a kid a couple of crayons and some paper and look what happens.
From humble beginnings creating refrigerator art to manning
the helm of Bytehaus Studio, it's been a great ride for graphic
designer, Habib Bajrami.
Located in Mississauga/Toronto, Canada, Bytehaus Studio is
a full-service graphic design consultancy that specializes
in handling complex projects such as corporate identities,
branding, logotypes, corporate communications, web page creation,
advertising and annual reports.
Similar to renowned designer, Michael Vanderbyl, Habib originally
set his sights on a career in architecture. Both men decided
graphic design was where they really wanted to make a difference.
Frank Lloyd Wright, eat your heart out. You missed the boat.
Bits and bytes of building a design practice
In 1985, Habib caught the scent of Pantone markers, rubber
cement and likely nipped a few fingertips with his trusty
X-Acto while learning the ropes of the business. He began
working the agency route, but elected to hang out his own
shingle in 1997. "I was tired of having my vision and
concepts getting destroyed by Account Executives and ADs,"
says Bajrami. "I wanted to have more direct control over
what I was delivering to the client. At least, if a wrong
decision was made the only person to blame would be the client.
Nevertheless, I always try to keep the client from making
a wrong decision."
In an environment where client companies can be a wee bit
fickle, over 90% of Bajrami's work is generated by returning
clients. That's a testament to consistently doing something
right. That 'something' is a sharp creative vision, flawless
production, high quality service and, above all, honesty.
Bytehaus offers clients graphic design for both print and
web, but the firm doesn't stop there. Companies have come
to rely on Bytehaus for other services like, print management,
consulting, illustration and even tech support. Habib's as
adept at answering, "We need help with positioning and
branding our company," to "Hey, my fonts ain't working
and my scanner's broke! Help!"
"Coming up with the most effective solution that will
both save and generate money for the client," may, at
times, be one of his biggest challenges, says Habib. He adds,
"Seeing the face of the client lighting up when they
see my concepts knowing that my work is going to make a difference
either in raising revenue or awareness for them."
Behind the design
Graphic design is becoming a big gun in the business arsenal.
It is often the major factor in a company being able to differentiate
themselves in a crowded marketplace. Habib notes, "As
George M.C. Fisher, CEO of Eastman Kodak once said, 'Good
design can make a difference between being a winner or loser
in the marketplace.' I'd like to challenge any business to
try and market themselves with a hand written sales pitch
on a plain piece of paper." He believes that design today
is about thinking strategically. It goes above simply making
pretty pictures. Strategy is the element that positions the
client and helps to convey a message beyond words and pictures.
He adds, "So, combined with a good copy, killer photography
or illustration, graphic design can position any brand wherever
it needs to be positioned."
His award-winning work has influences based in the likes
of The Bauhaus, Paul Klee, Shigeo Fukuda, April Greiman, Milton
Glaser, Saul Bass, John Sayles, Charles Anderson, Joe Duffy
to name a few. Not bad company to keep. His influences have
lead him to a style that is clean, functional and professional.
He may have started as a kid with a couple of crayons, but
his design work isn't kid stuff. It's well thought out, effective
and produces real results.
Challenges facing designers and clients
When asked what he sees as the major challenge affecting graphic
designers today, Habib replied, "I see a trend developing
that seems to have grown with the advent of computer graphics.
Everyone thinks that graphic design is a commodity and that
anybody with the right software can do it. Unfortunately for
them, graphic design is more than making pretty pictures and
moving things around until it looks pretty. It is a communication
skill that employs visual sensitivity to solve a problem and
convey a message to a mass audience usually with different
Habib suggests up-and-coming designers should never stop
learning and never, ever work on spec. He says, "It undermines
you as a professional and it undermines the entire graphic
design industry. Make it a mantra to follow the rules of ethics
and professional conduct. Everything else, including success
will fall into place." He also believes in balancing
the quest of being a profitable business with giving something
back in the form of pro bono projects for causes one truly
As for client companies, Bajrami says, "Companies should
look past who can do it cheaper. They should start comparing
apples to apples. It is wrong to compare design created by
a wannabe and design created by a professional. The end result
can be either rewarding or devastating. It's their choice,
after all it's their business. Let the work and reputation
of the designer influence your hiring decision."
Peering into the future
Where is graphic design headed down the road? Habib believes
it will become increasingly more important and integral part
of our lives. Habib said, "Things that we take for granted
would not exist without design. Look at the latest creations
by Apple, Palm, DVD titles, furniture, cars they all derive
from what graphic design is all about. Form and function."
So where's Bytehaus headed down the road? "Five years
from now I would like to see myself doing more work that I
enjoy, not that I don't enjoy my present work, I just want
to see more of it. Also I see devoting my time solely on solving
clients problems and having couple of assistants doing the
production end of the spectrum. Ten years from now, same as
the above multiplied by three," said Bajrami.
Nope, Bytehaus Studio sure isn't your run-of-the-mill desktop
publishing shop. This guy's a pro with the experience and
thinking skills to back it up.
When you're you're looking for someone to solve your unique
communication problems with creative direction, traditional
training and many years of experience, then visit www.bytehaus-studio.com.