/ print & identity

Last decade brought deep changes into how the print design fits in the modern society. As much the print world has influenced the design for 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 an 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 it to expand the ecosystem surrounding the research work and connections with leading research institutions. We started with looking at the audience and the type of content that may be suitable to support the Institute goals as well as how to engage the audience in a dialogue promoting various public events offered by PWIAS. After few paper prototypes, we settle on the structure of the pages and continue 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 the visual stimulation and the amount of the 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."



It is very challenging to run a successful restaurant on the island. The business needs to survive a very quiet winter season as well as equally challenging summers with a major influx of tourists. Artisan Eats open its doors in 2009 and I was approached by the owners to help with establishing the brand. Bowen Island has a long history of supporting the community of artist and craft makers, and at the same time, it is home to many ultra-modern households. I was quite excited about this opportunity, especially because being a resident of the island for several years gave me the advantage to view this project through the eyes of the visitor and really connect with the brand. The design research and analysis took us from a minimal style ID concepts to many decorative solutions and finally we settle on very simple treatment with an emphasis on the elaborate word mark and a close association with the location of the bistro - the Artisan Square. Since then, The Artisan as it is known to the locals become the main hang-out on the island and it is now my favourite spot for guerilla-style prototype testing. Over the years, I collaborate with the owners on several design projects including website and numerous promotion materials.

Everything matters. How 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 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 career. 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 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 decided 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. Engine's Kele Nakamura integrated this new module into PWIAS website.