I am humbled and honored to be rated among the Top 5 design firms from around the world by HOW Design. My work featured with 4 other international studios and below is an extract about my studio from the article. Don’t forget to read the whole article here!
Salih Kucukaga Design Studio is a one-man design shop operated by Salih Kucukaga in his hometown of Istanbul. Kucukaga’s design work, though, stretches around the globe, showing up in a So-Cal coffee shop, Dripp, or in a local up-scale restaurant in Istanbul. Like his range of clients, his design work also integrates many international influences, which keep them looking fresh, no matter where you are.
Tell us about one of your favorite projects: The Dripp Coffee Bar hot cup packaging is my favorite piece of design work. The design was launched in the summer of 2012 with a new sleeveless cup featuring a ripple surface so customers wouldn’t require an extra sleeve when enjoying their coffees. It also provides greater exposure for the new Dripp logo. In a nutshell, we decided to create a brand pattern with fun iconography that complements the overarching brand theme wrapped around the cup. This approach has worked, and I’m ecstatic with all the positive feedback from customers and other designers since its launch.
What is your “mantra” or “motto” when it comes to design?: Let your work speak for itself.
How does your location influence your design work?: My approach to design is governed by the inspiration derived from my hometown of Istanbul in Turkey. The bustling city plays host to a blend of eastern and western cultures, providing international influences in my work. An example of such inspiration is evident in my recent Black Goat Coffee project. The design incorporates an amiable blend of eastern, Turkish culture with the western, American style.
What do you foresee for the future of design in your town or country?: The Internet has created a whole new paradigm for graphic designers. It has provided exposure to work one could not see before and recently it has facilitated a platform for the collaboration of ideas using social media. As a result, it is now possible for all designers to infuse their beautiful local styles with contemporary global design and illustration trends allowing us to witness fascinating concepts and approaches. In the years ahead, I am hoping to see more independent Turkish graphic designers collaborating and being inspired through online interaction as well as incorporating elements of the amazing historical art culture Turkey has to offer.
I am honored to have my work featured in the best of 2012 publication by Graphic-Exchange among all the other amazing designers and studios. Visit Mr-Cup.com to support Graphic-Exchange and download this great book.
The worlds most renowned graphic design magazine featured an interview with yours truely in their October edition.
Richard also asked me a few questions about my background, inspirations and future aspirations, I thought I would share this brief interview with Richard on my website.
What is your background and how did you get started as a designer?
I completed my elementary and high school education in Istanbul, and while doing so, I was always curious about my father’s profession. I would regularly watch him use the Macintosh Classic to type and structure articles as he worked as a journalist. I’d even attend work with him to learn how he and other workers would prepare the newspaper text, advertisements and graphics. I also remember visiting the printers with my father for last minute corrections! Reflecting on this whole experience I remember two things, 1 – being amazed by the whole process of assembling a newspaper and 2 – not wanting to be a journalist!
During my high school years I worked designing brochures, logos and web sites to earn pocket money, and after graduating I traveled to Australia to pursue a college education in relation to design. I also continued my commitment to freelance design projects in Australia and after I graduated, I returned to Istanbul in 2003 to work in an interactive design studio before purusing a career as an independent designer.
What inspires you?
My inspiration is derived from my hometown of Istanbul, Turkey. The bustling city plays host to a blend of east and western culture cultivating my work ethic to produce inspiring designs for the international community. I also draw inspiration from websites including but not limited to Dribbble, FFFFOUND, Flickr and many other great design blogs. In recent times, social media has accelerated my creative side allowing me to easily share ideas and concepts with the international design community.
How would you describe your style?
I refer to my technique as contemporary graphic design. The technique is derived from my exposure to multicultural cities including Istanbul and Melbourne, which allows me to grasp a fusion of concepts and ideas that extend beyond the boundaries of a particular time or place. Old and new, sharp and blunt, Serif and Sans, my work is always contemporary.
An example of one of my recent projects is Black Goat Coffee. It incorporates a blend of eastern culture with Turkish and Arabic as well as representing the western American style.
Who has been your favourite client to date and why?
Espresso Republic 2011-2012:
Espresso Republic is a premium distributor of coffee beans in Southern California, USA. I commenced work on the Espresso Republic brand identity, coffee bags and letter pressed business cards last year in consultation with the Company Director. I found this consultative and creative period to be really exciting as I would design at my studio in Istanbul for a market that I’ve never been involved with across the other side of the world. To add to this excitement, my work is then printed and used in manufacturing in another part of the world, China. It is then shipped off to the USA to be filled with lots of love from the Espresso Republic coffee beans The loves also filters back to me in Istanbul as I see my work on social media channels such as Instagram or Pinterest. This is all too crazy, I would have never imagined this back in the day when I would dream of being a designer while watching my father and his work colleagues assemble a newspaper at work.
Dream Clothing 2009-2010:
In 2010 I had an opportunity to work with one of the greatest NBA players in the history of the game and probably one of the nicest people you can come across, Hakeem Olajuwon. I’ve produced designs for his new Texas based clothing line Dream. The clothing line is produced in Texas, Italy, China and Jordan and sold in the USA market.
How would you describe good design?
It must be simple and clever.
Do you have a philosophy that governs the work you do?
I believe it is important to understand your environment, who you are and then don’t be afraid to mix it up with other influences. This is what keeps it exciting for me.
Do you have a dream project?
I would like to launch my own store, which would consist of hand crafted design items including toys, ornaments as well as clothing and posters. At present, I am very busy with commercial design works, so I don’t have this opportunity. The good news is that I’ve created an identity for this store and I am planning ahead for it!
What have you been working on recently?
The last couple of months have probably been my busiest ever. I’ve been busy designing an identity for Espresso Republic’s new coffee line as well as their summer coffee cup designs for their beautiful coffee shop Dripp.
The designs have just been launched and it consists of a new sleeveless cup that has a ripple surface so customers won’t require an extra sleeve for their coffees. It also provides exposure to the new Dripp logo for everybody to see In a nutshell, we decided to create a brand pattern with fun icons complimenting the overarching brand theme wrapped around the cup, and it has worked a treat. To be honest, I’m pretty stoked!
I am excited to have a work appearing in the new issue of XXI.
Very proud to see my work featured in the Brazilian edition of Computer Arts Projects. In the Logo design issue #19.
There’s an interview with me in the Computer Arts Projects Magazine #148. The Logo Design Bible. And it just hits on the shelves! Go check it out!