bunch founders: denis kovac and ivan husar
all photograps by vanja solin
we recently spoke to denis kovac and ivan husar, the founders of bunch – a design studio with offices in zagreb and london. bunch produces a diverse range of work, including, brand identity, literature, editorial, digital and motion.
designboom: how did you meet and decide to start your own studio?
denis: we met long before we started bunch. ivan was living in zagreb and I was studying at the london college of communication where I met paulo silva. when paulo was offered a teaching job at raffles design institute in singapore, it made sense for us to create 3 smaller hubs in 3 different parts of the world that would operate under the same name and share the same vision and outtake on design.
ivan: we met so long ago that I have forgotten how and where. the idea of gathering a collective rather than continue working as freelancers brought us together.
nosive strukture portfolio box
nosive strukture portfolio box
DB: how do you divide or share your work?
denis: ivan manages the operational side of the studio. he tackles organisation, planning & budgets. I take care of the team and together with them I work on the research, ideas and design implementation. during this process we try to spend as much time with each other as well as with clients.
ivan: being a small studio that tends to be effective in what we do, it’s hard to fully divide the roles at all times. we are trying to be pragmatic and practical to make our lives and the lives of our clients as easy as possible.
DB: what are each of your strongest skills and how do they contrast?
denis: I am the persistent one, but our views are quite aligned, we share the same vision…well, most of the time.
ivan: this is a very good question. we enjoy what we do, but we are different. opposites attract but they also create obstacles. relationships are all about chemistry, and the end results should bring sense of achievement and satisfaction.
will tree identity – logo
willow tree mug
DB: what type of projects do you enjoy working on the most and why?
denis: the best work always comes from trusting relationships with everyone involved, clients, collaborators and suppliers. it is a pyramid of good will and if relationships are successful and open-minded, intelligent solutions will come out of the studio.
ivan: when we brand start-ups, very often the client is not sure which direction to go, and usually these kind of projects end up being a trip into the unknown, an adventure.
cerovski business cards
DB: which project(s) have had the biggest impact on your careers so far and why?
denis: we are a small studio with the great team and most of our work is done through collaborations. the 2008 project bastardised taught us that the best things come when we work with people we love and respect. this is what keeps the studio going and creates diverse end product. over the recent years we worked with some great individuals, to name a few: damian schober (porsche design, kusch+co), spencer charles (willow tree), james joyce (red bull music academy), si scott (niemierko), sebazzo (kode). at the moment we are working with alberto hernández & milieu grotesque on a very cool project.
ivan: hard to say, we have been working on so many different projects including various media that require different techniques, from graphic design to digital, animation & video, and each project opened a new and different door for us. it would probably be the event branding for promax UK in 2006 and in the last few years I would say fogg mobile.
kode identity – logo
DB: has anyone or anything recently challenged your views on graphic design or how you work?
denis: we are always evolving and learning from each other and everyone around us. often this inspires us to change our set ways of thinking and explore different views and possibilities. outtakes make us grow and become better designers and people.
ivan: we are often challenged by the client, which is a common thing in this process.
pete bailey website
DB: what do you enjoy the most about being graphic designers and creating brand identities?
denis: every identity is different. I enjoy the process of creating and thinking about how the concept works across various applications and how to balance it and make it visually intelligent.
ivan: when something we worked on turns out well.
ryman eco green T poster
DB: what is the biggest lesson you have learned with regards to creating brand identities?
denis: there is always a solution.
ivan: accept the challenges. be open-minded and look at things from all angles. it’s important to always stay true to yourself and to your beliefs.
red bull music academy poster
DB: how do you think on-line design resources have influenced the graphic design being produced today?
denis: the on-line design resources open doors to young designers and enable them to become more efficient. it is also a great resource for clients and ourselves which is a good thing. on the other hand I think the saturation of information could be unbearable sometimes. it leaves a very little space for understanding and seeing. in the end it’s how you use it.
ivan: everything is easier these days, the knowledge is up there for grabs, for everyone and at all times, however creating something new and unique tends to be slightly harder.
erste wine tour poster
DB: what are you passionate about besides your work?
denis: travel. I like to explore things that are new to me.
ivan: I try to spend as much time with my family, especially with my daughter and I love music and going to gigs.
dinner club identity and packaging
DB: do either of you have any superstitious beliefs or self imposed rules that you live by?
denis: I keep disciplining myself to finish one sketchbook before starting a new one.
ivan: I’m not superstitious, but I do feel things happen for a reason. the most crucial rule that I work by would be to stay calm and focused no matter what.
DB: what’s bunch’s motto?
denis: stay curious!
ivan: we used to have a motto that bunch was greater than the sum of it’s parts, but we abandoned it, as we don’t really like to impose any mind ‘discipline’ to ourselves or people we work with. individuality and creativity are the key and we only try to provide vision and leadership.