Interviewed on 14.02.2018
4 minute read

Stefan Vladimirov

Designer. Chief Creative Officer at Swipes

Short intro

I love to create. To bring order and beauty into the ordinary. Whether it’s the interior of the home or the tools we use for work - everything can be made better, more pleasant and functional through design. The balance between function and aesthetics.

What do you do for a living?

I am a designer. I shape products, create brands and I take great pleasure in the process.

When did you find your passion for design?

It must have been when I was just a little kid - playing with LEGO. I loved to make my own beautiful sets and place them in a consistent universe of their own. Later in my teenage years I discovered photography and started capturing things I find beautiful - people, landscapes, cityscapes. During my student years I had my first experience doing graphic design. I would create slides and covers for university projects. I was in love and I couldn’t get enough. Shortly after I did my first motion graphic video, that led to landing my first client and before I knew it I was a freelance designer.

How long have you been designing?

Professionally for about 6 years.

Describe the beginning of your day

I have a very strict routine. I wake up at 7:30, do my morning workout and get to shower. Afterwards I iron my shirt, dress and prepare a good, filling breakfast. Once finished eating I start walking to work while I usually listen to a podcast. I am in the office at about 9:00. Depending on the day of the week I would have different focus for the day - some days are dedicated to client work, others are set aside for Swipes Personal and the Workspace. I look at the specifications and I start designing.

What’s your workspace?

What’s your source of inspiration?

I find inspiration in many different places. I look at design as the mixture between functionality & aesthetics - how it works and how it feels. I am very interested in how the aesthetics of other pieces of design like architecture, illustrations, photographs, movies, industrial products makes us feel. So I pay attention to everything that comes across my sight. On my Instagram I share my fascination with architectural details And on Pinterest is where I collect and organise visual inspiration.

What works are you most proud of?

It’s never easy for a designer to make such a definite statement, as we always know that it can be improved on. My obsession is how to create a brand that is consistent in the emotion that evokes to people. And that’s not easy. It takes craftsmanship and deep understanding to make design aesthetic that’s consistent across visual identity, product design, video and everything in between. I feel am happy to see how the Swipes brand has evolved over the past years. The swipes logo, website, product, illustrations, launch video all carry the same look and feel to them. They share a common design aesthetic.

What are the tools you use in your day to day life?

Sketch, Illustrator, Principle, Final Cut Pro X, Apple Motion, Lightroom, Photoshop, Figma

Do you follow any set of principles for your work?

Order. Clarity. Beauty.

What’s your favourite movie?

Grand Budapest Hotel by Wes Anderson

What's your favourite book?

1984 by George Orwell

What advice would you give to people that start out with design?

When starting follow your curiousity - do of the things that you like and you want to make. When creating follow your instinct. If it doesn’t feel right - change it. Designing is a privilege and responsibility. There are too many ugly things and too many things that work poorly. So apply your instinct and curiosity to understand what you are solving as a problem and what feeling do you want to leave people with. Never compromise.

Have you ever thought of empowering your creative community in any way, shape or form?

Yes. Over a year ago I started organising design meet ups where together with fellow creatives we would share our ways of working. I called it Fill & Stroke. But shortly after I wasn’t alone. Together with brilliant Bulgarian designers we took the idea to the next level. We are organising on a regular basis two types of events - Show & Tell and Design Battles. On the ST events we invite a creatives from all lines of work to show and tell us about their way of working. On the Design Battles we hand pick 2 creatives to match against each other over a single design brief. There’s so much knowledge between us the creatives - product designers, illustrators, motion designers, photographers, editors. We are uniting creatives together in a community that’s strong on the value of sharing.

Thank you, Stefan for being a part of we-are. We're sure that you're creative approach to design is as inspiring to us as to our readers.