So you could get to know us a bit better, we’ve asked our team a few questions. Find out here not only how we work and what designers do we like, but also, what we listen to, what inspires us, and where do we get our ideas.
Ed. note: the responses to the question on how everyone spends their free time came out far more timid than I had expected. I’m somewhat disappointed.
What are the most important work rules for you?
Asya, Head of Branding: Accuracy, synchronization, empathy, skills improvement.
Natalia, Designer: Work should stay at work. The weekends are for relaxing and not thinking about what’s left unfinished at work, otherwise, you’re inviting burnout.
Anastasia, Art Director: Nothing good can be done with a serious and gloomy face.
- You need to look for something interesting even in the simplest tasks;
- Every problem is solvable, as long as you want to solve it and have the patience to see it through;
- If you’re going to do something, do it well.
Aleksandra, Designer: If I want to take a break, I put on a 10 minutes timer and just go lay down. Afterward, I feel really rested. I’ve started doing that after noticing that if you take breaks sitting down, like checking Instagram or something, there’s a fog in your brain and it’s harder to think. The other important rule is to think first, and then do. Don’t like to mess with the wireframe when I don’t have any ideas. For me, it’s easier to sketch out something on paper or check the references — often enough it leads to new ideas. Sometimes I sketch "in my mind" — just imagine different options for the composition and the design.
What do you listen to while you work?
Natalia, PM: Video game soundtracks (VA-11 HALL-A and the Nier series games are personal favorites) and my Spotify On Repeat playlist. Right now that’s mostly St. Vincent, IDKHOW, and Protest The Hero.
Leo, COO: At the top of my playlist are The Chariot, At the Drive-In, Deftones, Biffy Clyro, The Doors, TOOL.
Miroslav, Designer: Tyler The Creator, Oliver Tree, Viagra Boys, Brockhampton, The Smiths, Morphine.
Maria, Accountant: I put on TV shows in the background (paying attention is not required), and if I get tired of them, then it’s YouTube. Lately been watching a Turkish show that’s 244 episodes long ✌🏼
Stanislav, Webflow Developer: Something about investing/trading, different podcasts on CGI, design, development, space, new tech, game dev, different educational and helpful materials...
Denis, PM: I listen to a wide variety of music, from britrock and retrowave to classical. Florence + The Machine and Shostakovich are playing on repeat at the moment.
Sasha, Communication Designer: Sometimes I listen to the Music for Sex playlist, helps to relax and to focus.
Anastasia, Art Director: I listen to my mom <3
Top 3 of your favorite designers or studios?
Natalia, PM: Ragged Edge, Shuka, and Collins. I think Shuka’s Lamoda rebranding is what got me interested in working in design.
Anastasia, Art Director: David Carson, Ettore Sottsass, Anton & Irene.
Denis, PM: I really like what ONY is doing in branding, also I follow the Shuka design bureau and the British agency Collins.
Miroslav, Designer: Pentagram, Dieter Rams, Jony Ive.
Aleksandra, Designer: Currently it’s Indgila Samad Ali, Romina Malta, and Colin Doerffler.
Maria, Accountant: Only love us 💙
What inspires you?
Asya, Head of Branding: Nature, fashion shows, movies, 3D art.
Sasha, Communication Designer: Dreams. BigMac (I like McDonalds). Crimea.
Nikita, Designer: Shapes, people, situations.
Aleksandra, Designer: A lot and a lot of different things, it’s hard to list them. Nature is definitely on the list. Also, I really like the phrase, "the best references are outside of the design world" (unfortunately, can’t remember where it’s from).
Danya, PM: Music, metro maps, weird youtube essays, cute animals videos, wikipedia deep dives, seeing the results of my work and feeling the existential dread retreat if only for a moment.
How do you relax after work?
Natalia, Designer: During the weekdays I only manage to make dinner and go to sleep) Good sleep is the best rest.
Asya, Head of Branding: I call it knitflix =) I mean knitting while watching Netflix horrors. And I try to change locations often: hopping between Moscow, St. Petersburg, Black Sea — changing the view outside the window helps to clear the head.
Natalia, PM: I play video games (have you heard of the critically acclaimed MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV?), go downtown, or craft something for my cosplay.
Aleksandra, Designer: I practice yoga every evening! This is a big achievement for me and it really helps to relax and rest. I also have a small list of comfort shows that help me to chill out. Lately, I’ve been rewatching Peep Show a lot.
How do you get your ideas? Do you facilitate them in any way?
Asya, Head of Branding: In my free time in the background in my head, I try to twist the questions that concern me. Thinking in terms of location and activity change allow me to find new angles on the problem, and so the ideas come.
Sasha, Communication Designer: They don’t just happen. Try a lot of options, pump the brain with information, and from that ideas come out.
Leo, COO: It’s hard for me to track the idea taking shape, especially whether inspiration was part of that process or not, and whether inspiration is a thing at all. I’ve spent the past 13 years reading random and not so random articles on Wiki (from ancient Babylon’s astronomy to Syd Barret), there’s a possibility that all my ideas come from there.
Stanislav, Webflow Developer: Ideas come during work, when it’s time for bed, during watching/reading something smart, a movie can push you towards a good idea. Ideas come when you’re doing something.
Banu, Designer: I keep leaning more and more to thinking that mental health is paramount, as well as emotional stability and love for yourself. And all the best ideas are already in our heads (we’ve seen or felt them in our childhoods, bumped into them during our lifetimes, so all that matters is to look inward and sincerely look for them). It’s important to be honest with yourself, know your strengths and your weaknesses. For example, I understand that aggression isn’t for me, and I wouldn’t want someone seeing my designs to feel fear or dismay, so I don’t go for those designs, because I know it would’ve been insincere.
Miroslav, Designer: I like brainstorming, when you’re not afraid to throw out silly ideas until your mind begins to reshape, think different — and then the ideas flow by themselves.
Aleksandra, Designer: To me, it’s still a mystery. I just do something and something happens.
What would be your Oscar speech?
Natalia, PM I’m grateful for my parents, my friends, my partner and the existence of General Tso’s chicken. Be kind to one another, and I’ll see you here next year.
Leo, COO: Give it to Tarantino. I hope his next is more interesting.
Anastasia, Art Director: Hope it would be the one for Best Sound, so that I’d make a very long pause and finally say "Thanks for listening".