Featured Design Studio

Open

April 2018

We caught up with Saar Friedman Co-Founder & Chief Creative Director of OPEN. Saar filled us in on his journey to where he is now—and wow what a journey! Starting off by designing flyers for the night club he was working at to implementing new strategic branding processes for big brands! Check out what Saar has to say and some of the best reasons to intern with OPEN :D

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

I started studying graphic design at the age of 22. For the first year of my studies, I learned without a computer! Back in those days, I also worked as a nightclub manager in Jerusalem. As part of the club’s marketing efforts, we needed to design invitations on paper (20 years ago, we didn’t have Facebook or Instagram to communicate) I felt truly excited, and asked one of the partners of the club, Eyal (my current partner of OPEN) to give me the responsibility of designing the invites. He agreed with no problem.

I then purchased summer courses in photoshop and freehand (current day illustrator),and fell in love with design. Real, pure passion. The rest is history.

Any passion projects/collabs you would like to share?

I am very proud of our work—and those specific projects that are close to my heart, because they have significantly impacted our journey. Firstly, the invitations and posters for the Jerusalem nightclub, “Haoman 17” that I managed from the age of 18-24 years old. This is where I learned the principles which I still have today—unique identity creation, consistent language, minimalism, working under time pressure, creativity inside borders, and print.  

Secondly, is a project that we have been working on for the the last seven years, “Mekudeshet.” Mekudeshet is a music and arts festival held every summer, in my childhood home, Jerusalem. The identities we created for this festival have won worldwide recognition, and international awards. In the next month (May) I will contribute to the international design conference, TYPO Berlin, where I will present our design framework for Mekudeshet, called Dissolving Borders.

Thirdly, “Bank Hapoalim,” the leading bank in Israel chose us to spearhead a re-branding process after 18 years with the same brand identity. We conducted a very interesting process of which I am truly proud of.

Sometimes I pinch myself—how could I have come this far? From the early years of designing invitations for a club in Jerusalem to the current days of implementing a new strategic branding process for the leading and most important bank in Israel.

How did you develop your style as a designer and what tips would you have for others?

From very early on in my design career, I understood that people like simplicity. They cannot handle too much information.

I always design the purest, most simple version of the idea for every single one of our various projects.

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the role of the designer will become essential for the growth and impact of modern day businesses

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What’s your take on internships? (do you take interns now?)

Israel is known as “the start-up nation,” and Tel-Aviv as one of the most eclectic and energetic cities in the world. To join us and complete an internship would give one the opportunity to see a creative energy and point-of-view as well as experience a unique approach to the creative process. Not to mention the Mediterranean Sea, Middle Eastern sunshine, and Israeli beers—what more do you need?

Where do you think design is heading in the next five years and how will you adapt?

I think that design and technology continue to connect to one another. The role of design in creating great experiences will become more and more desired, as well as continue to have a greater importance in our daily lives.

I also believe, that the role of the designer will become essential for the growth and impact of modern day businesses.

What do you think the design community could do more of to give back?

There are many companies and non-profit organizations in which design can make a huge difference, and of course for the people who use their services. I believe that every designer should give back to the world at least one project per year, which will create huge value for the organizations. This is good for the soul, and it helps improve the world in some small way.

Website: open.co.il/en

Facebook: /OPENTBE

LinkedIn: Saar Friedman

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