12 Questions: Meet Tin Bacic (Croatia)

In our 12 Questions blog series, we feature interviews with someone from the crowdSPRING community. For these interviews, we pick people who add value to our community – in the blog, in the forums, in the projects. Plainly – activities that make crowdSPRING a better community. Be professional, treat others with respect, help us build something very special, and we’ll take notice.

We’re very proud to feature Tin Bacic (crowdSPRING username: TinBacicDesign) today. Tin lives and works in Zagreb, Croatia.

1. Please tell us about yourself.

My name is Tin Bacic. I was born in a small country called Croatia, somewhere between central and southeastern Europe, with a 5.800 km long beautiful coast and 1.246 islands. I’m currently living and working in its capital Zagreb. I guess some of you, like many others, have never heard of my country and therefore as a designer I´m trying my best to promote it here on crowdSPRING. As to my work, I have been employed as a full time graphic designer for about 5 years now and my expertise includes brand identity, illustrated logos and print design. Presently I am building up my skills on a daily basis, occasionally gathering some projects from freelance sites. I got fascinated with design back in high school, and this passion continues as I learn more, but more on that topic later on.

2. How did you become interested in design?

Even at my early age, I was always drawing something, anywhere and anytime, each day at home or even school. I always managed to find a little free space for some of my original ?piece of art?…so that after so much drawing and painting through primary school, it was only logical for me to enroll in the Secondary School of Fine Arts and Design, Department of Painting. Although my first choice was the Department of Graphic Design, I didn’t manage to get in.  Right about that time when I was around fifteen, me and my brothers got our first computer. At first I was mostly just playing games, but after a while I began to study and work on some design programs such as Adobe Photoshop and Macromedia Freehand. So eventually, as I had designed beginner logos, covers, etc. , I was more and more fond of it, even more than of drawing which, at that time, I liked the most. I think that that was the period when the turning point occurred, namely the time when I decided to be more focused on graphic design rather than drawing and painting, which is still proving to be the right move. At least I think so.

3. Which of your designs are your favorites and why?

Each of my designs is special to me in its own way. But for certain, one of my favorites, the one I work with pleasure, is “A Tribute to Flor Kilah. It’s a hip-hop and breakdance festival which is held in early October every year in honor of the former best Croatian breakdancer who, unfortunately so, died in a car accident 5 years ago. I am honored to design everything for his festival, because that man was simply the best, not only as a dancer but also as a person. As for the crowdSPRING logos…I can say that “StoryChasers” was the funniest one I’ve had privilege to design lately. Maybe it’s because of those skinny legs or the satirical picture of a microphone as a journalist who yearns for a new juicy story. I might also like to single out another logo that I recently designed, called “Bold Thinking”, for one and only reason – the logo is actually a graffito and as a teenager I was always observing graffiti but never actually drew them (in my whole life I have only made around five  sketches). So, I am very pleased with the logo/graffito, because in the end it turned out great.

4. Who/what are some of the biggest influences on your design work?

I cannot actually point out what influences my design work. To be perfectly honest, it encompasses whatever touches, my daily life: from the design of the label on the pâté while having breakfast, being thus in touch with designers from all over the world, all the way to logotypes of the night clubs I drop by for a drink. Therefore the whole designer world has an impact on my future work, offering new inspirations and ideas, which is, I believe, a true of any designer. I myself keep my standards very high, sometimes perhaps too high, so that for me there is no golden mean. The design is either inadequate (in case of short dead-lines), or brought to perfection. In that view I am kind of a perfectionist who, where design is concerned, does have some advantages and disadvantages, but let us not open up that topic. To conclude with, in my view the influence of our surroundings is inevitable and by all means fruitful, because fresh ideas are being born in the minds of designers minute after minute, which is good and useful for the work we deal with.

5. How do you come up with ideas for concepts after you read a buyer’s creative brief?

First of all, the brief must be of high quality and as accurate as possible. If so, the client will eventually get a better design. Secondly, I think the only right way is that everything should remain as you imagine it in the beginning, meaning that you believe in your own creativity and capabilities. For instance, when I read the brief, first I think (sometimes slightly, sometimes a lot) about what design would be the most appropriate for the client. Then I make sketches until I come to a satisfied primary design. In the end comes the embellishment, finishing operations, and delivering for approval. It often happens that I outline the logo in my head and don’t even read the entire brief to the end (which is great). Then it only needs transferring from my mind to the computer which can sometimes be tricky because when you imagine something in your head and it looks perfect, on the computer might not turn out quite right.

6. Mac or PC?

Since starting secondary school I have worked on the PC only and that “love” has persevered up to now. But now that I have moved to a new company where all designers have Mac’s, I myself have to adapt to them. At home I’ll have my good old PC, and a Mac at work, so that it’s going to be very interesting to switch all the time. As regards to software programs, I use the most classical ones as all designers on the planet do. I mostly use Adobe Illustrator, where I do everything, from logos to billboards. When doing flyers, covers, posters I mainly use Photoshop and even while retouching (which, for me, is not joy-rewarding), so that I use these two programs most of the time and I really don’t need any other. Sometimes I use Indesign for some brochures, leaflets or booklets, but it is very rare because these jobs are not exactly my expertise. So if I don’t have to, I don’t really accept them. At least not in my spare time. But my older brother does know how to handle those brochures and booklets, especially big ones and he’s great at it. With CorelDraw I have never been on a friendly level. Once I’d turned it on and realized that all commands were different from Adobe’s, so very soon I switched it off and returned to Adobe applications. Since then I have not used it anymore, unless I have to open some Corel files just to save it as files that can be opened in Adobe programs.  I must say that I have never worked on web applications such as Flash, Dreamweaver, etc …They are all unknown to me, but only for now.

7. What is your dream design project?

Asked right now, my dream design project would be following a great football (soccer) competition, such as the FIFA World Cup (for example in Croatia), the UEFA European Championship or perhaps the greatest football club competition in Europe called UEFA Champions League. At this moment that would be a great pleasure and honor to design it because, as you can see, I am a big football fan (not so big that I would have posters hanging out in my room, but pretty big). However, if asked the same question a few months later, the answer would probably be different. So it’s difficult to decide which project would be the “dream design project”. If you really look at it, each project is special in its own way, whether small or large. They all have their own quality and value.

8. How do you promote your work?

Basically I promote my work at the freelance sites and on their portfolios, the example of which is being here on crowdSPRING. So, for me it is rather helpful in finding new jobs. Currently I’m working on my online design portfolio that will come out soon, so I hope to gain some new projects in that way. Here, in my hometown, I have designed for many people and companies recommended by others. That way I get enough work, sometimes even too much, so that, to my regret, I cannot accept it all.

9. Please describe your typical work day.

My typical work day would look something like this… So, I get up in the morning somewhere at 8 am with a swollen face and funny hairdo.  I brush my teeth and put on some decent clothes for my trip to work. Around 9 am I arrive at my office where I sharpen and improve my skills all the way till 5 pm when I’m done with a sometimes grueling work day and start for home. As soon as I get there I have some quick snack for my brain to work and then I usually sit down to watch some TV just to rest a bit. After some time off in my uncomfortable couch I throw myself to my computer to check my e-mails, see some news, etc. Then I begin to design for some freelance sites (mostly crowdSPRING ) until the early morning hours when I throw myself to bed cheering the very same tomorrow’s work day because it’s a job that relaxes me the most. Have I mentioned what I do?! If I haven’t… ,  Well, I work as a full-time graphic designer at the best graphic-design company in the whole country.

10. In your opinion what is the meaning of creativity?

Creativity is the starting point of any human activity, sometimes being its hardest part. A good idea is what differentiates us, pushes us forward, what makes us special in a way.  However, we might sometimes feel the lack inspirations and new ideas, but they are regained in no time. Creativity is the result of practice aiming at catching the big picture of any situation. Consequently, a creative person approaches a task with the attitude that there is always a better, more effective way to fulfilling it.

11. If you weren’t designing, what would you be doing?

As mentioned earlier I finished School of Fine Arts and Design, Department of Painting so that painting might have been my choice-though, looking back, I doubt it because in Croatia you cannot live just on painting. So I made a smart move to have chosen graphic design. Another option would have been my childhood dream, being a football player in some world class club. I still play the game which proves I love this sport very much. As a kid I went to training and practiced for only 2-3 days, but when I saw the frivolity of my teammates, that was it for me, being, in fact, my failure in a professional football  player career .Whatever I might be doing if I weren’t designing would not make me so happy as I am right now. Because I love it and I’m enjoying it.

12. What do you do with your free time?

In my free time I do a lot of interesting things, from some long spans of sleep to designing at freelance websites (mostly crowdSPRING). I am a big fan of the Milan football club Inter, so I love to watch their matches over the weekends. Going to the movies, some night clubs or quality concerts relax me, too. I especially like Sunday evenings when we play football here in the neighborhood under the floodlights on the artificial grass. It makes me relaxed and satisfied (of course, if my team wins).


Hvala, Tin!