Zlatina Petrova

Specialized in Web Design.

Zlatina Petrova

About Zlatina Petrova

Zlatina is the CEO of Brandly Collective. She's also a curious explorer and startup design mentor (including being featured at Google's Startup weekend). Zlatina loves to help the companies to find innovative new ways to express their message visually.

  • Winner of 2 A' Design Awards.
  • Specialized in Web Design.
  • Original Design.
  • Creative, Diligent and Innovative.
  • All Designs
  • Web
  • Mobile
BuiltForImpact Website

BuiltForImpact Website

Web Design

DeafUP Mobile Application

DeafUP Mobile Application

Mobile Design

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Interview with Zlatina Petrova

Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
The only thing I have ever wanted to be for my whole life was a graphic artist. I draw all through childhood, all through adolescence. After my studies in economics, I decided to make my hobby a profession. At that time I was very fascinated by web design. Currently, I have a Master's degree in Arts and 10 years of professional experience as a web designer.
Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
My studio is a boutique creative agency. We call us a communication company because this is the main purpose of marketing and great design - to understand others and to be understood. Many of our efforts are focused on helping businesses with a mission and social entrepreneurs to create healthier brands with a brighter future.
What is "design" for you?
Design for me is more than an art. It is a way of communication.
What kinds of works do you like designing most?
In my free time, I continue to explore new graphic design techniques but most of the time I enjoy working on my web design projects.
What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
BuiltForImpact of course. It is a distillation of best web design practices and it also has a purpose - to help businesses with a cause to make more impact online. In our times we have to support social entrepreneurs because they change society for good.
What was the first thing you designed for a company?
My first project was a freelance project for an educational platform in the USA and I created the graphics presenting the courses.
What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
For me, web design combines more than one tool. I use SketchApp when I create the user interfaces, InVision for prototyping, UXPin for wireframing and Photoshop for photo editing. But when it comes to drawing, I'm a big fan of Adobe Illustrator.
Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
The visual design, for sure. It comes at the end of every project, but it is quintessential. The visual design often makes the difference between good and great design.
What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
I feel good and I'm also curious about the feedback from online visitors.
What makes a design successful?
This is a difficult question. Successful design is the design that fulfills the purpose of its creation.
When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
Storytelling and functionality. A good website has an attractive design but it is also functional and tells a story. Then I consider other aspects as visual design, typographic design.
From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
To be a good person and to have a positive impact on society and the environment.
How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
Well, web design is getting closer to artificial intelligence. A few years ago it wasn't possible to create a website without programming skills, now it is not the case.
When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
My first and last exhibition was in Como, Italy, the day after the award ceremony of A'Design Award and Competition.
Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
Like many designers, I'm a very curious person. I love researching creative processes, rules, and practices from different fields like cinema, classic art, handcraft and so on. Often, I get inspiration from other designers' work.
How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
Elegant, modern, simple, functional. For met " keep it simple" is more than a phrase, it reflects my understanding for good design.
Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
I live in Sofia, Bulgaria. It is interesting how this small country balances the rich cultural heritage with modern times. The digital sector is developing in the country, so it's a good place to be as a designer.
How do you work with companies?
I work closely with companies to define their brand’s digital needs and develop transformative user experiences across all platforms and brand touchpoints, crucial to their brand’s success. I work as an independent consultant.
What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
There are many great designers online. My advice is to find a designer with a good portfolio and good communication skills.
Can you talk a little about your design process?
Of course. It starts with a mood board creation, then I continue to the wireframing stage. The design goes through low-fidelity wireframe, medium-fidelity wireframe, high-fidelity wireframe. At the high fidelity stage, I focus on visual design and interaction action.
What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
A photo frame, a three with gemstones, a painting from a Bulgarian artist and a vase.
Can you describe a day in your life?
My day starts at 6 am with my daily routine. I do some sport, I meditate and at 9 am a start my working day with a big cup of coffee. My day ends around 7 pm.
From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
Like any other creative profession, sometimes designers have to deal with client's vision and have to make a compromise with their vision.
What is your "golden rule" in design?
I don't have any golden rules, but I try to " keep it simple".
What skills are most important for a designer?
Communication skills. If designers learn how to communicate better with clients and developers, then their designs will be always to the point.
Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
I use a pencil and paper, digital software tools for graphic design and wireframing, such as SketchApp, Photoshop, Invision, UXPin. One of my favorite books is "The User Experience Design Revolution".
Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
People say that artists are bad at planning. However great designers have good organization skills. Reaching success, I always try to stick to my plans.
How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
Around a month or two, depending on the complexity of the website or the interface.
What was your most important job experience?
As a junior designer. At that time I learned a lot as a designer and thanks to my mentors I became the designer that I am today.
Who are some of your clients?
I worked with fashion brands like Alessa, startups like Propy Inc, social entrepreneurs, and many other companies.
What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
I like working with social entrepreneurs because I have that when I help them increase their impact, I help society.
What are your future plans? What is next for you?
This year I started my own creative studio, Brandly Collective and I will focus on its development.
Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
Currently, I manage my own team of designers, but I worked as a single player for many years.
Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
Yes, the DeafUp mobile application. This is one of my latest social projects and I am happy that it will help the deaf community in Eastern Europe to develop new professional skills that will help them find jobs.
How can people contact you?
Through my e-mail (office@brandlycollective.com) and my social media channels.

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