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Featured Design Studio

Siegenthaler & Co

September 2018

Oliver Siegenthaler Art director at Siegenthaler &Co was introduced to the world of design through love and loss—which put him on a journey to discover maaaaanny areas of design! Which has led him to the success of Siegenthaler & Co 😄We're loving what Oliver has to say about how they work together with their clients and also—go and check out who his design crushes are! EPIC!

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

I grew up in Bogotá, where I did my initial studies up until high school. I then went abroad to study journalism in Zurich, where I met a girlfriend who introduced me to typography design. After she left me, I decided to return to Colombia to study design. I began studying industrial design at the University of Los Andes. After my second semester I switched to graphic design at the Jorge Tadeo Lozano University, from which I graduated. During my last year of uni I had my first experience with packaging and brand design during my practice at Misty Wells and Zea Associates. My desire was to work in editorial design, so I left to study a master’s degree in editorial production and packaging management at Elisava, Barcelona. During my stay in Spain I worked for a health oriented editorial, designing promotional classifieds for medical exams and drugstores. On my return to Colombia, Lucho Correa hired me to design a book about the Colombian jungle. We designed a 700-page book, but it was never published. I worked for more than four years with Lucho, I truly learned to work in brand and packaging design there. In 2012 I decided to open my own design firm; Siegenthaler & Co.

Give us the elevator pitch on what you do.

At Siegenthaler & Co we don’t come up with random ideas. What we are really good at is listening to the stories, ideas and dreams of our clients and translating them into graphic languages. After all, those who know the brand best are the clients themselves. For that reason we invest a lot of time listening to those we work with through workshops and involving them in the design process to create graphic systems, visual identities, packaging and brand experiences together. We are passionate about design and we believe that excellence takes time, we are careful and sensitive with typography, composition, illustration and color. Our work generates brand value, contributes ideas, transforms and helps companies grow.

What are your three must-read design books/blogs/podcasts and why?

A condition for working at Siegenthaler & Co is having read Grid Systems by Josef Müller-Brockmann. Simply because it is a book that every designer should read and for us it’s the basis of everything we do. All of our designs are made on a grid. It’s like our bible. The second book you should read is Forget All the Rules You Ever Learned About Graphic Design, Including the Ones in this Book by Bob Gill. It teaches you to think and express an idea graphically. In addition I advise to constantly review the AIGA Eye on Design blog. It’s the blog that I constantly read, it keeps you updated with the latest design trends and it’s not limited to graphic references only.

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Many times the difference is in the amount of hours that one dedicates to design.

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Who are your top five design crushes right now?

I think you’ll always have a list of designers that you admire and will never stop doing so. It’s as if they were classics. For me they are: Dieter Rams with the 10 principles of good design. Pati Nuñes and Enric Aguilera. I've followed them since I lived in Barcelona, they have been a great reference in packaging design. I’m currently following a lot of the typographic work of Felix Pfäffli, the work of Atlas, of Base design, Collins, Land and Patrick Thomas

What do you look for in a great client?

A good client is the one who recognizes that he has a need and is aware that we can provide the solution. Our best customers are those who value good design and see it as a tool that can contribute to the growth of their business. It is important that they see us as an ally and not only as an executor, that is why they should listen to us and let themselves be advised. They must be sensitive and trust the quality of our work. We have had the best experiences when they are the ones who seek us. After working together, they have even become friends and we have continued to collaborate on new projects.

What advice would you give students starting out?

Work. Work hard. Take every opportunity to do work that can be shown in a portfolio. Even if it means making free work for friends or doing your own projects. The more work you do, the more you will learn. Many times the difference is in the amount of hours that one dedicates to design.

Website: siegenthaler.co

Instagram: @siegenco

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