Creative Director, Graphic Designer and typography enthusiast Ozan Karakoc Chats to Sa Creatives

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Today we chat with all rounder Ozan Karakoc. Enjoy and happy Friday!


Who is Ozan Karakoc and what do you do?

I’m a Los Angeles based Turkish graphic designer, creative director and typography enthusiast. As a partner of an international branding and advertising agency called I Mean It, I create strategic and visual solutions for prestigious projects and clients with my visionary partners and our talented team. I’m also the founder, the owner and the designer of one of the most renowned online visual arts magazines, Bak.

How would you define your style or art?

‘Simplicity’, ‘Symmetry’ and ‘Minimalism’ should be the best keywords to define my way of visual thinking. Actually, they are not only my stylistic preferences but also a summary of my character.

I’m always a realistic person. I only read books that I can learn things from. I prefer watching movies that somehow include the aspect of realism. I like ‘Schindler’s List’, but not ‘The Lord of The Rings’… I always try to park my car properly, in between the lines with equal spaces from each side. I can’t stand staring at a picture frame that is not straight.

One of the most important things for me is the work discipline. No matter what my position is, no matter how busy that day is, I always get to work at 9 am, sharp. I start feeling uncomfortable when it’s 9:01. My desk is always clean, most of my shirts are one color without patterns or graphics. I don’t modify my car’s look, I don’t like stone washed jeans, I don’t touch the originality of anything.

I always think that a good designer is the one who tells his/her story with the simplest way possible.

And again… ‘Simplicity’, ‘Symmetry’ and ‘Minimalism’… The best keywords to define my way of visual thinking.

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What inspires your work?

Over the last few years, ‘inspiration’ dramatically transformed for visual artists.

In my childhood, I had spent a lot of time at the studio of my father, who is a very talented illustrator. He had a big collection of photography, illustration and graphic design books. He used to cut papers with scissors and put little pieces between the pages to mark them.

Today, by browsing through numerous websites, portals, blogs and applications like Pinterest, it’s very easy to find stunning imagery to get inspiration. However, since finding visual inspiration becomes so easy and fast, you feel overwhelmed instead of being inspired.

In such a consumption driven world, how can a visual creation be long-lasting? How can a design be unforgettable? How can an illustration be truly unique? These are tough questions with some weak answers.

Luckily, a visual artist’s inspiration is not limited with visual imagery. It can be everything! A song from your childhood, the scent of a fruit, the streets of a city that you’ve never been to before, a poem, a saying or a little cat who stares at you with the same look in its face every morning, as if it’s the first day of its life…

So the answer is, ‘everything’… Everything inspires my work.

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What are you currently working on?

I’m currently working on two major projects. One is a very exciting country branding project and the other one is a motion picture advertising campaign for a world famous TV show.

What advice would you give young creatives looking to do what you do?

When you finish school and start working full time, you suddenly realize that the best thing you can do in your life is to find a job that you love.

Find out what makes you happier and more excited. Then go to that direction! Be original, be unique, be yourself, be honest. If good design makes you feel happy and bad design makes you feel angry, you’re on the right path. Otherwise, think twice before officially getting into this world 😉

And if they’re on the right path, I want to remind them that they are very lucky and ours is ‘the’ best job in the universe 🙂

Where can our readers follow your work?

They can check my Behance page (be.net/ozankarakoc) or my website (ozankarakoc.com) to follow my work. To say ‘Hi’, they can find me on Facebook (facebook.com/ozankarakoc). If they wish to find out more of what inspires me, they may want to check my Pinterest page (pinterest.com/ozankarakoc) as well. And to witness my daily routine, they are more than welcome to join me on Instagram (instagram.com/ozan_karakoc).

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