Freelance Graphic Designer MARKUS has had a busy year. With corporate clients such as Coca Cola, John Lewis and Amgen already under his belt, we wanted to understand what designing for such established businesses involved. Based in London, Markus specialises in Logo Design, Brand Identity & Print Design, to name a few, his work spans a huge range of design principles. We spoke to him about his latest projects, the pros and cons of working with corporate clients and what 2017 has in store for him.
You were recently brought on by Amgen to work at their “Hackathon”, what did this entail?
Working with Amgen was a pleasure as they are one of the largest and leading pharmaceutical companies in the world while attending my first Hackathon was certainly different. In short, 100’s of Amgen employees based worldwide all came to London for three days, were split into teams and given a designer. Our team was then posed the question; “How can we reduce adherence rates with patients?” Each team then spends the three days working away at the problem and developing a solution; App, Website, or real world. At the end of the three days, the teams pitch their ideas to top Amgen Executives with the winning idea receiving seeding money and put into development. My team’s idea came 3rd, so no cigar I’m afraid!
How do you approach, or are approached, by your impressive array of Clients?
I focus a lot on my mailing list to be honest, I’ve been collecting data for over 10 years and have systems set up to collect relevant email addresses from people needing Graphic Design or Web Design services. I also put my energy into SEO, which is an ongoing struggle but worth the effort in the end!
What would you say the biggest challenge of working for Corporate Clients are?
Unrealistic deadlines and design by committee! Working with most corporates can be quite intense and always on a “needed it yesterday” type deadline. This can be unfortunate because in some case it’s the time you spend away from a project when you get the best ideas and really create something smashing. Otherwise, you’re forced to stay at your desk and just power through without any real inspiration. Saying that, sometimes you do power into something quite remarkable and everything comes together. The other issue I would mention is design by committee, I don’t know who said it but “a camel is a horse designed by a panel.” More often than not the account manager knows what they want, but once they feed through the WIP to their seniors a whole heap of new notes come back and now you are trying to please everyone and shoehorn it all together, which in my experience never works!
What is your favourite type of project?
I absolutely love working with a company on their brand identity, whether it’s a small start-up or a big established corporate going through a re-brand. There’s just something about logos I love, along with colour palettes and complimenting fonts all coming together to give birth to some new entity – love it!
Could you describe your design style?
I would say I’m modern, clean and simple. I try to hark back to the Bauhaus / Swiss styles but with a 21st-century twist!
How did you find your niche?
I don’t know if I have ‘niche’ per se, I do a lot of corporate communications, branding and websites, but I guess the fact that I can design and code puts me in a different category while keeping the budget down for my clients.
What does 2017 have in store for you?
I’m working with a very exciting app developer at the moment and really think the project we are o is going to go the distance, so that would be nice. And I’m also designing the interior of a clients new premises, its always nice to create things that are produced in the real world, not just another website or company deck. Otherwise, I’m thinking its cricket as usual. Just looking forward to fun projects with good people and elevating my work.
To check out the amazing work done by MARKUS studio, his website can be found here.