Serban Iliescu

Specialized in Graphic Design.

Serban Iliescu

About Serban Iliescu

Driven by passion and the by a great desire for excellence, Serban’s first step towards a fulfilling career started with the decision he made in 2012 when I chose Architecture as his primary field of study @ The University of Architecture and Urbanism "Ion Mincu" of Bucharest. Being the perfect link between my early passions, science and arts, architecture, in all its complexity, helped him understand the most important condition of success: being overly passionate about your field of expertise - passion and dreams drive you whereas ambition and perseverance are the "tools" necessary for achieving excellence. His early professional development stage started in high school when he was driven to discover more about certain scientific subjects such as hi-technology, astrophysics and biology. Two years in a row he attended and was awarded at NASA's Space Settlement Design Competitions, highly elaborate projects that both enhanced his knowledge upon various science based fields of study and developed his project management, leadership, team working and public speaking skills. He has also been involved in volunteering projects that had the goal of introducing high-school students to event planning and fund-raising basics for various events and causes, in underlining the basics of learning and pedagogical techniques and various olympiads and contests with varied subjects such biology, peace, photography and graphic design. During his university years Serban understood the importance of maxing out the quantity of information he must absorb in order for him to become a great professional. Starting year two of studies he has started working as a freelancer in graphic design for few local companies. As the demand for his expertise unexpectedly took an ascendant pace, at the end of year three (2015) he started his own agency with two friends he met during his undergraduate studies "God is in the details." - Ludwig Mies van der Rohe - This is the quote that drives him and his team of creatives in their pursue of finding and delivering excellence in design. Since 2015, the year their agency was created, their only concern was to deliver high quality projects for them to be known not only as an ordinary creative team, but rather an extraordinary one. Their dream is to scale our company and, maybe one day, cross Romania's borders and design all around the world. Along their path they also dream of raising the awareness upon the local design community and its importance by launching various ambitious art, design and architectural restoration projects that can influence the community they live in in a good way.

  • Winner of the A' Design Award.
  • Specialized in Graphic Design.
  • Original Design.
  • Creative, Diligent and Innovative.
  • All Designs
  • Graphic
Marina Pufleanu  Branding

Marina Pufleanu Branding

Graphic Design


Good Design Deserves Great Recognition

Nominate Your Work for the A' Design Award.

Sign-Up

Interview with Serban Iliescu

Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
When I was 12 years old I visited Italy with my parents and I was presented, the first time, to the world of art, design and architecture. That moment was very important in my professional development as I started seeing the world in a whole new perspective. From that moment on I knew I wanted to study architecture and become an architect. Later, during my high school years, besides my 3 year preparatory architecture course, I've attended numerous scientific, design and art contests such as NASA Design Competitions, Design Oriented Biology Olympiads and Photographic Competitions. In these years I've developed my design skills and strengthened my faith that Architecture was the best field of study I can chose for studying at university. In my third year of study at UAUIM Bucharest, after a widely appreciated project that included the branding of a jazz event, I decided to work as a freelancer in design. I started working for two men fashion stores and, after one year, my services started being requested by various companies I have been recommended to by my initial clients. That was the moment when I approached two of my friends that also activated in the creative industry and peached the possibility of opening our own agency. 2015 was the year we launched Enhance and since that moment we successfully worked with over 30 clients and delivered more than 100 creative projects.
Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
Enhance is a creative agency based in Bucharest, Romania. It was established in 2015 and, in the last four years, we delivered over 100 projects for more than 30 clients. At the moment our team is formed of 6 members but we are searching to include more creative people in our agency.
What is "design" for you?
Design is the fusion between aesthetics and functionality. One cannot work without another in each and every type of design. Design is about people and about improving their lives, both physically and emotionally.
What kinds of works do you like designing most?
As I have observed along the last 4 years, the works that I like designing most are strongly related to fashion: fashion branding, packaging and campaigns.
What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
I don't have a favorite design. There are a lot of different extraordinary designs that inspire me and drive me to become a better designer. I can somehow narrow my answer to the portfolios of Anagrama, VizLine, TwinsStudio and the amazing works designers all around the world make for Nike.
What was the first thing you designed for a company?
My first project was for a bespoke men suits store from Bucharest - Marsay. I managed their social media accounts and created unique content for their ads and campaigns.
What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
Behance - it is the first showcase platform I discovered as a young designer and the place that drove me into evolving and creating better and better designs.
When do you feel the most creative?
Traveling is very important for designers. It is a tremendous source of inspiration and helps you open new creative doors, discover, styles, projects, contexts, colors and so on. So I can definitely say that I feel the most creative when I get back home and have the drive of exploring all those beautiful design directions I've discovered during my trip.
What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
Joy, anger and then joy again. There are a lot of emotions that arise during a design process. And maybe those emotions represent some of the pilers of creativity.
What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
When are designs realized? If it were for me I would never end working on a design because I always feel there is room for improvement. Therefore, that moment that represents the end of a project is a moment spiced with a lot of mixed feelings - joy, fear, relief, and so on.
What makes a design successful?
In my opinion, the attention to detail, in all its complexity, is what makes a design successful.
When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
When judging a design I always consider color range, material range, attention to detail, proportions, and when talking about graphic design, typography.
From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
I consider that every designer should invest, at least, all of his of his intellectual resources into creating a better society throughout his designs. We all design for people, for improving their lives and it's important to give the best we can into making the world a better place for us and for the the generations to follow. Bottom line designers create the context everyone lives in and it's important that we take into account how our designs will impact the society and the environment.
How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
Design is evolving at a very accelerate rate. Its development is strongly linked to the constant evolution of technology and I think that we are at the edge of transforming sci-fi into reality. However I am seeing a constant rise of interest upon the ways to create designs that are environmental friendly and I really hope that designers would understand the consequences of creating designs that influence the society and the environment in a bad way and explore new solutions that could make the world we live in a better place.
When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
Until now we did't have the opportunity of exhibiting our works in an exhibition. We launched our digital portfolio last year and we are currently working to improve it and present new projects to our potential customers. In the near future we will consider presenting our works in an exhibition but there are some important steps that must be crossed until that moment.
Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
Inspiration can come from the most unexpected places. A quick example can be the main inspiration we got for the project we nominated this year at A'Design Awards - Marina Pufleanu Branding. A few days after receiving the brief from our client I was randomly browsing the portfolio of famous photographer Norman Parkinson when I came across an exceptional photo of a model wearing a pale pink and gray dress. That photo later became the main inspiration point for our project. Of course there are a lot of platforms like Behance, Dribble, Pinterest and Instagram that I constantly follow to find inspiration and to discover the latest trends in design. Also trips enhance my creativity and various components I observe during my visits act like as important sources of inspiration for my future projects.
How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
This is a tricky question for me because I am in a constant journey of finding my personal design style. At the moment my favorite style is defined by the fusion between modern and traditional elements. But this style can be only integrated for certain brands that can support these elements.
Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
I live in Bucharest, Romania. Of course! Cultural heritage definitively influences my designs to some extent. Unfortunately, in my opinion, at the moment, design in Romania is at a relatively low point in matter of quality and perception upon its importance. We are in this position for a number of reasons that I will not comment at the moment, but, observing the evolution of the market in the last 5 years, I feel that the awareness upon the design community is on an ascending trend and the importance of design is starting to go up in the priority list of local entrepreneurs. I believe that in a couple of years Romania will become a important international player in matters such as talent awareness, design quality and design export. Therefore, Romania is a country with great potential for the design industry and I am sure that good design will be more and more appreciated.
How do you work with companies?
It depends on the type of project we are contracted for and on the size of the company we work for. In our portfolio you will both find start-ups and big companies. Some clients contract us for total image and communication management services and some hire us for spot projects. Some of our clients have well defined brands and we need to act upon some strict brand manuals, while some of our clients have poorly developed brands or, in some instances, no brand at all. So the processes, levels of implication of the companies representatives, and various other aspects depend on the company we work for.
What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
The relation between company and designers, regardless of whether we talk about in house designers or agencies, should be seamless. Companies should find the most suitable design team for the particularities of the brands they represent and create a strong relationship with this team because, in most situations, the outcome of the design projects is strongly influenced by this professional relationship. As in every other professional relationship, mutual respect is essential for the success of the project. The company and its design team should perfectly match for ensuring the success of the design projects, therefore a thorough initial research regarding portfolios, design styles and various other factors being mandatory before starting a collaboration.
Can you talk a little about your design process?
It depends on the particularities of each project. Firstly, in each and every instance, I try to understand the characteristics of the company and of the brand as thoroughly as I can and explore the best ways in which my design can accomplish its purpose. After a complete research process I start conceptualizing the direction in which the design will evolve. After putting together all of the necessary data I need to go forward with the design process, I enter a trial and error stage that lasts until I am completely satisfied with the final result.
What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
I am at a moment in my life where I invest all of my resources into developing myself and my business. Therefore I can admire design items at home only by browsing the internet and adding them to my wish list. For the moment I can only list some of my favorite design oriented brands - Bang & Olufsen, Eames, Antonio Citterio, Poltrona Frau, Buster and Punch and the list can continue.
Can you describe a day in your life?
I wake up at 7 o'clock. I run or cycle from home to the office. I drink my coffee and as I listen to the news. I start the daily briefing with my team and somewhere around 10 o'clock we start working at our ongoing projects. We finish our working hours at 6 PM. I then head home and try, unsuccessfully, to put aside until next morning all the tasks I have to accomplish at work. Basically, my body is at home, but my mind is constantly blocked at work.
Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
I am still a young designer but I've learned a lot of things since I started working in graphic design 5 years ago. Become a graphic designer only if you are truly passionate about design. Thrive for creating sensational designs. Try even to reach perfection, but "Don't fear perfection - you will never reach it" - Salvador Dali. There are going to be a lot of moments when you will be down, both physically and emotionally. Don't let that moments cancel your drive or make you forget about your goals. Be critic about your work. And dream! A lot!
From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
I can only talk from my perspective and be aware that I am in love with what I do. Starting with the positives, I can say that the only way you can design is with passion. That implies that you are always doing what you love and that you can transform every ordinary project into an extraordinary one. By designing you can improve lives, help companies grow and improve the context you live in and that is very rewording. Your work will get appreciated and that will have a great impact upon your professional live and upon your drive. Talking about negative sides I can only say that sometimes you will not be able to deliver good design in concordance with your client's deadlines, you can get mocked a lot by individuals that pretend being experts in design and, in some instances, you can easily lose focus and lose your creativity due to numerous external factors, for an unknown period of time in which, in order to deliver your projects, you need to continue designing and struggle to find your last creative resources.
What is your "golden rule" in design?
"The details are not the details. They make the design." - Charles Eames
What skills are most important for a designer?
There are three skills that I appreciate the most in a creative person. It's not the proficiency in using design software, level of education or social status that I am interested in. The three skills that make the difference are: passion, good taste (a very abstract skill that I don't know if I am able to explain) and the ability of observing, judging and being critic about design in different contexts.
Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
The toolbox I use can be compared with Hermione's purse. I constantly discover new tools and sources of inspiration and add them to my inventory. Talking about creation tools, the most important software that I use is provided by Adobe, from Photoshop to Illustrator and InDesign. Regarding sources of inspiration there are two categories. Firstly, the world wide web, where Behance, Dribble and Pinterest have a crucial role in my research and inspiration processes and, secondly, the collection of stationary materials, collaterals, books and samples I have been developing for over 5 years.
Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
Managing my time is probably one of the most difficult tasks I have to deal with. Due to my position in the agency, Creative Director and Managing Partner, I cannot be focused 100% on the design area as I must occasionally be available for client meetings. And as we all know that creativity and inspiration are not available in each and every second of a designer's life, I often deal with moments in which I am not able to design at all and moments when I get up in the middle of the night and start working. To prevent avoiding delays regarding deadlines I always take into consideration a five day delay due to unexpected factors.
How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
It depends on the complexity of the project. It can last between a few days to a few months and, in some instances, one year or more.
What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
On a funny note, the most frequent questions that I hear are "Can you make the logo bigger?" and "Why is your process taking so much time? I know a guy who can do this in one hour!". On a more serious note there are two questions that arise in each and every meeting: "What drove you into entering the graphic design industry?". My reply to that answer is brief - passion.
What was your most important job experience?
My most important job experience was represented by our collaboration with Viarom, the Romanian subsidiary of the French construction group Eurovia-Vinci. Their critic feedback and their attention to detail changed our perspective upon quality and had a great influence upon our attention to detail and level of professionalism.
Who are some of your clients?
We worked with numerous local and international companies from various industries such as Fashion and Accessories, FMCG, Automotive, IT, Construction, Manufacturing, Medical and Pharmaceutical and others. Some examples of our clients are: Alu Menziken, Stanley, BlackCab, Kenwood, Netop, Alphega, Bayer, Farmexpert, Minifarm, Braiconf, Marsay, Cavaliere, Zenonni Su Misura, Viarom-Eurovia-Vinci etc.
What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
Branding and graphic design - these are my main areas of expertise, the areas of design I'm good at, and they bring me the highest amount of satisfaction upon completion.
What are your future plans? What is next for you?
At the moment we are in the process of scaling up and our goal is to become one of the important players in the Romanian design community.
Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
We design as a team. Every project is divided into multiple milestones (for example: research, strategy, concept and design), milestones that are assigned to different members of the development team. Each and every task is discussed with the entire team and after multiple feedback sessions the project comes to a final form.
Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
We are currently working at two very interesting projects with great potential - Braiconf and Lara Sweets. Braiconf is a famous Romanian shirt manufacturer established in 1950 that produces shirts for some of the biggest international brands. In 2020 they turn 70 and that year will be celebrated with a total rebranding and various awareness campaigns and events. Lara Sweets is a new bakery based in Bucharest
How can people contact you?
Everyone is invited to discover more about us using the following contact details: Phone: +40 (724) 74 33 39 - E-Mail: office@enhance-studios.com - Address: Str. Dr. Victor Poloni, Nr. 22, Sector 5, Bucuresti, Romania

Extended Interview with Serban Iliescu

Could you please tell us about your experience as a designer, artist, architect or creator?
I've been dreaming to pursue a creative professional life since I was 12 years old and visited Italy with my parents. That was the moment I first discovered the world of art, design and architecture, starting to observe the world in a whole new perspective. From that moment I started developing my creative skills and, during my high school years, besides my 3-year preparatory architecture course, I've attended numerous scientific, design and art contests such as NASA Design Competitions, Design Oriented Biology Olympiads and Photographic Competitions. In these years I've developed my design skills and strengthened my faith that Architecture was the best field of study I can chose for studying at university. In my third year of study at UAUIM Bucharest, after a widely appreciated project that included the branding of a jazz event, I decided to work as a freelancer in design. I started working for two men fashion stores and, after one year, my services started being requested by various companies I have been recommended to by my initial clients. That was the moment when I approached two of my friends that also activated in the creative industry and peached the possibility of opening our own agency. 2015 was the year we launched Enhance and since that moment we successfully worked with over 30 clients and delivered more than 100 creative projects.
How did you become a designer?
I became a designer because I've always wanted to bring beauty into the world. I have been appreciating design since I was just a child and I always wanted to be in the position of making people smile and improving their lives throughout my work. I think that my biggest motivation is to see my designs achieve their purpose and be successfully implemented by the companies I work with. The feeling I get when see my designs performing in real life is really special and the appreciation I get from the people I work with drives me to evolve and create new, better designs that can make a difference and inspire people.
What are your priorities, technique and style when designing?
No one ever forced me to pursue activities that I did not love. I've always found my own path and becoming a designer has been, since I was a child, my dream. When I was 12 years old I visited Italy with my parents and I was presented, for the first time, to the world of art, design and architecture. That moment was very important in my professional development as I started seeing the world in a whole new perspective.
Which emotions do you feel when designing?
Nearly all of my projects involve branding and graphic design. Over the last four years I was contracted for a big number of brand development projects and therefore discovered the area of design that brings me the biggest amount of satisfaction upon completion. I would like to take my branding projects further by also creating the architectural and interior design projects for the brands we represent.
What particular aspects of your background shaped you as a designer?
I'm not a design legend but I dream of becoming one. Young designers should persevere, be ambitions, aim higher than the sky and dream...a lot. There will be a lot of ups and downs along the way but if you stay focused and concentrate on your goals you will definitely become a great designer and maybe, someday, a legend.
What is your growth path? What are your future plans? What is your dream design project?
A great designer pushes the limits and struggles to deliver memorable content regardless of the project he is involved in. A great designer leaves a personal touch in each and every design and dreams of taking his designs to a certain level where it can as well be considered art. A great designer's work is eternal. Becoming a great designer involves a lot of hard work and perseverance that I am willing to invest all of my resources into deserving that title.
What are your advices to designers who are at the beginning of their career?
There are a lot of factors that make the difference between a good design and an extraordinary one. This evaluation can sometimes be purely subjective, but there are a series of key elements that make a design extraordinary that cannot be overlooked: the attention to detail, the uniqueness and the ability of achieving it's purpose while making people smile.
You are truly successful as a designer, what do you suggest to fellow designers, artists and architects?
Good design is a very powerful tool that is essential for the success of every project. Regardless of industry design plays an important role in the final outcome of each and every developed product or service and is, most of the time, the most important factor in the customer decision making process. Therefore, good design is a highly valuable asset in which everyone should invest in order to ensure a successful outcome for their projects.
What is your day to day look like?
There are a lot of projects that I would start if I had more time. They are mainly targeted for the community I live in and for the young designers and artists of Romania, for my family and for me. Some of the projects are already planned and on hold until I find the time and funding to properly set them in motion. Talking about some of the most ambitious projects that I have in mind, i can say that one includes rehabilitating an abandoned historical building and creating a creative hub for designers and artists and another one is about launching an international architecture competition with the purpose of developing certain spaces of the cities of Romania. I would also like to properly enhance my current portfolio with high quality presentations and design for my family and bring my contribution to the proper development of their companies.
How do you keep up with latest design trends? To what extent do design trends matter?
I've always dreamt of designing for a prestigious international fashion designer and I hope that one day that dream will come true.
How do you know if a product or project is well designed? How do you define good design?
"The details are not the details. They make the design." Based on this quote by famous architect Charles Eames, the attention do detail is my secret ingredient, being, in my opinion, one of the most important design tools that can make the difference between a good design and a great design.
How do you decide if your design is ready?
Charles Eames, Mies van der Rohe, Jonathan Ive, Gorden Wagener, Massimo Vignelli, Chris Do, Sebastian Padilla, Nigel Bates, Mihai Popescu, and many others.
What is your biggest design work?
I don't have a favorite design. There are a lot of different extraordinary designs that inspire me and drive me to become a better designer. I can somehow narrow my answer to the portfolios of Anagrama, VizLine, TwinsStudio and the amazing works designers all around the world make for Nike.
Who is your favourite designer?
Unfortunately I cannot make an objective ranking of my projects but I can definitely list some of my favourite brands created by Enhance: Marina Pufleanu, Cuvierr, Maison d'Or, Cavaliere and Axel Group.
Would you tell us a bit about your lifestyle and culture?
In my opinion passion, ambition, open mindedness, auto-criticism, and constant research are the essential tools and characteristics every designer with high goals should posses. From the moment I've started working in this domain I started viewing the world in detail and learn from every interesting thing I observe. Every designer with high aspirations should constantly explore new personal design styles, search for high quality projects and learn from them and from the designers who created them.
Would you tell us more about your work culture and business philosophy?
I honestly don't know. I would have either pursued my field of study (Architecture) or Entrepreneurship.
What are your philanthropic contributions to society as a designer, artist and architect?
Design is the fusion between aesthetics and functionality. One cannot work without another in each and every type of design. Design is about people and about improving their lives, both physically and emotionally.
What positive experiences you had when you attend the A’ Design Award?
My girlfriend, Patricia, is the one that constantly motivates me and drives me to becoming a great designer and professional. Without her I would probably not be where I am at the moment. Ionut, my associate, and Delia his girlfriend are also some of my key supporters and key player in both my professional development and the development of our agency. Last but not least, our families supported us all along the way and constantly inspired us to become the people that we are today and for that we will always be grateful.

Stay Updated with Latest Design News

By clicking Sign-Up, you are opting to receive promotional emails from A' Design Awards, World Design Rankings, World Design Consortium and Designers.Org You can update your preferences or unsubscribe any time.

You are now at the right step

Join Designers.org & Start Promoting Your Design Worldwide.

Create an Account