Branzas 30 years – The beginnings (2)

The next step before the agency was established was… “the great unrest”, as I call it, the period 92-94. It was those two years during university when I tried everything: I was employed full time at an advertising agency, had a scholarship in France to study perfume packaging, freelanced whatever was offered to me (menus for bars, road signs for driving schools, small flyers, posters, book covers) and many, many individual experiments. What I really enjoy remembering is that I was researching intensively from every possible source and experimenting with every graphic design technique that came to mind. Nota bene, the techniques were manual because computers were starting to appear. With these I started to have tangency in the agency where I was working as art director, where I could also experiment with photographic techniques, scanning, image processing, the first vector graphic programs that appeared, or printing of all kinds.

This period was extraordinarily prolific and valuable because I acquired much technical knowledge. Without false modesty, I can say with my hand on my heart that after those years and a few more that followed, of intense experimentation and immersion in all aspects of design, I know almost all the specifications, peculiarities, possibilities and constraints of the technical processes of design and reproduction.

The scholarship in France has helped me enormously. In addition to learning from the most prestigious professionals in the field who worked with all the major fashion houses and perfumers, I got in touch with branding in the modern sense, with the strategic and rational approach to a packaging or visual brand identity project, with focus groups and the study of consumer preferences or, with the “tools”, the stages and the logic of any design project. I can say that the information gained in those few months defined the subsequent approach to the designer’s job, as seen through the prism of brand creation. Likewise, it was also at that time that it was firmly screwed into my mind that although I am a creator who works with visual messages, I am not an artist, or a graphic designer but a message professional with a well-defined purpose. Design and branding are pragmatic professions in which professionals work more with their minds than with the creative inspiration of visual artists. At the same time, this period was defining for the decision to resign from the very good job I already had and to set up my agency in 1994.

During all this time I have had the trust, support and guidance of some extraordinary teachers and people, whom I really want to name and thank: Mihaela Rus, Mihaela and Toni Miron, Puiu Galoș, Rodica and Alexandru Alămoreanu, Savel and Paul Cheptea, Rodica Zdrenghea, Steluța Racolța, Dan Olteanu.