/ print & identity

The last decade brought deep changes in how print design fits in modern society. As much as the print world has influenced the design for a screen, the screen-based media also left their mark on the design and production of paper-based publications. The design process helps to correctly frame the project by applying goal-directed design and examining a variety of research data to visualize the narrative flaw through the lens of the brand.




I have been working with Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies since 2009 on selected design initiatives, and in the Summer of 2012, the Institute approached me with the idea of publishing a magazine to showcase many events and initiatives that PWIAS was working on. The idea was to publish two issues per year and to use them to expand the ecosystem surrounding the research work and connections with leading research institutions. We started by looking at the audience and the type of content that may be suitable to support the Institute's goals, as well as how to engage the audience in a dialogue promoting various public events offered by PWIAS. After a few paper prototypes, we settled on the structure of the pages and continued work on the magazine ID and style guide. The Magazine was printed by Hemlock Printers on 100% recycled paper. In 2014, the format of the Magazine changed, and now it is published exclusively online.

Our perception of the world is much based on visual stimulation and the amount of information surrounding us get bigger and more complicated every day. The role of visual design is to help people to make sense of the information. The discrepancy between the corporate identity and the message embedded in the product or service can lead to an undesirable perception of the brand. As Erik Spiekermann said, "if we want to speak to the people, we need to know their language. In order to design for understanding, we need to understand design."



Sir Terence Conran, the renowned British designer, said, "Altering your home to make it a place you really enjoy living in is one of the most worthwhile things you can do and should make a significant difference to the quality of your life." Magdalena Kozicka, the owner and founder of September Home, can help create the home you have always dreamed about by offering Interior Decorating and Staging services. Our collaboration resulted in a stunning-looking ID package that is recognizable and very different from the competition. From the beginning, Magdalena had a precise idea of what she wanted, and I am happy I could bring her vision into reality. She said, "I want to design places inspired by the client's personality and wishes with a unique artistic approach—harmonious, timeless, elegant and interesting." I can testify the ID package for her studio fully supports her vision.


Everything matters. How do you hold a book in your hands? Is it heavy or light? Is it landscape or portrait oriented? Is the paper matt or glossy? Are there enough margins to comfortably hold pages without covering the text? The answer to all those questions lies in the understanding of the customer, the brand strategy and the synergy between all the 'visual actors' set to deliver the desired performance. You cannot produce an emotional design without a high-level understanding of the product or service within the large context of the brand, the society and the marketplace.




Since its founding two decades ago, the mission of the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies has been to create collaborative, interdisciplinary, basic research programs for scholars at all stages of their careers. It is one of only 24 similar institutions worldwide, based on the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton and devoted to the free pursuit of learning and research at the highest levels. The Institute’s achievements include the creation of a significant community of scholars – more than 350 Faculty Associates in total – at the University of British Columbia and an even wider global community of individuals and partner institutions.

I was invited to work with the PWIAS team on 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 Annual Reports with a mandate to establish a holistic style guide for all print-based work published by the Institute. Letterbox Design produced a fantastic ID system, and working with their team gave me an opportunity to discuss various options for the initial concept of the report. Strong, horizontal alignment, as well as an offset of the supporting text, suggested a landscape-oriented publication. We went through several layout iterations of the key pages before deciding on the final look & feel. Working closely with Dianne Newell, the Institute Director, was very rewarding. The 2010 book was printed by Blanchette Press, while the 2011 and 2012 were produced by Hemlock Printers on their Indigo Digital Press. The 2014-15 Report was published only in a digital form based on my interaction design. Kele Nakamura (Engine) integrated this new module into the PWIAS website.