the Rent A Car concept took me 2 working days, around 16 working hours. Other projects that I work on are sometimes very complex and can last several months.
NV : Our process starts with research. Not with the design. So we learn about the client, current circumstances on the market. Learn about the opportunities, and then we create a strategy.
NV : Could I do a better job on next project?
NV : “Styles come and go. Good design is a language, not a style.” –Massimo Vignelli
NV : Although technology is important, sometimes it’s not relevant for a winning campaign. In many cases it’s the idea, not the technology. For example, the award winning project Worth rent a Car did not have any production or technology costs, but the idea still made huge impact. Learn more here: https://vimeo.com/167434596
NV : Paper and Pen, Adobe, Canon Camera.
NV : Designers build experiences, a new vision or environment. If my research shows that we need a key visual without many colors, we apply that. Whatever boosts the emotional impact of the idea and makes the communication easier to understand, I follow.
NV : Whatever they want to ask, I want them to feel free to do so. I will gladly answer any question.
NV : This is amazing; Who design this? I would like to have it!
NV : Yes, one of the things that were very challenging in my career was to find right partners. Now, I have a team of experts and we work as one. We evaluate each other’s ideas and constantly improve projects along the way.
NV : My team members during the process and in the phase of beta testing.
NV : New$ Age by Zorica Tomic is a great book that had big influence in my work. I also read about modern philosophers and entrepreneurs.
NV : I got rid of my ego, long time ago. Also I stay informed on the latest technology trends in the industry. I am a regular at design conferences and I read a lot about other designer experiences. I do whatever it takes to get better.
NV : Nikola Tesla, Milutin Milankovic, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozzart, Antonio Stradivari, Edgar Degas, Michelangelo Buonarroti, Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso, Leonardo Da Vinci, Milos Forman, Freddy Mercury, Walt Disney, Jack Nicholson, Arnold Schwarzenegger
NV : I wouldn’t say that I’m famous; designers are not superstars like athletes. I appreciate any interview and I am glad that I can inspire younger designers. That is great honor and privilege. Awards that I have received and my rankings help me to engage with more distinguished clients. For example, recently I started working with Prada because they had seen my previous work and my accolades.
NV : One color is meaningful only if there is other color next to it. Black wouldn’t be black without white; we couldn’t understand the characteristics of red without of green etc… That being said, I don’t have a favorite color. Place: I like where are I am currently. I enjoy summer the most. Thing- I pad. Brand: Apple.
NV : Recently a client accepted my proposal and then told me what to do, even though he wasn’t in my industry. This was confusing to me, as it doesn’t make sense. So I told him this is not the way we operate and I presented our process. Our tagline "Everybody Should Do What They Do Best. That is Why We Are In Marketing Industry, pretty much explain our approach and philosophy. We do listen to our clients, we do talk with them and its perfectly fine if they tell us what they want to achieve. But not to teach us how to do it. Try to find my story on Medium, It's called Coffe with The Mustard. It perfectly depicts the situation when clients without any knowledge in creative industry interfere in the creative process.
NV : As a designer I have my ups and downs like anyone in any industry. Sometimes I am trying so hard to “get it right” that I don’t sleep well. Not so long ago I was struggling with one package design project and I had a very tight deadline. My partner said to me, “If it doesn’t work- let it go, just let it go.” But I was stubborn and I didn’t want to give up. I kept working on it, and eventually I did find a way to improve that concept. I ended up receiving several awards for that design.
NV : I’ve wanted to be a designer since I was a kid. Of course at my early age I didn’t know what the proper word for it was, but today it’s clear: I am a designer. My design is about communication and strong concept that work and looks good.
NV : Social awareness of environment and pollution will rise and design will help resolve that. Replacing fuel by other energy forms, making cleaner air, and drinkable water will be some of the main focus. I see that we will get back to nature in some way.
NV : I am so happy that I have fans out there. I hope they will get inspired with this interview. A Design Awards, thank you this wonderful interview, it’s been a pleasure, and thank you for your support.
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