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Web and industrial design – we speak one language!

We present to you the interview we took from our long-time friend and client Miroslav Dimitrov. He is a car designer and he has so far worked for the companies Ferrari, Lotus, Aston Martin etc. He changes his job frequently, he always finds his days exciting and generally he is a very interesting company we can speak with till the morning. Miro hasn’t worked in Bulgaria for years now but he trusted us once again for his latest project – his personal blog. You can see what we did for him a few years ago – Flash website development for the car designer Miroslav Dimitrov and first read our friendly interview with him. We think it is very curious. Have a nice reading!

Q: Three years ago you used to work for Ferrari, in 2010 you started to work at Lotus and now you are at Aston Martin. How does it feel to be a part of these car icons?

A: Yes, it’s true, time flies. My recent shift to Aston Martin did surprise me. When I was at Ferrari, I had a project I had to put into production (the interior of the 599′s successor) and they wanted to have me at all costs. I had to choose Ferrari or Lotus. In Maranello I was fortunate to work on cars as Ferrari 458, Ferrari 599XX, the successor of Ferrari 599 etc. But the Lotus proposal to make 5 concepts for 10 months was very tempting and ambitious. None of the car makers has made such thing until now and to me being part of this historical moment of the company was an honour and responsibility. We worked an average of 13-14 hours a day, sometimes even more! The presented 5 cars at the expo in Paris last year caused huge excitement and now these 5 concepts have to be put into production, but Lotus is a small company and hasn’t got resource to do it simultaneously. That’s why first will be the new Esprit whose design was recently completed with plenty of my help. Later I went to Aston Martin where there’s lots of work and we are pretty busy. My experience with sports cars from Lotus, Ferrari and other private projects I’ve made turned to be very important because there was no hesitation and I was offered a job immediately.

Q: Tell us something more about the atmosphere at Aston Martin?

A: Aston’s studio is newer than Lotus‘ one and in terms of  building and conditions it is better. The team consists of the same number of people – around 65, 10 of whom are designers. The work atmosphere is stricter than at Lotus and the colleagues are not that friendly. Fortunately though, with some of them I have worked at Lotus and I managed to return the cheerful mood during the work process. If I have to be honest, of all design studios I’ve been until now (6) the atmosphere was the best at Lotus. When they learned I quit, 26 colleagues and friends gathered for a treat at a pizzeria and then we continued the night at the bars in Norwich.

Q: You have a very dynamic and stormy career. Maybe you will surprise us again in a year that you are no longer in your old workplace. You like the change, you don’t find exactly what you are looking for in the companies you have so far worked in or there is another reason for which you change often your jobs?

A: As a designer with an excellent creativity I always look for an opportunity to express myself. Realizing this I need new projects to work on and I put everything in them. To a great extent the changes we are talking about have been dictated by the opportunity emerging before me – the new challenge! It is the driving force. Of course, sometimes you must stick for a longer time on one place to complete what you have started, but there are always other factors involved which sometimes have great influence on your decisions.

Q: What are you working on now?

A: You know I can’t tell what I’m working on at the moment. We keep everything a secret, if you share what you are working on, the competition in the branch will instantly add 2+2 and will become aware of what your company is preparing. I can only say it is a sports car with 2 seats :)

Q: You have learnt in Bulgaria and England, you have worked in Italy, now you are in England again with Aston Martin. What will be the next destination?

A: Unfortunately or not, it is very hard in our industry to find one working place where nice and exciting projects continue for long. This depends on the nature of the projects and the company management which sometimes change drastically. No matter how much I like the environment when I see I cannot receive what I need I have to look for a new challenge. Currently, work is a priority and it depends on work what the next destination will be. So while I’m satisfied with the projects, environment and my position in a stidio, I’d stick to it. Probably I will be in Germany soon where I will be part of an interesting project.

Q: How often do you come back in Bulgaria? Don’t you miss your friends, family?

A: I rarely come back here, sometimes even a year or more pass. I don’t miss anything from Bulgaria, the only thing I come back for are my friends and the relatives you mentioned. By living in different places and facing constantly new cultures I realized that the nationality, the borders and the artificially planted differences are things rooted by our predecessors. Without someone asking whether we like it, after being born we have some ‘nationality’ and we don’t have any choice – something we have to stick to and something that burdens us. However now I see myself as a cosmopolite and I don’t feel nostalgy for the place I was born in.

Q: Why did you choose us before the other web designers?

A: Before choosing you I made a survey of companies dealing with web design in Bulgaria. I saw your previous projects which I liked a lot. The combination between professionalism and a very good design combined with functionality was what made me contact you. As a man dealing with design it took me only 2 minutes to decide you are the people who I want to make my site.

Q: Do you like working with RIZN?

A: Working with you was easy. I had the clear idea what I want and you understood it very well. We started working on the site’s structure and functionality with Georgi right from the beginning, the design was created in parallel. The communication was easy as we spoke one language and when you work with professionals in your circles things go smoothly. Last, but not least I like your small, but united team. I would like my bosses like yours to buy us Playstation 3 to have fun in the design studio! I hope you liked working with me too :)

Q: How did the site we created for you helped you in a professional plan?

A: I aimed with this site to have a representative place on the web space. Or in other words – I needed a stylish and clean digital portfolio that gathers on one place a selection of my works. Very few people in our branch dare to show their creative ideas in front of the world. Often they hide them fearing that someone will copy them. In one case no one knows about you all your life and in the second case if someone wants to copy you, there’s always a way. This is why sites like mine are very few and I daresay there’s no other car designer with so cool website! To me it is a way to show on professional level part of my work and it is my business card in front of the world!

Q:As a designer to designers – do you like the web designs and logos we create? Be honest :)

A: Yes, I like them! I like them a lot. As I mentioned earlier the ideas and creativity you have were one of the key elements which made me choose you before the others. This is seen in the logos, corporate identity and sites you create.

Q: Design or function, this is an old dispute. What do you think about this question which includes all fields of the design no matter if we speak about web sites, logos or automobiles?

A: No matter what the end product is, the design’s task is to help and even improve its function! The design also has to present/sell in a unique way one product, but we shouldn’t forget that the client has to interact with it. The functionality or other main parameters of the given product we are talking about should never be at expense of its design or image. My experience as a designer allows me to say that the good image of a product is pointless if it doesn’t match with good functionality and efficiency. The design has the important task to combine all the functions and requirements (the so called product assignments) and present them in a way that every time the client takes pleasure when working or interacting with the ‘product’. The successful design is just like the successful management of a given problem. No wonder the genius of some products whose design we admire every day lies in the fact how simple they are. Subject completely to their function. And we call it design :)

If I have to go back to the topic with websites, when we started working on my site, I was pleasantly suprised to see that you put function and navigation around the site before design, the proportion was 70/30. Why would I need a website that looks good but it is headache working with it. Of course the image was on a very high level too but that comes next and it is dictated by the previous two factors I mentioned. Exactly at that time your experience in developing well-operating sites with unique image was seen.
My advice is keep it that way!

RIZN: Thank you once again for your time! We will be glad if you keep us in touch with the things happening around you. When you come by – give us a call :)

Miro: I thank you too, it was pleasure for me! Greetings to the whole team and see you, I hope you still have some sweet things for eating at the office:)



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