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10 Questions With Dorian

by Elizabeth Freeman on 06/29/2015 | 4 Minute Read

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The Dieline gets the opportunity to sit down with the design team at Dorian, winners of Best of Show at The Dieline Awards, and talk about how they find harmony between creativity and commerciality.

1. Congratulations on winning Best of Show at The Dieline Awards! There were a number of wonderful designs this year. What, in your opinion, sets apart a good design from a great one?

Thank you very much! We are very happy with the award. In our opinion, creativity must be established on a solid concept that fulfills the  communication needs of each project and the execution must be impeccable. It should also add value to the product, providing something new, like an innovative or unexplored approach.


2. What is Dorian’s design philosophy?

Work to achieve memorable projects that endure over time.


3. What is your design process?

Since each project and their needs are different, our work process is not always the same and sometimes varies to accommodate the request and thereby obtain the best results. Yet there are a number of phases that usually follow when we have a new order on the table: briefing analysis, concept creation, graphic execution and production supervision. After meeting the client and once we have the briefing on the commission, internally we conduct an analysis of the brief and the customer, the product or service, the context, etc. After analyzing these parameters and drawning the appropriate conclusions, we proceed to work on the conceptual part of the project, which will serve as a basis from which the graphic development will be realized. This part is crucial for us because it will be the soul of the design. Later we work in the graphic execution phase, which aims to transform the concept created into something visible and recognizable, giving the product, service or brand its image. The last phase is production. Although we do not take part in this, we always monitor the production to ensure that the work is executed exactly as we want.


4. What makes Dorian unique from other design studios?

No doubt our life experience as individuals and as a studio makes our point of view unique and therefore it is also unique the way we approach and resolve projects.


5. Where do you find your inspiration?

It is a cliché, but the inspiration comes from many different sources. There are people who are doing wonderful things in areas that have nothing to do with design that in any moment can inspire us when we work on a project. The key is to be alert and receptive to everything around us. In the specific field of design, we often find ourselves looking more in the past than to our present.  We find amazing how some works done 50 or 100 years ago are still modern and this greatly influences our work. 


6. How do you find the harmony between creativity and commerciality?

We understand that the "business function" must always be ahead of the creative side when it comes to a project. The design must be a creative solution to a "business problem" and that’s why we believe that creativity should be subject to the commercial aspect. It is useless to make an original project without taking into account the objective of the assignment and its function. It would make a very attractive project but wouldn’t be a good design. The aim is to fulfill the commercial function, and from there do it in the most original way. 


7. What types of projects excite you the most? Is there a particular quality they all have in common?

We are lucky to work in a non-monotonous profession in which each project is different, making every project a very attractive challenge for us no matter how small it is. In terms of disciplines we love identity and packaging projects, and if we had a client who likes what he does and also values and trusts our work, we probably have all the elements for enjoying and giving the most to a project.


8. What can clients expect when working with you?

Creativity, commitment, hard work and perseverance and, of course, a tailored work that responds to the particular needs of any brand or product.


9. What are the biggest challenges you encounter as a designer, and how do you overcome them?

The biggest challenge is satisfying our clients and achieving tangible results with their investment in design. There is nothing better than to hear from a client after having finished a project, that the business or product is working well and that the design has been one of the reasons that have helped achieve it. Although Barcelona is currently considered one of the epicenters of global design, we still find that the culture and respect around graphic design in the whole country is still far behind from other places like the United Kingdom, Germany or Holand, in which design is an established and recognized profession, or as in the US, where there is a whole industry aware of its importance that encourages graphic design to be valued.

Here we still have to educate the clients to understand what design is and what it can bring to their business.


10. What is your most valuable advice to an aspiring designer?

Find those skills in which you stand out and that differentiate you from the rest and try to improve them all you can.