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We have decided to start a new mini-project where we conduct interviews with Iconis Agency’s staff members and capture their current perspective on the work that they do, what they love about it, trends and other aspects of their respective careers. They are all experts in their field and we’re happy to share their professional insight. 


This week we picked Mladen’s brain on everything graphic design related. Mladen Mađarević is an art director at Iconis Agency, which means that he is in charge of all visual aspects of our digital projects and he makes sure the clients get what they want aesthetically.  


Enjoy the interview! :)


What kind of design projects interest you the most?

Since projects vary greatly, in commercial design personal preferences of a designer are less important. Client and project goals are more significant and a good designer is able to find a creative drive in every project. Generally speaking, more creative projects are always more fun.


What is your graphic design process? Major steps.

Firstly, we have a client briefing, followed by extensive research on the subject and then I start with UX architecture. The last thing I do is UI design. 


How do you work with collaborators like copywriters, developers, and project managers?

Having as many design sprints and meetings as possible is the best way to minimise the chance of mistakes and to ensure everybody has the same project goals.


What qualities and skills should a good graphic designer have?

Good understanding of typography and colour theory are the most important skills of every designer. Not to mention, the ability to accept criticism and learn from it is also essential. And lastly, skill to adapt to client needs.


What brands do you most admire and how do they influence your work?

If I have to choose, I’d pick Puma, Apple and IBM. I really believe in the saying ‘less is more’ when graphic design is a subject of the sentence. On the one hand, Apple and IBM products are the best examples of how something simple and minimal by design can be very beautiful. Puma products, on the other hand, are great inspiration for usage of colors in design. They just have a great vibe.


How do you measure the success of your designs?

The best way I can answer this question is to quote Dieter Rams 10 Commandments.

He said that good design:

  1. Is innovative
  2. Makes a product useful
  3. Is aesthetic
  4. Makes a product understandable
  5. Is unobtrusive
  6. Is honest
  7. Is long-lasting
  8. Is thorough down to the last detail
  9. Is environmentally friendly
  10. Involves as little design as possible


Let’s say someone tells you to design something without any context. What do you do?

Every design needs context and has to have goals. I would communicate with the client until we find out what the context is together.


How do you stay abreast of the latest design trends?

I visit online portals and blogs that are specialised in design and UX topics. 


What are your graphic design career goals?

I’d like to work on even more challenging projects which is the best way to grow your skills, and also I wish to work with the biggest brands. :)

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