These topics are an ongoing exploration of short, one-minute essays, and monologues about design and things connected to it. They are far from perfect. The idea is to improve and constantly update even the written one; since I am not a writer, I hope they will have to mature with age.

Side projects

Our work is not easy. You need to stay excited all the time, and that is impossible. You need to find something that drives you—things that blow out some steam.

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Black and white

The combination is so basic that I don't consider it a color. It is more of a structural element or a form.

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Deadlines

We desperately need them, but sometimes we must break them. 

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Redesign

Redesigning is one of the hardest design jobs you can think of. Incorporating the legacy of the existing brand is a demanding job where only years of experience can help you solve it.

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What is a good design

I am sure we have all read a few definitions of good design; they all sound perfect and motivational, don't they? Some of them are really good.

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Is it sexy?

The design is more than beauty; this is what I use when I describe good branding that is easier to understand and has everything I want to say in it.

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The Why

People don't buy what you are doing; they buy why you are doing it

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Process

Love your process above all. Embrace the path you have to walk; listen to the craftspeople you meet along the way; and make the changes to improve the solution.

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Passion

Passion is great, but please don't link it with your work. Please don't say you are passionate about design; you should be passionate about life, not your work.

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It is not ok to fail

It is not okay to fail; it never was and never will be. As simple as that. I am not saying you should not try, but rethink twice before you do. 

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12 Proverbs

Funny how old wisdom always rings true. Proverbs are sacred; just think how long it took them to be still valid. Even if we choose to violate them, we painfully feel their meaning on our skin.

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Ethics

Did you ever consider that design ethics and brand sustainability are the same things?

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A healthy brand

By now, sustainability has become an annoying buzzword, and even big brands have started to abuse it in their advertising. Nothing new—advertising and corporate communication will always pick up buzzwords for their claims - just remember eco back in 2005.

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Excited?

If you are the only one who is excited, you are probably working for the damn wrong people!

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I take it personally

Sometimes I get involved in a branding project where I accidentally bump into people who think halfway there is a good start.

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Responsibility

We must act responsibly towards the solutions we create. It does not matter what field you are working on. Every time we create a message, it creates an impact.

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Team 2 team

Business design is shifting from human 2 human to team 2 team; this is becoming more and more important; team spirit produces more results than any individual effort. B2B

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Good design is for good clients

We have had this signature for a long time. And it is still valid. Perhaps the only thing that changed is that we can change the client's term to friends. 

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Work For Free

Should designers work for free? No., but why do you even ask?

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Pitch

Want to invite me for a pitch? Why don't you rather invite me for a coffee? See, it is supposed to be a love-love relationship, not love-hate to begin with.

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Are we artists or designers?

One of the longest debates out there. Are designers artists? Well, no, we are not.  Let me explain from a different perspective why not.

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I’ve seen inspiration exploding to space

Isn't it funny when you scroll to the end of the internet, go through all your old books, open a few old files, do walks around the city, around your favorite wood trail, and even go to the bookstore a few times to get that little inspiration that would help you do a project?

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Everything beautiful is analog

We can't avoid digital; it is everywhere, and not all is bad, of course, but we are focused on it way too much, staring at our phones, for instance.  Just think that everything beautiful that has ever happened to you was analog.

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SELECTED INTERVIEWS AND LECTURES


Lecture Barcelona ADC*E

I was selected by the Art Directors Club of Europe, among 10 celebrated creatives of Europe, to give a lecture at Europe's 1st European Creativity Festival in Barcelona.

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Radio prvi

Gost nedeljskega Nočnega obiska bo Gregor Žakelj, eden najbolj uspešnih in največkrat, tudi mednarodno nagrajenih oblikovalcev v Sloveniji.

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Intervju – zo

Sem oblikovalec. Sliši se preprosto in razumljivo, vendar je bila pot do tega naziva precej dolga. Kljub vsem nazivom, ki mi jih pripisujejo: kreativni direktor, art direktor, grafični oblikovalec, ilustrator, mentor … mi je ta beseda trenutno najbližja.

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Zakulisje podcast

Povabljen sem bil v zanimv podcast  Zakulisje. Pogovarjali smo se o pomenu blagovne znamke, kako in kdaj začeti razmišljati o njej.

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Lecture, Tromsø

A few years ago, I went on a wonderful trip up to Tromsø (Norway), where I was invited to speak at the Design vs Music event organized by the Tank Design and Insomnia festivals.

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Intervju Jana, 2017

Žakelj, ki med drugim dela za naročnike iz tujine, govori tudi o odgovornosti. O odgovornosti do naročnika in o širši družbeni odgovornosti.

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Intervju MMmojstri

Gregor Žakelj je umetniški direktor v oblikovalskem studiu VBG, ki je bil tretja najuspešnejša agencija na letošnjem SOF-u.

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Tedx

I talked about how I started, about my fear, and how things will never be easy for me. One thing is certain: Life will still kick me, and I will still be afraid, but I will still do what I do in this beautiful place called Slovenia.

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