Featured Creative Studio

Atelier Nese Nogay

June 2019

We recently caught up with Nese Nogay, Founder/Creative Director of Atelier Nese Nogay studio in Istanbul. Nese talks us through where she studied and how her freelance work naturally progressed into the creation of her creative studio. We get an introduction to her small yet close-knit team, and a sneak peek into what they have in store in the next 12 months.

Where did you study and what were some of your first jobs?

I completed my BA in Visual Communication Design at Ecole Intuit/Lab, Paris. During my education, I had the chance of doing internships and working in amazing companies and agencies such as Lancome, Wolkoff&Arnodin, Agitateurs Graphiques and Carré Noir in Paris. I worked with Monsieur Alexandre Wolkoff who has been both a mentor and a source of inspiration for me. When I came back to Turkey, I brought a lot with me from the work experience I had in Paris. I believe it had and still has a significant impact on Atelier's design practice. After I came back to Istanbul, I started freelancing mainly on graphic design. Atelier Nese Nogay evolved naturally as an extension of my freelance work.

Did you have a plan for graduation and what actually happened?

Actually, what I planned at first and what actually happened are very different! After I completed high school at Saint Joseph, A French High School in Istanbul, I was encouraged by my father, due to his profession to study POP (Point of Purchase) in Paris as a one-year course. In Paris, when I was designing 3D counter displays in cardboard, I realized I was getting way more excited thinking about packaging and identities of those display products. That's how I decided to change my path and started searching graphic design schools in Paris. The more I learned about graphic design, the more I got sure that was the medium with which I could express my creativity the best. After having studied for one year at Creapole, I continued my studies at Ecole Intuit/Lab, Paris in Visual Communication Design and graduated from there.

Who’s on the team, what are their roles and why do you love them?

Currently, we are a team of 4 creatives and we have a freelance account manager. Deniz and Ekin are full-time designers in the studio. Deniz has been working in Atelier for 1.5 years now and Ekin rejoined the studio recently after having completed her MA in London. Çağla is a part-time designer and she has been working for 3 months. We always prefer to keep our studio relatively small sized as we believe we can experience positive team effort and share our enthusiasm for the creative process more being small sized. Usually, all of us are involved in each project so that the outcome can truly be the best version of itself. We don't have any hierarchy or titles in our studio. The atmosphere has always been very warm and friendly, we all work in harmony. Good communication and sincerity is the first step to work and create together. We are a small-sized studio and there's really no space for ego-centric competition. I love my team because they all know how to be a team and also they are great talents and hard-workers!

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When you start a new project, it is okay to dive deep inside it at first but you should know how to take a step back and look at it as an outsider. It’s important to be able to detach yourself from your work when it is necessary.

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Is there an active design community in your city and who are your favourite top 5 designers/studios/organisations our readers can check out?

Of course! GMK, Association of Graphic Designers in Turkey, is very active. You can learn a lot about the graphic design scene in Turkey by checking out their Instagram page @gmk_turkey or their website. There is also ISType, Istanbul Typography Conference, which is held biennially. It is a great opportunity to come together with design professionals. There are so many great designers in Turkey but if I have to choose my favourite designers would be Esen Karol, Vahit Tuna, Ulaş Eryavuz and the studios would be Further Studio and Le Koko Collectif.

What advice would you give students graduating in 2019?

In the long run, hard work beats talent. Always work hard. One of the best advice I have taken in my career so far is; when you start a new project, it is okay to dive deep inside it at first but you should know how to take a step back and look at it as an outsider. It’s important to be able to detach yourself from your work when it is necessary. Remember that you are not your work. This advice has always worked for me and I hope it works for others, too. Also, don't be afraid to count on your instincts when you design and don't be afraid to take risks. Share your work with the people! It might be scary in the beginning but it is worth it. And very important, remember to have fun!

What's on the cards professionally and personally in the next 12 months?

Having engaged more within the branding and packaging projects recently, we're looking forward to working on editorial design projects for the coming months. Also, we're aiming to collaborate with more artists and designers internationally. So, as a studio, we have decided to work harder to dedicate more time on passion projects and collaborations this year. Actually, having said that, we're happy to tell you that we've been working on launching a new brand that will focus on printed objects in the near future. We don't want to talk about it more for now and give a spoiler.

Website: ateliernesenogay.com

Instagram: @ateliernesenogay

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