Marian Pop (aka creatiph™) has been surrounded by design since he was a child and has the design process down pat. He brainstorms with pen and paper and puts a lot of emphasis on the conceptual side of design — a perfect combo for success! We decided to sit down with him and ask how he got into design.

Name: Marian Pop
Location: Romania
99designs handle: creatiph™
Projects won: 11

How did you get started in design?

Since I was a child, I was amazed and inspired by my father’s talent in graphics. I was familiar with graphics from my childhood.
When I was in the sixth grade, the headmaster of my school asked if I wanted my paintings to be showcased in the school’s exhibition. This moment was a turning point for me because I realized my work was appreciated by my school board.
I, then, discovered graphic design a few years later in high school.

Describe your design style.

I tend to create vintage and retro, yet minimal, logos. I love taking great ideas and turning them into any graphic.
The trends are changing from year to year but a clever concept is timeless, for example FedEx’s logo.

What led you to start using 99designs?

I knew about 99designs about three years ago but created a designer account about one year ago.
I started to create logos for the first time right here on 99designs. I had no experience — I’m so excited that in a short period I was able to work with clients from all over the world, clients I still work with even now from time to time.
This community is a gold mine. I’ve met very talented designers and friends who inspire me and push me to the “next level.”

What do you think is the most important part of the design process?

My secret is brainstorming with pen and paper. I can sketch and provide my clients with a few different concepts.

How would you sum up graphic design in one sentence?

I think the next sentence from Alina Wheeler fits perfectly: “Design is intelligence made visible.”

In your opinion, what are the key differences that separate great design from mediocre design?

In my opinion, creativity is key. In the Art&Copy documentary it said that “creativity can solve anything.”
You don’t have to be a guru with software such as Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw but it is a must for designers to be creative and original.

What is a hobby that you enjoy doing outside of graphic design?

I love: playing guitar, bodybuilding and traveling with my fiancé.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I would like to thank 99designs for the opportunity they offer to designers through this crowdsource platform.