In my opinion, of all the good decisions (which are many) Garage has been making since their beginning, there is no doubt that entrusting Sevkán with the creative direction has been one of their greatest successes.
Sevkán's disruptive ability to create a powerful, recognizable and unique brand identity within the field without entering into the boring or obvious is already part of Garage's DNA. And continuing that complicity, coherence and impact in a lasting way is not an easy task.
Sevkán was born in Istanbul and has studied in various countries such as Italy, United States (The School of the Art Institute of Chicago) and Barcelona (Elisava). She specialized in photography and video at the University (Istanbul Bilgi University), although she has been working on different projects throughout her career.
After passing through various agencies and working several years as a freelance, in 2018 she decided to launch Acreb Studio, a branding and graphic design studio located in Barcelona focused on creating bold and relevant brands for unconventional people.
During the same year, Acreb Studio won the prestigious Communication Arts Award (United States) in the Best Packaging category. This does not surprise me, because I am convinced that after this award, many more will come.
Ø: Every time you face a new project related to craft beer, what are the questions that you usually ask your customers to obtain information and better understand their needs?
Sevkán: Every project starts as a dream in someone's mind (or a group of people.)
I do everything I can, to catch that initial dream in its raw form and entirety. The questions will vary from person to person. Every door needs a different key to open, every person is different.
At the beginning of each project, whether it's craft beer or not, I start with typical questions to get to know the product, the industry, the niche, and the story behind.
Then I move on to the team members and the company culture; focusing on the team to understand what it means to be a part of that company.
If the project is new, there might not be a team yet. Then all my energy goes to understanding the founders / stakeholders vision and sees the world from their eyes.
Ø: You are the creative director of Garage Beer Co., one of the most disruptive and creative brewers - in my opinion - in terms of design, and that has marked a before and after in the craft beer packaging in our country. Taking into account that Garage launches a new beer to the market every 3/4 weeks, and sometimes even several at the same time, could you explain to us what you do to inspire and reinvent yourself constantly? Do you follow a routine or are you guided by different themes for each project?
Sevkán: Thank you for appreciating the work that has been put behind the cans. It makes me happy to hear these! Garage is indeed releasing cans quite frequently now. In the beginning, I started with one can a month. After four years, we are now releasing up to four per month.
The can designs are designed to afford rapid production. We have a fixed format that we stick with. In order, to maintain consistency we get inspired by different industry models that release new products rapidly and in sync with the current zeitgeist. We set seasonal themes and mood boards.
Ø: In your opinion, what qualities do you think a good graphic designer should have who is interested in working for the craft beer sector?
Sevkán: A passion for contemporary design, and desire to be different than the crowd.
Craft beer is full of great designers. The cans need to be noticeable enough when it's up on the shelf next to many other great looking cans.
Ø: If you had to choose a project from your portfolio that you are most proud of, what would it be and why?
Sevkán: I would choose Whirled Peas; the can with Trump's face on it. It felt so good to be able to state my political view on a commercial product like that.
I felt extremely lucky to be working with a company that let me do this. We are one of the first brands to push this boundary in Europe. I'm very proud of this.
Ø: Do you prefer to face the creative process alone, or as a team?
Sevkán: Because of my introverted nature, I come up with the concept sketches and do the planning when I'm alone. For the execution, depending on the medium, I do enjoy working with people I truly trust. Sergio Ávila (@sergi_ac) is one of them, he is my long term, photography partner. He is an absolute pleasure to work with. I also work with beautiful Silustra (@silustra) for turning our designs to illustrations for pins, stickers and other fun merchandising objects.
Ø: Which brands and / or graphic designers in the craft beer world do you admire?
Ø: Finally, can or bottle?
Sevkán: For me can, since I design cans! But this is a biased answer as you might have guessed. :)