Studio SP–GD, a Melbourne-based graphic design studio, aims to provide simple and long-lasting creative solutions to local emerging and established businesses. Creator Surya Prasetya spoke to Collective about his desire to have his own business from the beginning and the need for complexity to achieve simplicity.
Can you tell me a little bit about your background?
I started out working in-house for a fashion label and I enjoyed it and had a great boss who was very experimental in his approach. This forced me to change my view of the way I thought I should work which Im grateful for as it pushed me to try and see things from a different perspective. After this I enjoyed a little bit of freelancing but I always found it was hard to become instantly comfortable in new working environments, so I decided to pursue my own clients and this is how the studio came together.
How did you get into graphic design?
About 10 years ago I had no idea of the direction I was heading in with my career. I was always going to pursue something I loved doing and working for someone else was never really something I wanted to do long term. I was always interested in design, but not necessarily graphic. I was actually hoping to study interior design or architecture but felt I was a little out of my depth so I pursued graphic design.
How do you approach a brief? What is your design process?
I guess I just take it as it comes, every client is different and requires a different approach, though the process and formula stays relatively the same from project to project. Generally research comes first. We like to look into the clients current business model/style. From here we try and identify the good and bad aspects of their brand. We then like to ask questions so we can gauge a clearer picture of how we could possibly execute the design and begin the concept process.
Your approaches are clean, simple and effective. Do you think your design style has evolved over the years? If so – how?
I think it has evolved, I was actually looking at the difference between the latest work I just updated on the site in comparison to the work that was already there. Whilst I feel the voice is the same the clients are different and this has definitely shaped the overall feel of the work we have created.
Listening and researching has been one aspect that seems to have improved. The more you listen the more ideas appear in you mind. When different perspectives are seen, your design adapts and it allows us to explore solutions that may not have presented themselves before.
How do you continue learning on the job?
With every new job or lack of, you learn something. For me it really is about being proactive. Whether thats refining processes, presentations or sorting out the admin side to the business, this helps me to constantly learn new things within each process.
I really love your branding and stationery for AP–DB, again it is beautifully simple. Do you think simplicity is key? Do you find a lot of graphic design overcomplicates things and is this a good or bad thing?
This is one of my favourites. I do believe that simplicity is always a great way to execute projects, but within simplicity there needs to be complexity (a highly thought-out process or idea) thats what makes simplicity beautiful.
What advice would you give students about to go at it alone?
If you want to do it, just do it. Put in as much energy into the business side as you would into your folio. The more solutions and processes you foresee the easier it will be to go at it alone.