Discover the interview of Anastasia Smyslova, located in Rome, Italy.
How did you become designer ?
As a little girl, I was obsessed with fashion and dreamed of becoming a fashion designer. I did not think long which way to go after school as fashion design seemed a logical choice at a time. However, it quickly became apparent that my dreams had little resonance with reality. I kept fashion as a hobby and pursued graphic design as a profession instead. I realized I was at my best when I had more control over the creative process and that opening my own studio was the way forward for me. Management education was a necessary step towards my more mature dream. It was during my postgraduate course that I discovered marketing as a discipline and fell in love with it. Formal education at a postgraduate level proved very useful for developing more structured and critical grounding for my new passion. Discovering marketing and branding felt like finally finding a home for my many interests. I find working with brands incredibly satisfying as it allows me to fully exploit my skills as both a designer and as a marketing professional.
How would you define your vision of design, your style ?
I believe all brilliant brands are brilliant because they mean something to their audience. This is why I focus on creating meaningful brands. To uncover and build this special meaning, the foundation of future strong brand loyalty, I always start the design process with thorough research and analysis. The key values that the client wants a brand to communicate to consumers, how likely these values are to strike a chord with the target audience, any competitors already on the market and likely crossover with the values they communicate – all of this and much more has to be understood and taken into account before what we usually understand as design even begins. The second challenge that needs resolving on the journey towards brand’s success is how to communicate core values of the brand to the audience. This is where visual identity and removing all, however minor, obstacles to delivering the message across come to the fore. Three words could characterise my design aesthetic: minimalism, elegance, and sophistication. I always begin a new project with hand-drawn sketches on a piece of paper as this allows maximum freedom for my creativity. The fewer barriers there are for new ideas, for the excitement and urgency that come with embarking on the new adventure, the better is the result.
For the future, what are your professional projects ?
Definitely, to move forward! I plan to grow and expand my business. We live in extremely exciting times. I am fascinated to observe how communication technologies shape and alter our reality, how they make our lives more efficient, free up more time for creativity and engagement with each other. Design is at the core of these new developments. I don’t allow myself a temptation to assume I have reached expert level and should stop learning. I am constantly learning something new, both for my professional practice and for my general life interests.
What do you like the most in your job ?
This is the easy question and my answer is simple – everything. Branding is my true passion. I wholeheartedly believe in the power of branding. Well designed and thought through brands make consumer experiences more exciting and help navigating in the myriad of choices. I was fortunate to witness this power at work in many national and cultural contexts. My past and current clients are spread all over the world and represent wide range of industries. As a human being and as a designer I strive to make the world a better place. When I progress through the design process, I often feel like I am touching the divine. There is definitely a magic feeling associated with creating something important and meaningful out of just some ideas.