Nina Gajdosikova always saw herself as both – a storyteller and designer. With every new project, she strives to create a story. Why? “Telling a story is the most efficient way to manifest empathy” she mentions. Creating narrative like this helps her look for different, innovative ways to approach design. While working as a designer in Slovakia, she was offered a full athletic scholarship at Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Moving to the United States opened up new horizons and opportunities – Gajdosikova managed to work for the world’s biggest brands. How did a designer who came from the other side of the world got an opportunity to transform billion dollar brands?
From the very beginning, Nina had the chance to design for large organizations with operations in over 170 countries and reaching millions of users. Her work helped grow national engagement for companies like IBM, Heineken, Peugeot, Philips, Ross and Nespresso. She also worked on a number of award winning human centered design projects, which sparked her passion in creating for impact.
Throughout her time in creative agencies, serving both, large global brands as well as local businesses and organizations, she realized her approach to different projects is not that different. Graphic designer and co-founder of Sagmeister & Walsh Inc., Stefan Sagmeister, says: “It is very important to embrace failure and to do a lot of stuff — as much stuff as possible — with as little fear as possible.” Nina believes it is the search for the most unique aspect of the brand that makes the most powerful story. “You always want to dig deep into the brands story. You have to find out what it is that differentiates them from the rest of the companies on the market, and build on that,” says Gajdosikova. It’s not only about what the product is, but it’s also about how it makes you feel when you’re engaging with it.
During her time working on the Piano project, Nina helped innovate and rebuild a current income model for online content and its media providers, reaching out to new audiences and media consumers of today. Starting as a small Eastern European company, the campaign helped Piano on its way of becoming the largest provider of metered paywalls worldwide with more than 1200 news and media providers globally using their platforms. Since the creative concept of the campaign was based on understanding current issues and react provocatively to them, it was here that Gajdosikova learned the true importance of getting to know your audience and have the ability to react effectively to the content at hand. “Understanding your audience enables you to create an emotional response and build a relationship with the user. In my experience, a proof of good design work is when get the audience to relate on a personal level,” says Gajdosikova.
Moving to United States also meant getting used to a completely different audience. “No matter how big and established a brand is, it always needs to adapt when expanding into a new market.” Cultural background and different asspirations make each audience around the world unique and brands need to understand that. Working on multiple large-scale campaigns for Nespresso, European coffee giant, she experienced first hand how challenging it is to re-build the brands luxurious look to fit the American market. Good understanding of the market audience means being able to make informed decisions that shape the user experience.
In words of Pentagram’s first female Principal, Paula Scher, “What you do is look at yourself and find your own way to address the fact that the times have changed and that you have to pay attention.” Gajdosikova believes that whether it is a multimillion dollar company or a non-profit organization fighting for a global cause, a designer should always dig deep and look for the very nature and essence of the brand.
Company Name: Flux.LA
Contact Person: Alejandro Rioja
Address:638 Landfair Ave PH3
City: Los Angeles
Country: United States