Meet the Creative Studio Brand New

What type of design-related challenges do you predominantly work on, what does your day-to-day work look like?

In many ways, we work on creating and developing branding, but we don’t feel like this is an overly dominant part of our work. There is a brand new challenge every day, since the world of design is diverse, and it is precisely this variety that fascinates us.

On the photo: Helen Illend, Risto Luhalep and Ranno Päi aka Brand New design studio

What is the motto of Brand New?

Brand New Design - Grand Old Experiences :)

What is a strength that is particular to your design agency?

Our team (Helen Illend [BrandNew partner and designer], Ranno Päi [Brandnew partner and designer] and Risto Luhalep [BrandNew partner and designer]) first crossed paths in high school, and we also have some bright memories of the parties in the Estonian Academy of Arts (we all studied graphic design together). After that, each of us went on to work professionally in different agencies and with various brands. We know each other’s strengths well and apply them in our work as efficiently as possible.

We have a direct line between the client and the creation of design - this way, the exchange of information is oftentimes more efficient. The client is better informed about the creative process; this way, we mitigate the risks of something “getting lost in translation”.

We are delighted to work on brand building in its various aspects, from traditional logo design to solutions for major advertising campaigns. We could even say that our work is also our hobby, and nearly all of our projects make our eyes sparkle. Naturally, it is not enough that only our eyes sparkle; it is equally important that, by the end of the project, the same could be said for our clients and that our cooperation would continue.

Which one of your projects do you believe to be the most successful one thus far and why?

The trip to the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven, which was also our first joint outing. Such inspirational outings are the most successful projects - they broaden our horizons and strengthen the team. It is also the basis for providing a design service with a broader spectrum.

Out of our works, we would say our most successful one has been creating and developing a visual identity for the international organisation SALTO-YOUTH. It was an exciting project and provided us with some good additional knowledge, as we got to discuss design collectively with people from different cultural backgrounds. Rebranding the Tehnopol Science and Business Park and linking it to sub-brands has also been a large-scale and challenging project.

The same goes for the world we created for the cocktail bar Botaanik, which also received recognition outside of Estonia (2020 German Design Award Winner). The award was earned for Brand Identity and Excellent Communications Design. The jury’s comment on our work went as follows: “The X-ray images of plants and bar supplies give the brand’s design a special aesthetic and make it uniquely recognisable. Additionally, the transparency clearly demonstrates the concept of the idea.” 

We could highlight more successful projects here, but we feel that our greatest and most successful projects are still ahead. The best form of recognition for us is when the client returns after our previous joint project and trusts us to work with them again. These are all part of “the great success”.

What inspires you, where do you draw inspiration from on a daily basis?

It would be nice if inspiration could be “switched on”, like a lamp from a switch - alas, this is not the case. Rather, inspiration is like an invisible river of ideas. Sometimes, it takes days to find it, but since the river is invisible, one can suddenly, unexpectedly, fall into it.

What is your primary customer profile?

Of the services/products offered by its clients, the BrandNew creative studio has clients of quite diverse backgrounds and sizes. And we really like it – seeing our surroundings from different perspectives. Thus, it is difficult to make generalisations regarding our customer profile. 


What is your work process like with your client, from the moment the customer enters the door?

When a customer enters the door, we will, of course, ask them to come on in. We will make brief eye contact - to ensure that we are on the same page, and then get to work. As our cooperation continues after the initial project, we will already understand each other better, and there is no need for such an introduction :)

There are also situations where the client has not previously had any contact with agencies - there has simply been no need so far. So, it might be their first time hearing professional terms like layout, RGB, print file preparation, rendering, etc., but that's also perfectly okay from our perspective.

We first ask the client questions about the nature of their company in order to understand their areas of activity better and map the actual needs. Then, we set goals, set a schedule for the project, and get to work. There are times when the clients, for whom it is their first time working with a design agency, are more enthusiastic than marketing managers who interact with agencies on a daily basis. The world of design is new and exciting for them, and incorporating them into the creative process offers an exciting change from the routine of everyday life.

What type of clients would you like to see more of in the future, and what kind of work, and in what field, would you like to do?

We sincerely rejoice when the customer understands the importance of good design and how its impact can be vital for their service/product. Entrepreneurs in Estonia have become more design-conscious. This shows that the work of various agencies in raising awareness/training in the field of design is bearing fruit.

We are also grateful for the client’s well-formatted briefing – it helps to save a lot of valuable time. If the client has no previous experience in preparing a briefing for the agency, we do so through a joint dialogue.

However, looking ahead, we hope to work on some social campaigns in the future, if possible. There are many acute issues currently in society, and we would be happy to help convey the message.

What is the ambition of Brand New, where do you see yourselves in five years?

We generally do not make plans for such a short period of time. Rather, we are already thinking 30 or more years ahead. Our greatest ambition is to become pensioners who continue to work in our field as a hobby :)

What's the one thing that must always be present in your office/workspace that makes it feel just right?

We would actually suggest two things - a purring laptop and a mouse to pet from time to time.