Nina Zivkovic is a graphic designer and illustrator at Pittsburgh design studio, ocreations. With a range of capabilities from branding and advertising to print and web design, ocreations provides local startups and multinational corporations with a fresh and creative look. She talked to us about Process Orange, pool table meetings and the power of Post-its.
We have a unique team of creative experts
Everyone at ocreations brings an individual style and creative edge. It has helped us expand our client base to nearly every market and not just business brands—we’ve worked for special events, festivals and musicians as well. I am lucky to work with such a great group of creative individuals. We constantly bounce ideas off of one another.
We have our own special creative process
It’s called “Process Orange”:
Open up our eyes and ears to get to know our clients
Research, Plan and Brainstorm
Abstract Thinking, Come up with original concepts
Next Level Design Solutions
Generate production and programming solutions
Evaluate the project’s success.
We have a giant drawer full of conceptual sketches
We can adapt Process Orange to meet the needs of each client. Some come to us with a specific vision that we bring to life, while others use our process to create the perfect solution for them. But no matter how big or small the company, we always start out with a creative meeting and sketches. Even in this heavily digital age, conceptual sketches are one of the most important things we do.
We have a pool table that doubles as a conference room
Whenever possible our first meeting with a new client is face-to-face in the ocreations office, which is a truly creative environment. When you first walk in, you see our vibrant orange walls, nearly floor-to-ceiling-high windows, our artwork proudly displayed along with our awards and a couple of puppies sprawled out on the sun-soaked floor. We like to discuss project ideas over our pool table, with music playing the background.
You can’t always meet face-to-face
We have clients based around the country, while some of our Pittsburgh-based clients prefer to communicate over the phone or by email. Hightail allows us to send over the high-resolution proofs and designs that help us guarantee the quality of the final design. It also lets us keep track of sending and delivery to make sure deadlines are met.
We couldn’t do large publication work without Uplink
Some of my favorite work is annual promotional catalogs, which call for hundreds of high-resolution images to be sent to us. Hightail’s Uplink feature allows our clients to send these files straight to me using ocreations’ Hightail account and cuts out couriering jump drives or CDs and DVDs. It’s an extremely valuable asset and, along with the new Download All button, helps speed up the design process.
I use Post-it notes to stay organized
Every morning I arrive at the office and get greeted by our two incredibly adorable office dogs, Ozzi and Ellie. After I grab a cup of coffee, I start organizing my day to ensure I’m meeting all deadlines. You’ll find Post-it notes strategically covering my desk and I take down notes as I complete a project and put up more as new projects come in.
I love to create a hidden story with my illustrations
When I first started illustrating, I was obsessed with creating realistically shaded portraits. But I wanted to expand my illustrations with a particular style and had always found doodling with a pen to be relaxing and inspiring. So I combined my love for realistic portraits with the simplicity, yet tediousness, of ink. About halfway through, I began experimenting with color palettes and I have not looked back since. My illustrations are much more conceptual based now and I enjoy testing how far creativity and simplicity can go together.
There’s always something creative going on in Pittsburgh
I moved to Pittsburgh from Cleveland five years ago. Both cities have great creative environments but the best part of Pittsburgh is how unique each of its neighborhoods are. You walk one block and it feels like you’re in a brand new place. Southside and Downtown Pittsburgh both have tons of creativity about them. There are so many unique individuals that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and working with. I’ve illustrated concert posters for the entertainment venue Stage AE and had the honor of working with Fred Rogers Company to design the mainframe and posters for a transit shelter project called Word Play!. It was a fantastic experience and project!