Ask a designer what their job is and what you’ll likely hear is: to know what customers need and deliver it in the form of products and experiences that drive business.
At Lokalise, we all want the same things. But, we often have different approaches to achieving these goals. When we embrace our different disciplines, methods, and styles, great things happen, and we can build much better products.
We sat down with our Brand Design lead, Anatoly Vjalihs, to discuss how he examines the present and imagines the future as he aims to create something that is unifying, useful, and unique.
Looking back: Fifteen years of design
Anatoly has an MA in graphic design and has journeyed through multiple facets of the design world throughout his career.
“I’ve worked in brand design, digital design (UI/UX), packaging, wayfinding, and book design,” says Anatoly. “But my main focus has always been digital design and branding.”
“Over the years, I’ve been fortunate enough to work with clients like Google, Sonarworks, Perrier, Gillette, Bayer, Goethe-Institut, Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art, the governments of Finland and Latvia, and many other companies and institutions.”
We were curious to find out what led Anatoly to Lokalise.
Designing at Lokalise
“Allow me to explain,” says Anatoly in his calming demeanor. “I chose Lokalise for two reasons:
The first being that Lokalise is a great product that is solving a real problem. I knew that some design help would communicate its strength and the value it has to offer.
Secondly, localization breaks down borders and helps make the world a better place to live – one where diversity and inclusivity are the central values.”
When Anatoly first started working at Lokalise, he worked as the head of both product and brand design. “It was exciting and challenging to focus on different design directions but now I can hone my focus on brand and marketing design to create delightful experiences,” he tells us.
Creating the signature Lokalise style from scratch
It goes without saying that the Lokalise brand has taken on a unique and impossible to forget visual identity since Anatoly joined.
“When I came to Lokalise, I began a deep-dive research process to analyze and evaluate different solutions, the emotions they deliver, and how they are perceived within the broader localization landscape,” he says.
“I noticed that most work tools and services use similar, cold color palettes, illustration styles, and neutral visual language and branding. I strongly feel that tools should elicit the exact opposite emotion.”
The final result is the unique brand design you see. One that “welcomes customers with a user-friendly design based on warm colors and hand-drawn illustrations,” says Anatoly.
“It helps to convey complex information in an accessible way even though Lokalise is fundamentally functional.”
The North Star of design
Some of the things people call design goals relate to usability, accessibility, consistency, and delight. We were curious to hear about Anatoly’s guiding light and how he thinks of fitting the pieces together.
“My top two are differentiation and unification,” he says.
“Brand design teases out what makes Lokalise different. It’s a permanent symbol of our core values. Just like the first impression with a person, brand design needs to make a memorable first impression.”
“You need to find a way to connect everything. The brand doesn’t just unify the visual parts but serves as a foundation for the unification of communication, action, and behavior.”
Shared goals and teamwork make the dream work
While the entire team leans on Anatoly to help convey messages through visuals and create experiences for customers, shared goals are key to effective cross-functional collaboration.
In fact, “one of the most exciting parts is working with all the departments to collect information and translate it into a visual delight,” says Anatoly.
Ultimately, design goals aren’t distinct from the overarching business goals.
Life at Lokalise
“What I love about Lokalise is that my role extends beyond design,” says Anatoly.
“To continuously strengthen brand recognition, I need to have a solid grasp of the localization industry and the team at Lokalise, so I’m an infinite learner.”
“You always work on projects that have an element of something new. On the one hand, this creates challenging work, but it’s exciting because you’re constantly pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone and expanding your horizons.”
“I love that I can work from anywhere and am in awe of how many wonderful people from all over the world have joined our team,” says Anatoly.
“It’s a model of a perfect future: people from different places working together on a shared vision.”
An empathetic environment
At Lokalise, the greater good of our customers, partners, and teammates is more important than any of us. And to truly embody that means to leave your ego at the door and have empathy.
“I feel that all of us support each other and are always ready to help, which is extremely important during these difficult times of isolation when you don’t meet any other people,” says Anatoly.
“I see the Lokalise team as my friends, and it makes me happy to see all of us working together toward a shared vision that pushes us to do our best work to continuously improve Lokalise and serve our customers.”
Of course, the perks like the “wellness benefits and development fund are great too, so I continue building my skills while staying fit and healthy.”
Designing for a better future
On the question of how we can design a better future more broadly, and within Lokalise, Anatoly leaves us with these words: “Stay curious, respect each other, take inspiration from nature, know your roots, and read more.”
“Ultimately, that’s what inspires me to reflect on the best possible future.”
Thank you, Anatoly, for sowing the seeds of inspiration!
Wondering if Lokalise could be your new workplace? We’re actively hiring people for design, product, customer success, sales, marketing, and engineering roles. Join us and work from anywhere or help us out by spreading the word.