Kenarköse Creative

Professional in Graphic Design.

About Kenarköse Creative

  • 2-Time Winner of Graphic Design Award.
  • Specialized in Graphic Design.
  • 2 Featured Original Designs.
  • Highly Creative, Diligent and Innovative.
  • All Designs
  • Graphic
ODTU Sanat 20 Visual Identity Design

ODTU Sanat 20 Visual Identity Design

Graphic Design

Tualcom Logo and Brand Identity

Tualcom Logo and Brand Identity

Graphic Design


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Interview with Kenarköse Creative

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?
Kenarköşe Creative has a slightly different background as a creative agency. It is founded by two architects, who are passionate about design. Now our team consists of three architects and a product designer and we all graduated from the same school. Having similar design educations give us the chance to communicate better in design jobs. Becoming a designer wasn’t a childhood dream for any of us but the urge to create was always there. After digging the past a little, we found out that the founders actually wanted to become architects since they were kids.
Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
Kenarköşe is a multidisciplinary creative studio that aims to find inclusive and effective design solutions in different scales. Works of Kenarköşe synthesize strategic thinking with the creative vision in different fields such as graphics and identity, architecture and interior design, exhibition, digital media, websites, and product design.
What is "design" for you?
Design is many things but if we have to choose one, design is the visualization of the combination of different emotions you feel at the same time, mostly positive ones.
What kinds of works do you like designing most?
We like to work on projects where we can design brand identity and space identity together.
What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
It is hard to choose but our favorites so far are the two projects we submitted to A Design Award: Tualcom Logo and Brand Identity and ODTÜ Sanat 20. Both were very challenging projects and we are very proud of the final products.
What was the first thing you designed for a company?
We built a visual identity for ODTÜ Sanat 16, an annually held art and culture festival by the university that all of us graduated from, Middle East Technical University. The festival is centered around an exhibition under the established theme of the year and is supported by various cultural events like concerts, theatres that last about a month.
Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
Building a strong foundation is very important to achieve a good design. In order to achieve that we focus on defining the context of the project: for which company we are designing, what is the field, who is the target, what is the problem our client is facing. This context shapes our design and makes it unique.
What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
There is always excitement while creating something new. But also, tension, cause each person in the office is so critical. This is an important step in our design process because we criticize the designs very intensely before doing a presentation to the client.
What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
Excited and emotional! Especially directly seeing the final products like prints or interior it gives us so much joy.
How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
Thanks to technological innovations, we can access to a wide range of design work. Also, designers can exchange ideas through online platforms. This makes the design field interactive and international. In addition to that, the rising technologies such as VR and AI expands our horizon in the ways we can’t even imagine before. Shortly, it is accelerating so fast and we need to speed up to catch it.
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?
We don’t like limiting ourselves with a significant style. Our approach in our projects is to use a minimum number of elements to describe the most. This approach helps us achieve a timeless design piece.
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?
Kenarköşe is located in Ankara, Turkey. We feel the formal soul of the Capital has adverse side effects on us as a creative agency. As designers, we need to free our minds to achieve our most creative version. Unfortunately, the city doesn’t seek for the “most creative”. That’s why we always have to push our limits to achieve the most. The cultural heritage of Turkey is very layered with lots of civilizations lived in this land. Even though we don’t do traditional designs, it affects the way we think and see things.
What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
Companies have to express themselves and their needs clearly to designers, this is the most important step. Additionally, they have to accept the fact that to achieve a good and practical design company/client has to be willing to work with the designer in terms of expressing their critics clearly instead of simply saying “no”.
Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
We are still young and in the process of improving ourselves. But one thing we learned is improving sales and marketing skills are as important as your design skills. If you can’t convince the client about the quality and uniqueness of your design, shortly if you can’t sell your design, it can’t achieve its final goal.
What skills are most important for a designer?
Communication, persuasiveness, being a good observer and a researcher.
Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
Deadlines are essential for the time management of a designer. It makes you think faster and more effectively. There is always a better idea, so knowing when to stop is important. We divide our time into pieces. Understanding the client and developing a context is the first part. Research and developing the idea is the second part. And combining these two into a design is the last part. Doing this planning, we try to create ourselves some “me times” to not to get lost in time.
What was your most important job experience?
The most important project we did is the design works of the last four ODTÜsanat festivals. It is the art festival of the school we graduated from, Middle East Technical University and it is an important arts and culture activity for Ankara.
Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
We design individually but develop it as a team. The ideas of everyone in the design team is very important to shape the design. So the final product belongs to the team.
Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
Actually we have a very exciting product design project going on right now but we are not allowed to talk iabout its details yet.

Extended Interview with Kenarköse Creative

Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?
We are going to reply to the questions as Merve Okçu and Gizem Akdağ. We both graduated from the architecture department at Middle East Technical University. We had built a very strong foundation on design in the school years. Our first steps starting the design journey are separate but then we found out we work well together in our last semester in METU(2015), in an elective course we took together. The course was about digital jewelry design. And less than one year after graduation we started designing brooches inspired by architecture and daily life.
What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?
We mostly work on graphic design and brand identity, architecture and interior design, exhibition design, digital media, websites, and product design. We wish to work on more projects where we can design brand identity and space identity together. We are composing an integrated brand identity that is visible in every detail from printed media to digital media. We wish to reflect these to spatial design too and create an exclusive brand identity for brands.
What is your secret recipe of success in design, what is your secret ingredient?
Our secret ingredient is creating a design environment with free and honest communication.
Who are some other design masters and legends you get inspired from?
Walter Gropius, İhap Hulusi Görey, Paul Rand, Paula Scher, Renzo Piano, Peter Zumthor, Aldo Rossi, Mies van der Rohe
What are your favorite designs by other designers, why do you like them?
Ziraat Bank logo of İhap Hulusi Görey and Citi Bank logo of Paula Scher. Both logos express so much about the brands. Also, the La Cupola Moka Pot Aldo Rossi designed for Alessi and the famous Barcelona Chair of Mies van der Rohe because they are designer architects like us and those designs showed us there is a huge design world for us in addition to architecture.
What is your greatest design, which aspects of that design makes you think it is great?
It is hard to choose but our favorites so far are the two projects we submitted to A Design Award: Tualcom Logo and Brand Identity and ODTÜ Sanat 20. Both were very challenging in their own individual way. We directed the requirements of the clients in designs carefully. This meticulous work led us to a good final product.
How could people improve themselves to be better designers, what did you do?
We worked really hard, researched so much and criticized each other unmercifully but respectfully.
How do you define design, what is design for you?
Design is many things but if we have to choose one, the design is the visualization of the combination of different emotions you feel at the same time.
What helped you to become a great designer?
Endless and limitless design critics since the first day of architecture school. It forced us to be better in every project.
What were the obstacles you faced before becoming a design master?
The biggest obstacle was the lack of self-confidence and the lack of persuasive skills it brings.
How do you think designers should present their work?
A very detailed presentation explaining both the design stages and the product. with a huge confidence
Which design projects gave you the most satisfaction, why?
ODTÜsanat because it is the art festival of the school we graduated from and the city we all grew up in. So, contributing to ODTÜsanat represents a lot of things therefore it’s the most satisfying project we have.
What would you like to see changed in design industry in the coming years?
Designers supporting each other more. Especially female designers.
Where do you think the design field is headed next?
Thanks to technological innovations, we can access to a wide range of design work. Also, designers can exchange ideas through online platforms. This makes the design field interactive and international. In addition to that, the rising technologies such as VR and AI expands our horizon in the ways we can’t even imagine before. Shortly, it is accelerating so fast and we need to speed up to catch it.
How long does it take you to finalize a design project?
It is up to the client and the details of the project, but our aim is to finish in three months.
When you have a new design project, where do you start?
We start with defining the context of the project: for which company we are designing, what is the field, who is the target.
What is the role of technology when you design?
We design digitally so technology and technological improvements have a big role in our design process.
What is the role of the color, materials and ambient in design?
They stimulate the senses such as with different materials tactile sense arouses.
When you see a new great design or product what comes into your mind?
We fall in love immediately. Then we do a little criticizing how to improve it to an even greater design.
Who is your ideal design partner? Do you believe in co-design?
We are co-designing for more than 5 years together. So, we became the ideal design partner of each other.
Irrelative of time and space, who you would want to meet, talk and discuss with?
Gizem: Zaha Hadid to talk about being a female in a male-dominated field and how being decisive affects your path to success. Merve: Frida Kahlo to talk about how to be and stay creative in hard situations.
What is your favorite color, place, food, season, thing and brand?
Merve: Black, Berlin, Mantı, Spring, Shoes, The Ordinary Gizem: Blue, Barcelona, Pasta, Spring, Pen, COS
Please tell us a little memoir, a funny thing you had experienced as a designer?
There are many funny stuff that happened but one time we were in a meeting and we were discussing the brands with strong brand identities. Our client was obsessed with McDonalds' brand identity and talked about it for hours. At some point, Big Mac was all that we could think about. Naturally, our first stop was the nearest McDonald's after the meeting :D
What makes your day great as a designer, how do you motivate yourself?
Gizem: Checking on inspirational things and dressing up Merve: Doing a workout and planning the day
When you were a little child, was it obvious that you would become a great designer?
Gizem: My mother was sure that I was going to be an architect from my passion for drawing Merve: Everybody told me that I should be an architect because of my lego skills

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