For April’s Center Stage article, we interviewed the mega-talented and rightly-respected Deividas Bielskis. With over ten years of successful logo and identity design experience, Lithuania-based Bielskis has made a name for himself as a designer to watch and follow.
Please tell us a little about yourself: your background and your work.
Hello, my name is Deividas. I am a logo designer based in Lithuania, a small country in northern Europe. I am a father to two wonderful boys, and a loving husband. I was born and raised in a small city called Siauliai. It was no different than any other city in the Soviet Union. I was six-years-old when I started school, which was the same year that Lithuania reinstated its independence.
For as long as I can remember, I was always a creative child. Design and drawing worked always alongside. In 2008, I graduated a local collage in Engineering. However, I was not happy with the path that I had chosen. I wanted something with more immediate value. I found myself knowing what I didn’t want, but I also had an overwhelming amount of thoughts, regarding what I did want.
And so in my free time, I picked back up my graphic design hobby. After a decade, my hobby evolved into full-time business. Today, I’m fortunate to say that I have a successful career, that I have found my passion and am now doing what I love.
How did you come into this profession? What was your journey like?
My first introduction to logo design was back in 2008, at a crowdsourcing platform. With my first ever designed logo, I won a contest. I think that was the moment I understood that I should follow this path. Soon after, and after some exploration, I found out that some design platforms are pure evil. I then introduced myself to well-known social platforms such as LogoLounge and Dribbble. With these sites, I learned from the best designers and kept building my skills set. But I soon realized that talent is not enough. You need to get out there and make sure that everybody knows who you are. I kept reminding myself every day that I have to keep improving and learning new things, in order to be able to compete with others.
How would you describe your design aesthetic? What makes your style stand out from other designers/design firms?
Most of the human-made things and tools we use daily are symmetric and geometric. I believe design shouldn’t cause chaos. I use geometric shapes and forms, which are delicate in real life. I avoid using sharp shapes, which cause bad associations to people. I like experimenting with colors, finding new shapes in simple objects. I always try to give deeper meaning to my logos. I think this makes people remember my logos, and helps me to stand out from other designers.
Could you describe to us your design process, in steps if you can?
My design process is pretty simple and straight forward. I start with reading the brief, as it is so important to understand the client. Research is vital, then comes sketching. (I sometimes start directly on-screen). Experimenting with shapes is a big part of my process. Later, I present primary versions to my client. And last but not least, I perfect the final design of my client’s choice.
Which designers and/or creative minds were your biggest inspirations growing up? Who do you look up to now?
I think David Pache (a.k.a. Helvetic Brands) and Mike Erickson (a.k.a. Logomotive) have had the biggest influence on my work. Their color choices, professionalism and their ability to think behind and beyond the logo, is just brilliant. I think subconsciously I have combined their styles together, and have adopted a new style for myself.
Although my style has evolved and changed over the years, I think I have kept to my core philosophy: to always try to adapt new styles and techniques, but at the same time, try to keep your own style and make your logos timeless.
What hobbies do you have outside of the design world, that would surprise us?
My true hobby is designing. To be honest, no other hobby comes to mind other than my love for graphic design. I spend my free time with my family. I always take my boys to basketball games, as its Lithuania’s second religion. I like traveling a lot, and as a freelancer, it’s very easy to go anywhere I want.
What work or works are you most proud of and why?
Three to four years ago, I designed a logo for a horse farm in Sweden. It is one of my favorite logos that I have ever designed. It captures the nature of free horses, and it was inspired by Picasso’s line drawings.
What or who would be a dream project or client for you?
This is a difficult question. I think I would like to design a logo or full identity for a city or even a country. I believe nowadays, cities and countries should have a strong branding in order to be attractive. The positive image of the county, city or region, plays a big role in peoples’ decisions. A city with a positive image, enjoys a stronger marketing position over those without. For me, it would be a great challenge, and a huge honor, to create a logo for my hometown as it doesn’t already have one.
How do you deal with “designer’s block”?
Usually, I work with several projects at the same time because it keeps me fresh. I like to put a project aside and get back to it later, if I’m stuck. If that doesn’t help, I do not force the process. I take a day or two off, just to clear my head. I avoid working if I’m not in the mood. Later and after some time off, it always comes back to me naturally.
What lessons, either about life or your profession, do you wish you had known years ago?
We make mistakes every day, small and large. Everyone needs to experience them in order to learn from them. If I could go back in time, I would tell myself that things just happen, so be ready! Once, I accidently deleted my entire online portfolio. At that time, most of my clients came from there. It took me several months to get back on my feet. This example just goes to show that sometimes you can’t change the situation…all you can really do is learn from it.
Be sure to check back with us next month Loungers, as we bring another superstar designer “Center Stage.”