Design Legends ("DL") had the distinct honour to interview legendary designer MarkaBranka ("MarkaBranka") 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.
MarkaBranka : I'm 31 years old. I've been a Professional Designer for 11. I took a professional Course in Graphic Arts. Later, when I started to work, I took my degree in Graphic Design simultaneously. I won 2 national awards, one in a contest for a poster (FITU - Festival Internacional de Tunas Académicas, Oporto 2009) and another for a newspaper cover (Feiras Francas 2011 - Palácio das Artes, Oporto).
MarkaBranka : What motivates me most is to be able to change the direction of a brand, a political election, a village, the feeling we can create value through our design. Then we have the emotions and feelings that are created in the creative process, while we try to arrive at the “idea”. These emotions, that inherent adrenaline is what makes me be and continue in this area.
MarkaBranka : I didn't choose, but I wasn't also forced to do it so. It appeared by chance, in a random choice, which at the time I took without knowing its genesis.
MarkaBranka : What we like to create most are Brand Identities, whether for brands or events (major or minor). And also create another kind of identities on which we can build self-worlds, using storytelling. We love it. Associating to a great graphic identity a beautiful storytelling concept and a wonderful illustration is the type of work we most like to do.
MarkaBranka : The surprise aspect. We live in times of stupidly large amounts of work. Social networks brought the need to create daily genius. To stand out in this creative jungle, we have to have something original. Framing is also important, as not all ideas are good for all brands, and we cannot fall into the mistake of imitating the success steps of other brands. What works for one brand may not work for another. The big projects are the result of this positive dynamic, where everything seems to fit naturally.
MarkaBranka : Like art, the value of great design is defined by the price the customer is willing to pay. We believe that it has to be paid well. After all, it is also a creative area. Companies should invest only in great design. To spend in poor design is to lose more money than to invest a little more in great design. We always tell our clients that if to invest poorly, it is preferable to do nothing.
MarkaBranka : We want to continue working on this project, Feira do Alvarinho, turning it into a Comic Strip.
MarkaBranka : We have several projects that we haven't had time to complete yet. But there is one that I have had a special interest in for many years. Create a local, satirical newspaper with illustrated political interventions, in the style of Charlie Hebdo.
MarkaBranka : The approach to the problem, always thinking about solving problems differently, combining a rich visual culture.
MarkaBranka : Christoph Niemann, The New Yorker covers. I like projects with a high index of iconicity.
MarkaBranka : The ideas came up so easily that we found it unbelievable how nobody had explored that side yet. This is synonymous of great design. Furthermore, it is a project that has no end. We can create countless and parallel things.
MarkaBranka : Designers are eternal self-taught, eternal students, so I can't see this profession any other way. Study, study and study. Stay informed, read a lot, see many projects, be compulsive investigators.
MarkaBranka : I would always be a creative person, whether I was a doctor, plumber, worker, lawyer. Creativity is an adjective that defines a person and not a profession. It has to do with approaching problems, so I would always be a creative person. But I think that if I stop being a designer, I could be an architect, it is the airline that is most enthusiastic, after design.
MarkaBranka : In its purest form, for us, design is the combination of words, images and symbols to create communication. We look at design as a creative discipline, not artistic. We have a purpose, a function. Art does not.
MarkaBranka : The need to have to be good. I worked to be able to pay for my studies, I didn't have a wealthy background. If I failed, it would be more complicated. We created this project from scratch and with zero. We knew we couldn't fail. The need strengthens us and helps us to stay focused.
MarkaBranka : We are working on a super ambitious project, a brand for a municipality, which we think will have a very positive impact. It is a project that breaks with the conventional.
MarkaBranka : We want to be a national reference, have access to the best projects and create things that are iconic, that last over time.
MarkaBranka : Although today design is more associated with brands and territories, it has been and will always be present in people's lives, in everything, every day. I think design is essential on social level. With it, we can change the world, help make better and more sustainable societies, create better products and strong communications.
MarkaBranka : The project that gave us the most satisfaction was the one that won this award, the Feira do Alvarinho, because we like to work with projects from our culture and deconstruct them. In this project, we managed to seek universal concepts and adapt them to our values and culture.
MarkaBranka : I hope, shortly, we will be required to change our approach, where communication with the truth prevails, creating design and more credible communication, creating sustainable and responsible products. We increasingly think that the meaning is the return to the past, the creation of slower narratives, sustainable hedonism and a slowdown in production, the bet on craftsmanship and the local factor at the expense of the global. That is why it is important to create brands and products that last over time and tell people something, not this ephemerality of everything now.
MarkaBranka : We have projects for 6, 12 or 24 months.
MarkaBranka : KISS - keep it simple and stupid. If an idea doesn't have something crazy, at the beginning, if it doesn't create a discussion, it's not a good idea. And the result has to look so simple, looks like it was easy to do.
MarkaBranka : I think really good designers are the ones who set the trends. Then we have a river of designers who try to follow those trends.
MarkaBranka : Technology is just a means of coming up with ideas. We have to take advantage of the new tools because they can improve the execution of new ideas and even open up our spectrum. But only that. I value ideas more.
MarkaBranka : Adobe Creative Suite.
MarkaBranka : In the specific case of graphic design, it is with sadness that I see the decay of printed materials. It is one of the things that gives me the most pleasure, motivates me the most. Work on the colour, materials of a graphic product, a book, a flyer, a business card. But in general, colour, materials and the environment have a very significant importance in the design, it is impossible to create an identity without foreseeing these aspects. There are identities that are valid for that very reason, for a material, for a colour.
MarkaBranka : When I see an excellent design, I get jealous. I always think I wish it was me.
MarkaBranka : I already have the ideal partners, the MarkaBranka team. Yes, we prefer to work as a team, without a doubt. We believe in the “genius part”, where we are just social architects who try to create a space where people are willing and able to share and combine their talents and passions.
MarkaBranka : I would love to meet and discuss ideas with Stefan Sagmeister. He is a character who looks at design and life in the same and a very positive way.
MarkaBranka : Colour - Black. Place - Portugal. Food- Spaghetti. Season - Summer. Brand - Apple.
MarkaBranka : Although I only decoded it now, yes, some things would make you predict, such as the obsession with having the school's daily notebook always very well organized, be careful with the information hierarchy, different sizes and colours. And also the curiosity to create fonts.
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