Featured Design Studio

Studio Koniak

April 2018

We caught up with total boss ladies Nurit Koniak and Natasha Boguslavsky of Studio Koniak, who've filled us in on the things that they love about design! There's also some top tips for students starting out, a hot tip on making sure you double check your files with eagle eyes to avoid a disaster and some must reads to dig your eyeballs into.

Give us your elevator pitch

We are Studio Koniak — a boutique studio for strategic branding, based in Tel Aviv but working world-wide. Our work is quite versatile — we don’t just focus on packaging, print or digital design — we fit our expertise to meet the needs of the specific project. From video production to window display design, we get involved in every aspect of the brand, to make sure it speaks the same language across the board. This is why our job never gets boring.

What are your 3 Must read design books?

  1. Design as Art by Bruno Munari
    Munari’s true minimalism somehow managed to express the joy of design within his every creation. For us he is truly one of the founding fathers of the profession and also a great inspiration in our work.

  2. The Kaufmann Mercantile Guide: How to Split Wood, Shuck an Oyster, and Master Other Simple Pleasures a perfectly curated collection of insights about modern living.
    We love everything about this book — perfect layout and great illustrations.

  3. Futura-the typeface by Laurence King Publishing)
    Our greatest love in typography, spread over hundreds of pages, with eye-opening info about the use of font over the course of history.

What are your five top design crushes?

  1. Foil Stamping — We can never get enough of foil. We had our rosegold era, our bronze and then black phase. There’s something about the emotional rush of seeing a shiny surface stamped onto paper — one can never really describe. We laugh about our addiction in the office… We wonder if we’ll ever get over it.

  2. The terracotta pallet — from persimmon to rust, and back to brick again — we are heavily into the gingers and browns. I guess it’s about wanting to stay warm.

  3. Nudes — The Nude shades have taken over our lives a few years back. It’s the perfect partner with strong basic colors, and it doesn’t replace the white — it simply softens the overall pallet. From Ballerina Nude to Sabbia and Light Camel — we are hooked.

  4. Large Lettering — After years of careful petite placement, the time has come to use logotypes loosely and let their strength be present in every format. We are experiencing this as a small form of therapy, breaking loose of years of shy understated typography.

  5. 1960's logos — It’s always been there, but I guess that just like in the beginning of 2000s, we are now experiencing a return to the creations of the modern classic typography. We feel with every project we begin, we somehow quote or echo that era — it’s an an uncontrollable urge.

"

pace yourself and think of the long term goals of your career

"

What's your biggest disaster?

We like to remember a small but significant anecdote, that took place about six years ago, where we sent a fashion catalogue we designed to the printers. We were very excited about it, because it was one of those huge poster-size catalogues, and it was our first. We received it from the press with great enthusiasm, but only a few hours later we noticed something very peculiar… On the cover page, smack in the middle, and on the model’s neck, appeared a 1mm sized logo of another company we had been working with. Nobody knew how it got there and why, but we figured it was probably aliens taking over our indesign files and messing with our heads. Needless to say, the client was not very happy about it.

Do you have any advice for students starting out?

We mentor a lot of students coming for internships during their academic program, or after it — and we notice behavioral patterns in their work performance. A lot of beginning designers seek to stand out very quickly and get bored with the mundane reality of office life. What happens many times, is that they are very eager to please in the first 2-3 months and then burn out at a fast pace. The one advice we are able to give is to pace yourself and think of the long term goals of your career. It’s better to stay put in work environments for longer periods of time — it allows you to absorb work methodologies in greater depth, and actually helps you to focus your intentions in design. Seven months is not enough time for a learning curve to take place — so aim for at least a year to develop those skills.

Where is design heading?

We’re never really sure. We think the mix between high and low is going to get stronger in branding — making it harder to detect status symbols when in front of you. It seems like luxury is moving further away from plain materialistic expressions and more towards the ethical realm.

We also notice a change in the perception of shape, which may lead to new codes of beauty. Thin skeleton models are on their way out. From the body-positive movement to diverse model casting, it seems like it might be harder to look at photoshop the same way in a few year’s time.

Website: koniakdesign.com

Instagram: @studio_koniak

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