In today’s episode, we meet Serhat – Head of strategic design and Co-founder of the agency Vaengad. He gives his advice from an extensive career in both designing at agencies and as a freelancer to now building his very own brand development agency. He also recently finished a branding gig for an investment fund through Gigway.
Who are you and what do you do?
“My name is Serhat Ferat, and I am the co-founder and head of strategic design at Vaengad Innovation Lab in Stockholm. I work with brands, packaging, and larger strategies for all types of companies. At Vaengad, we work with trying to find the key and bridge between business development and strategic development in companies. In simple words, we try to help the customer understand how good design is good business.”
What is the best part of what you do?
“It is when you understand what the client wants to achieve, and what their business goals are. Also, when the client understands how strategy, design, and creativity help to contribute to their business.
Why did you leave a fulltime employment?
“For me, the process grew over a few years. I have worked with creative directors from Sydney, Paris, London and Stockholm, in big agencies as well as small agencies. I found myself choosing smaller and smaller agencies. Somewhere, I hit a breaking point in which I found that the creative process was not always the best with a creative boss above me, merely acting as a filter between me and the client. Where someone else would have the last word on what was right or wrong for the client. Whereas for me, It was all about trying to understand the client and doing what is best for them. Also, to have the confidence to know that I, and the client, would find that together.”
What advice would you give someone who is thinking about freelancing?
“I say: Do it. Just do it!”
“Do it and try. Your worst fears will not come true. You will do fine and you will have a lot more fun. And, even if you choose to return to work at an agency, many years later, you will have learned so much from it. You learn to take responsibility for the process in a completely different way. That responsibility is just not possible to learn at an agency, no matter your efforts. To actually take ownership of the entire process *always* makes you a better creative.”
Thank you, Serhat, for letting us interview you. We are happy to have you in our community.