ON IDENTITY: working between the worlds – art direction & branding, illustration & animation

I have a very traditional graphic design background and education. I entered the advertising world as an intern when I was 15, thinking “this is it - I love this job“. I studied graphic design and advertising at the University of Applied Arts Vienna and started to think “maybe there is more“. For years I worked as an Art Director in all sorts of agencies and thought “that can’t be all“. After working for clients on all sorts of big campaigns, I figured after years and years in the field, that I had become a jack of all trades (which has positive and negative sides). I simply had not defined, what I wanted to do, what I wanted to master and who I wanted to be. So I ran away from Austria to Stockholm (Hyperisland), Berlin (to work on a start up) and New York (to work as a freelance designer/team) to realize what I was best at and what I wanted. 

Today, people are still confused when I explain that “I am good with concepts and branding and that I do a lot of illustrations and animation.“ For me, however, it became clear over the past years, that the vague description of “art director“ or “designer“ does not mean anything as long you don’t fill it with life and your own definitions.

So for me, at the end of all of this, it always comes down to one core thing: I D E N T I T Y

Every person, every company, every product and object has its very own identity. Identity helps human beings to get in touch with objects, brands and people and it helps them to make sense of the world. Or even better - they can identify with it. 

So what I’ve mastered for the last years is to work with and open up identity. Whether it is strategy, visual expression or the story surrounding people, companies and objects – for me this is all about identity.

For me it totally makes sense to help with brand positioning, concept, core ideas and values. This all leads into design execution and is about filling something with life through strategy, design and good storytelling. The medium is not important. I love to transport real values and good stories people can relate to. For me it is fun to be right there when a brand is born. I love the branding process overall, the start of a visual identity and to tell stories through illustrations and animations. For most people branding is a vague word because they think it is just a good looking logo. For them it is easier to connect with more simple words like “illustration“ and “animation“. But I am fine with that. 

I truly believe, that good branding and design work can change things, solve problems and come up with innovative approaches and products. Branding is not about creating beautiful logos but a tool that helps ventures to connect with people and to work on the business side of things. It helps to grow, evolve and stay relevant.

In the end, I guess, this is my job description: Identity lover and maker of worlds and things.