Serbia-based designer Kosta Mijic features a quote on his site from French author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry that's closely aligned with his logo design philosophy: "Perfection in design is achieved not when there is nothing to add, but when there is nothing left to remove." A quote that's not unlike Michelangelo's "I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free." Drawing on his profession of architect, Kosta designs logos, websites, identity systems, packaging and in fact a wide range of visual communications for his global clientele. Here we feature his recent logo work.
Could you please tell us about your background and how you got into logo design? What design and illustration qualifications and skills do you have?
I got into design during high school, by discovering that whole new world of the internet. Oddly enough, I never really liked or had the patience to draw as a child. Later on, I finished bachelor and master studies of architecture, so I now work in both fields and on their intersection. It has all happened in the last 8 years or so.
What tools do you use for your logo creations?
Ultimately, every logo finishes in Adobe Illustrator but it usually starts with pen and paper or any other kind of surface.
How would you describe your design style?
It has been described by others most often as minimal and I would add, iconic. What I strive for is reducing literal, iconic representations to the most abstract recognizable form while never going into total abstraction.
Do you have particular sources for inspiration, such as the work of other designers, or general sources?
Besides the fact that inspiration can be found in anything, I have a rather rational approach to logo design,that involves researching semantics, history, psychology... So those are the fields that inform a design, rather than inspire it.
Of your own logos, which is your favorite? Why?
What I often strive to achieve is multiple layers of communication, a combination of primary and secondary impressions, hidden symbolics... In that sense, DESPOTIKA WINERY (shown below) is my favorite logo. It combines a play with semiotics (the name, derived from the owner's surname, has a “Royal” connotation), with overlapping symbols (3 in 1), and primary and secondary impressions — you either see glasses or bottles first, and the other one a little or much later.
Do you have a favorite part of the logo design process? And is there a worst part?
Each part of the design process is interconnected with the other parts, they overlap and change sequence quite often — that characteristic of the process, its unpredictability, rather than any specific part, is what I like the most about it.
I notice that you provide a downloadable logo design questionnaire on your site for new clients. Does that function as the first step in creating a design brief?
As my clients are based all over the world, live conversations are inevitably replaced by written communication. With time I found that having a closed initial set of questions for the client helps in forming a good base for further discussion. Even though the rather generic questionnaire is often the first point of contact in that form, I usually modify it to fit different clients, to make it as close to a real discussion as possible.
How do you determine what price to charge for a logo?
Pricing is based on a set of considerations — type and size of client, amount of initial research required, relation to existing graphic material, specific process or deliverable requirements, time-frames... Large numbers of projects, though, fit into a default base price range.
How do you manage the different demands of work, life and play?
Luckily, design fits into the play category, as well. On a more serious note, being a freelancer, I try to have as fixed working hours as possible and strictly separate work, life and play — in whatever ratio they appear, which is not entirely a matter of choice.
Should we look for anything new in the future affecting your work?
Concerning logo design, I can see myself diving more into typography and exploring more abstract forms. As for design in general, I am trying to get into brand spaces, that is, the relation between branding and architecture, which is my primary field of work.