Damjan Ćorić is making branding approachable once more

In these unusual and unsure instances, making an attempt to maneuver ahead in your profession and carving out a path as a artistic could be… daunting, to say the least. Behind each twist and switch lurk dreaded “what if’s”. What if my method is stale? What if I’m not totally different sufficient? What if the competitors blows me out of the water? What if?

coric design

Designer Damjan Ćorić (he/his) is fearless. A seasoned and completely self-taught designer, his educational background in psychology has made him this manner. He is aware of that constructing a stable model goes past the emblem. It’s far more in regards to the feelings and neighborhood the model conjures up in those that work together with it. Taking a collaborative method with purchasers and ensuring they perceive the “why” behind his aesthetic choices, he guides them to complete model identities with longevity and energy.

His designs lean into the nostalgic and punk rock, and are very a lot a nod to his private pursuits. However what actually units him aside is how he shares his information with fellow creatives and purchasers in an effort to teach others and construct his community. In spite of everything, information is energy. And he has a whole lot of it.

Learn on to get a crash course in heraldry, Instagram and Damjan’s greatest recommendation for designers navigating the trade.

Hey Damjan! Are you able to begin by telling us a bit about your self?

Hey, 99designs! I’m a 27-year-old psychologist from Bosnia and Herzegovina, at present dwelling between Mostar and Trebinje with my spouse. As a child, I beloved spending time outdoor with my grandad and caring for the various animals we had. Once I found music, particularly punk, in my teenagers, I used to be captivated! It formed the best way I believe and method life and actually made me who I’m right now. That’s why I all the time attempt to assist the punk scene as a lot as I can.

In school, I first studied sociology and psychology as somebody fascinated with native heritage and the human thoughts. This tied in nicely with my new-found ardour, heraldry, which I’ve actively taken up as a member of The Serbian Genealogical Society.

Do you know…
The usage of heraldic symbols as a method of identification unfold all through the European the Aristocracy within the thirteenth century. It originated when most individuals had been illiterate however might simply acknowledge a daring, placing and easy design.
by way of Encyclopedia Britannica


What conjures up you?

My inspiration comes from quite a lot of sources, largely from the historical past of graphic expression. Issues like classic posters, historic monograms, medieval manuscripts and heraldry to call a number of. I learn lots about anthropology, linguistics, psychology and sociology which sparks my creativeness and offers me matters to ruminate on. As for the sting, I imagine it comes from my character that’s been formed by counterculture.

As a self-taught designer, do you bear in mind the second you realized design was the precise path for you?

I’m unsure if I can pinpoint the precise second. It seems like design got here naturally to me. For so long as I can bear in mind, I used to be all the time drawing—in sketchbooks, notebooks, textbooks, on partitions—you identify it.

heraldic inspired branding
A web page from certainly one of Damjan’s books.

Later I attended a technical highschool and realized the fundamentals of CorelDRAW. I continued to discover the software program in my spare time, creating t-shirt graphics and gig posters.

One among my classmates observed I used to be getting the cling of it and inspired me to join 99designs. I wasn’t anticipating a lot from it however I believed, “why not?”

heraldic stamp inspired branding
Branding by Damjan. Can you see the heraldic inspiration?
heraldic stamp inspired branding

As loopy as that sounds, I ended up successful the very first contest I submitted designs to. Perhaps it was newbie’s luck, however on the time it actually reassured me that I used to be heading in the right direction.

I’ve observed you share a ton of helpful details about branding and design on Instagram. Every part from explainers about various kinds of logos, to normal design recommendation. When did you determine to begin doing that, and why?

Instagram isn’t one thing I’ve all the time been according to. Nonetheless, earlier this yr, after I obtained my Grasp’s diploma, I spotted I had sufficient time on my fingers to maintain up with a frequent posting schedule.

At first, I used to be simply sharing my favourite items to get suggestions from fellow creatives and market my enterprise. Then I began getting so many DMs from younger designers on the lookout for recommendation about growing private fashion, totally different trade requirements, and processes. I used to be speaking with them 1-on-1 for some time when it struck me that by creating academic content material, I can share my experiences and assist others as nicely. It does take time and power but it surely’s tremendous rewarding to learn feedback and messages from younger designers saying they discover my content material invaluable.

It struck me that by creating academic content material, I can share my experiences and assist others as nicely. It’s tremendous rewarding to learn feedback and messages from younger designers saying they discover my content material invaluable.

With out revealing any of your commerce secrets and techniques, what function does the community have in bringing you purchasers or trade connections?

Instagram is the #1 spot for networking for me. The platform is only visible and facilitates dialog which makes it good for designers and artists, and it’s nice for lead era as a result of it has a worldwide attain and an enormous person base. Right now it’s important for me to get purchasers, acquire insights and develop my model.

Toughies branding
Brand for Toughies, a cowboy-inspired life-style model
Toughies branding

I’m energetic on 6 social networks in the intervening time (LinkedIn, Fb, and Pinterest other than these talked about earlier) and constantly creating new content material for them can get tough and time-consuming. To keep away from getting overwhelmed, I take it straightforward and do my greatest. That’s all I actually can do.

Properly, we love studying your ideas for designers. What’s a branding development you foresee taking off within the close to future?

Nostalgic branding for positive. The reason being easy: individuals naturally attain for nostalgia when in disaster. The pandemic was a significant disaster, the type that’s onerous to completely recuperate from. Now that its finish is in sight, the entire world goes by way of a difficult time.

Nostalgia helps us deal with tough chapters as a result of it evokes emotions of consolation and reminds us of ‘the great previous days’. For manufacturers, easy old-school aesthetics could make them appear pleasant, relatable, and dependable—which is strictly what their clients need.

Plus, even new companies get to leverage the loyalty of established manufacturers in the event that they go for a classic look.

Nostalgic mezcal branding
Nostalgic design oozes authenticity, permitting manufacturers to attach with a youthful era.

Lots of people assume that nostalgic branding is barely proper if the target market is older. Nonetheless, younger customers discover it interesting and memorable, too.

Analysis exhibits that younger adults take distance from manufacturers that appear pretend and search genuine ones they will join with on a deeper, emotional stage.

Developments are transferring sooner than ever, and maintaining with them has change into tiring and irritating. Nostalgic branding gives a unique approach, one which represents a response towards modernity and capitalism and the exaggerated consumption of mass-produced items.

Thanks for the insights, Damjan. Now, paint us an image: what does a typical day in your life appear like?

The very first thing I do each morning is play some music and make a recent cup of espresso. I do a few mild stretches after which spend an hour or so researching one thing non-work associated that pursuits me on-line. This places me in an excellent temper and makes the remainder of the day much less hectic.

Book and cup of coffee
A typical morning

Once I’m able to get to work, I write up a listing of duties I need to full. I all the time begin with probably the most demanding one as I’m far more energized and inventive within the morning. After breakfast, I attempt to learn in silence for not less than half-hour earlier than delving again into consumer work (with one other cup of espresso after all). If I discover that my thoughts is wandering, I take a brief nap to get again into productiveness mode and push by way of till dinnertime. As soon as it rolls round, I take a stroll with my spouse earlier than we eat and watch a few episodes of no matter TV collection we’re into in the intervening time.

Proof FTW logo suite and mock up of logo
Proof FTW logo suite and mock up of logo

I’ve to say that I wasn’t all the time the kind to have a routine. Now that I’m older I undoubtedly perceive how helpful it’s. Once I’m touring or busy and I fall out of my routine, I are inclined to get a bit anxious.

What do you assume has been probably the most rewarding a part of being artistic? What has been the proudest second of your profession?

For me, it’s merely doing what I really like. I get up within the morning and sit up for work! In truth, I discover it therapeutic. And if that isn’t a privilege, I don’t know what’s.

As a contract designer, I get to collaborate with so many various companies, construct distinctive manufacturers that foster native economies, and assist my purchasers thrive of their entrepreneurial endeavors.

This supplies nice studying alternatives for me as branding design requires a great deal of analysis. Plus, it permits me to satisfy and befriend individuals from everywhere in the world.

I all the time really feel proud once I see the manufacturers I designed come to life. Generally it feels unreal and it’s undoubtedly a humbling expertise. It’s additionally unbelievable that I had the prospect to work with among the bands I grew up with. Nonetheless, the proudest second of my profession have to be once I obtained the 99designs award for Finest Branding Design in 2021. It impressed me to work even more durable and undoubtedly helped my enterprise develop.

What’s your favourite trade to design for? Your favourite mission? Any purchasers you need to shout out?

My favorites are manufacturers within the craft beer and spirit market, adopted by the choice trend trade as that’s the place I can get most artistic.

I really like working with manufacturers in all industries that present curated, small-batch items or invaluable, personalised companies to their clients.

My design fashion is classic, edgy and uncooked, and I believe it really works greatest with manufacturers that nurture values like craftsmanship, authenticity, originality and historical past, whichever trade they’re in.

By way of initiatives, it’s very onerous to select a favourite as they’re all distinctive. If I needed to identify a number of, I’d point out the branding for “Witching Hour Brewing” from 2021, and the emblem for Thirty One thing Document’s Vinyl Assortment “From Metropolis to Metropolis” from 2022. Each of those initiatives went so easily! The purchasers and I hit it off proper from the beginning. They beloved the primary proposal I despatched over and the designs didn’t want a whole lot of tweaking earlier than finalization.

As for purchasers that deserve a shout-out, one involves thoughts instantly: Gia Adams Wheeler, the founding father of sister manufacturers Adamo1987 and Trade Instincts. We created the emblem for Trade Instincts from scratch and refreshed the emblem for Adamo1987 earlier this yr. Collaborating along with her was such a pleasure all through the method, from conception to supply.

What music formed your life?

I grew up listening to traditional British avenue punk (bands like Cock Sparrer, Cockney Rejects, The Enterprise, Blitz, and many others.) and punk bands from ex-Yugoslavia. With time, I expanded my horizons to totally different genres. Now I additionally get pleasure from blues, ska, bluegrass, metallic, psychedelic rock, darkish wave and ethnic music, relying on my temper.

It wasn’t straightforward narrowing down the playlist to 10 songs, however I attempted to select tunes I’ve been jamming to most these days. Hope you want them, too!

Do you’ve one piece of recommendation to go on to fellow designers?

Good design isn’t solely about execution and the technical facet of issues. An enormous a part of good design is the idea, the thought behind it, and the message it communicates to the viewers it’s meant for. The conditions for creating superb ideas are a familiarity with advertising and marketing psychology and an excellent grasp of normal information. On prime of that, thorough analysis when beginning any mission is an absolute should.

Sensible phrases. Thanks, Damjan!

Love Damjan’s work?
Take a look at his portfolio.

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