‘Being subtle is not very productive’: a talk with our talented designer Sasha Hrgic

Here’s a riddle for you: what’s loud, lively, and never gets her head out of the free candy box at the office?

Our Senior Graphic and Web Designer, Sasha Hrgic, of course.

Sasha has been working for Content Insights for a full year now and her career path has been pretty exciting. As she puts it, it was a combination of fate, hard work, and timing.

At one important crossing in everyone’s life – the moment you choose your high school – Sasha found her life calling by falling to the bottom.

And we mean literally.

She slipped on a flyer and fell to the ground.

The flyer promoted a local art high school, and she was instantly intrigued and followed her gut feeling. She decided not to go with her initial plan to attend a reputable gymnasium whose curriculum focused on languages and social sciences.

A fortunate stroke of serendipity for sure. Since that moment, Sasha spent a year of her schooling in the USA and successfully finished her higher education. After working independently, and for a few design and arch viz studios, she found her place in Content Insights. 

Today, we invite you to meet Sasha from up close. (But don’t come too close, though.)

What is it that you like the most about working in Content Insights?

The fact there is always food available. That’s honestly the most important thing for me. Also, I have the freedom to be my weird self. And that’s a lot of freedom. Having unlimited vacation days also doesn’t hurt. In addition, I can work remotely whenever I need to. I don’t hate Mondays, it feels great to be trusted and respected. The company’s employment policy is to really focus on finding people who are a cultural fit and who truly appreciate all the amazing benefits.

What else, hm… The office is pet-friendly so I get to bring my wiener-dog Punk if I want to. She loves it here. Also, working with my best friend is a nice touch.

What does your usual working day look like?

Usually, the first thing that I do is look at the content calendar and see if there are any upcoming articles that need visuals. Prepping in advance is a big part of my day. Of course, things can come up as the day goes by, and I might need to jump in and produce material for the conferences, different sales collaterals, presentations, etc.

We do have a schedule, but it’s also an ad-hoc type of job. You see, it’s not a design-oriented company so everything I do is in-house. I don’t work on projects for external clients and I have to accommodate my time properly to ensure visuals are right on track. There is always something to work on.

You work as a Senior Graphic and Web Designer in Content Insights. What are your specialities?

When it comes to expertise, I work in the field of graphic design, web design, brand identity, print design, packaging design, and 2D animation. The tools I use include Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, After Effects, Premier, Cinema 4D, Sketch, etc.

How would you describe the visual identity of Content Insights?

The brand is relaxed, but direct. It’s extremely illustrative, so it isn’t “idea-limiting”. If I want to put a bull on a toilet, I don’t need to hire a production team to do it or fill my stock photo search with questionable keywords. In the center of the brand identity, which goes beyond the visual, is the no-bullshit culture. I never have to censor myself, which is liberating.

I think at Content Insights, we have proven that adding some life and color, and shifting away from the more sterile, corporate tone – doesn’t mean your company is not serious and excellent at what it does; even in the B2B industry. This approach helps the brand stand out from the competition.

You are known as the loudest one in the office, the soul of any party. How do you see your place in the company and specifically – in your team?

Do you know that trash can in the corner in your office? Well, that’s me. A very filthy mouth, full of junk food containers. You always need one and are at a loss when there isn’t one. Jokes aside, I think being subtle is unproductive and it can kill the creative buzz in any office. When people get along and are open to one another, there’s no reason to be quiet or to restrain yourself in any way. Speaking your mind is always the way to go.

You tend to watch/listen to movies on one screen while doing your work magic on the other one, which might seem unusual to outsiders. What was the last thing you watched? 

The thing that I’m currently watching are the “Vikings”. For, like, the fifth time. I never play any songs in the background, music just doesn’t do it for me. But dialogue does. Because I’ve already seen the “Vikings”, the dialogue isn’t distracting and I already know what happens. I like to be inside of a story while I’m working, if that makes sense.

Can you tell us more about your creative process?

My creative process implies going backwards from the goal I want to achieve. So, the first thing I always do is analyze the goal of whatever it is I’m doing, and define who am I doing it for. Then, once I establish that, I go backwards: I deconstruct the result that I’ve already put together in my mind. I usually have a pretty clear picture of what I want to accomplish and it tends to crystallize itself fairly quickly in my mind. Of course, it all depends on how challenging the project is.

Which creative professionals or brands inspire you?  

Inspiration can come in many different forms. When it comes to creative brands, it is The Futur, by far. If you’re in the creative scene, you got to board the “Chris Do train”, the guy is amazing. 

I also follow the work of PewDiePie who is a YouTuber; so not a creative per se (at least not in the context we’re discussing), but he has succeeded by being himself, and I really respect that. Also, anything that has to do with South Park is both entertaining and inspiring.

Where do visual design and brand strategy intersect? Do you think companies realize the importance of having a healthy foundation to further build their business strategy on? 

Brand strategy is the foundation of building a healthy visual identity. When you think about it, all the visual stuff is consequential. You need to define a lot of elements and answer some pretty hard questions about what your brand is and how you plan on positioning it on the market, before you can get into the visual. Otherwise, it’s like putting a frosting before the cake. It just doesn’t work.

I work as a consultant and brand strategist outside of Content Insights. Shockingly, many companies don’t even know what strategy is. I have to do a lot of explaining to my clients and invest an effort in educating them before we get to the next phase. From my experience, everyone wants to jump to the part where visuals are made because that’s something tangible and people like pretty things, but strategy and a lot of brainstorming afore is mandatory. Once they realize the potential of what could be, they ask themselves – ‘damn, how did we even do it before’. This is especially true for companies that go through rebranding.

Anything you would like to add?

Yes, please. I would like to add a couple of burgers, fries on the side, maybe a chocolate-cherry cheesecake, some ice cream on top. Hand me some loose sweatpants, keep the lights off, and turn a marathon of Disney movies. And please don’t look at me.

* * * 

We thank Sasha for this conversation! May she continue bringing noise and art into Content Insights.

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