Dominik Pacholczyk is a designer and art director from Poland. His professional activity is mainly focused on broad-based branding and visual communication design. He has worked with start-ups and global brands like Google, HBO and Nestlé. Besides that, he runs a branding firm located in the heart of Poland.
What was the turning point in your life when you decided to become a designer?
I was attending a Fine Arts High School in my hometown. I didn’t know much about graphic design or design at all – I just wanted to create stuff. My main course was interior design, but I also had a variety of other art classes like painting, drawing, sculpting and finally history of art. I was learning the basics and I’m glad I had the opportunity to do that.
On my third year I slowly started to get drawn into graphic design and as a result I was learning in my free time, on my own. I eventually started doing freelance work for some clients and I was amazed by logo designs and identity systems. Consequently I remember that on my fourth year (the last one) I made a decision to leave the interior design path and focus on what I’m really into – graphic design. It was a tough choice since I had my degree from my main specialization and my parents thought that I was going to study at the Academy of Arts.
But I didn’t. Instead, I started to be a full-time freelancer, working for clients and with people from around the world, doing what I love. Hence that was the best decision I made in my life so far.
Where are you from? And what can you tell us about the place?
I’m based in my hometown – Łódź, Poland. It’s a post industrial city, that for many years was the center of the textile industry in the country, which has also had an undoubted impact on the architecture and overall character of the place. For me Łódź nowadays is an inspiring city with a lot of creative people and initiatives.
What does your day consist of?
First of all my day usually starts off with a cup of coffee with my girlfriend, e-mail and social media checking follows after that. Then I go to my studio where I spend about 10-12 hours a day working on client projects and also personal projects.
What was the first logo you ever designed?
I believe it was for a company that was offering energy audits for flats and houses (I still don’t know how I managed that). It contained all the design mistakes that you can imagine, but at the time I was proud of it!
Are you a Mac or a PC?
What is your process in designing a logo?
I’m trying to approach every project with honesty and clarity. I talk with clients about their brand, their needs and goals of the work I’m about to do. Then I implement a strong effort on learning these things because without it, it’s very hard to make a truly great logo that will represent a brand for years or maybe even decades.
I focus many of my powers on the sketching phase, where I’m looking for that perfect concept, trying multiple ideas and paths. You can probably tell that by looking at my Instagram profile. To put it simply, my process comprises of:
- Discovery, analyze & planning
- Concept development
- Design & delivery
Which software do you use frequently?
For design work I’m using Adobe’s Photoshop and Illustrator.
What is your favourite style of logo design? and why?
I don’t have that one favourite style. I love that feeling when you look at some logo design for a moment and you start to see something new, some hidden detail or meaning. It’s very exciting. For me when the design is thoughtful and well crafted, the fact that it’s a linear style, negative space type or a word-mark, doesn’t matter at all.
What is your daily inspiration when you design?
For me the inspiration is everywhere. It can came from someone’s Instagram feed, morning walk, coffee stain or an accidentally drawn line. It’s literally everywhere, so it doesn’t really bother me to limit myself to some websites or other “daily inspiration sources”.
What do you reckon is the best logo you’ve designed?
I think that the best logo I’ve designed is a Polish League of American Football brand mark. It was a competition and I won it. The best part of it is that the logo is now on print and used on a huge amount of things including the official league ball and also TV spots.
What are your top 5 favourite logos? (from all the logos ever created by mankind)
Similar thing to the favourite style – I don’t have my top 5, but I love classics like Nike, NBC, F1, FedEx and also CBS. I value these for their timeless character and also that they still look fresh nowadays.
You’ve worked with big brands such as Google, Nestle and also HBO, what’s it like working with a global brand?
Working for big brands is quite specific. Because unless you are doing some core designs, you maybe forced to stay within the brand’s guidelines and also stick to requirements. But it’s definitely an exciting experience that probably taught me a thing or two.
What’s the best part of what you do?
The best part of what I’m doing is that I love it. I love creating stuff and also making concepts, eventually seeing them become a reality, into physical products is a great moment. Honestly, I consider myself a lucky guy that I have the opportunity to do what I do.
What else do you do apart from design?
My life revolves around my passion and work. Right now I’m trying to grow as an entrepreneur while consequently running my branding studio – Metafora.
One thing you always carry with you?
What is on the horizon for Dominik Pacholczyk?
Ha! I’d like to know the answer to this question myself! I have a few exciting projects on the horizon – both client and also personal. And I hope I’ll be able to share it early next year. It seems like I will definitely keep boredom at bay!
Who is the most inspiring person to you?
I don’t think that there is only one person that inspires me. Because when considering design, there is a lot of great artists, designers and also studios that I adore or rather look up to as role models. For example there’s Heydays, Anagrama, BR/BAUEN and Hopa Studio.
What is your message of inspiration for budding logo designers?
Don’t follow the easy route because it won’t get you great results. Also a designer’s job isn’t easy, so you need to work your ass off in order to create truly great things. Finally what’s also important is to be honest in what you do and also have fun doing it.