Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
By: Ekrem Dupanović
Črtomir Grahor (or Črt for short), is Chief of Design at the Maribor-based agency Red Orange. He was named after a prince from Slovenian literature who fought for peace. Perhaps it is exactly because of this that he carries peace in his heart. It makes him happy and confident. He enjoys learning new skills, new tricks in Adobe programs such as Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Dreamweaver, Premiere Pro, Lightroom and platforms such as WordPress, HTML5 coding, mass email programs, or the Red Orange’s content management system . He enjoys both print and online. Different rules, different roads to success. He likes to lecture on online and email marketing. He says creative design is like a song. You can always hear it in your heart, but it comes out only when you really need it. For him, creative design is like a pearl. Beautiful and perfect, but it is created not in a few days or months, but after years of effort and learning.
MEDIA MARKETING: You were named after a prince from Slovenian literature who fought for peace. World today is in a deep crisis. Wars are being waged at all sides, and as we conduct this interview even a nuclear war potentially looms. Has the origin of your name determine your attitude to life and peace?
Črtomir Grahor: You could say it is so. Peace is certainly an ideal that we, as a civilization, have never been able to achieve throughout history. Nevertheless, I consider peace one of the greatest values – whether it be peace as a cliché, or personal, mental peace. I think that the biggest fortune for a person is to be at peace with themself, and all that they do. This allows them to see the world more clearly, because their visions aren’t dispelled by doubts. Without doubt in yourself and your performance, the work and the realization of the set goals are easier.
MEDIA MARKETING: Many today say that creative ideas have the power to change the world. At the Cannes Lions 2016, even the UN Secretary General participated to call on creative community to help solve crises. Do you see yourself in such a role?
Črtomir Grahor: In the past, creatives have always been the carriers of new ideas and visions that have contributed to the development of society as we know it today. Bearing in mind that my area of work is connected primarily with Internet design, I see a number of opportunities in that space for dealing with crises in the world. The recent experience with Syrian refugees has shown the strength of social networks and other new technologies. These people planned their journey from the war zones exclusively through the use of social networks and navigation. We can argue that new technologies have helped rescue many lives. But I must warn that these platforms have often been misused. Various terrorist organizations use social networks to mobilize young people. I think that we should pay the most attention to creative solutions that would prevent or at least limit these kinds of abuses, without interfering with the very essence of social networks based on the pure and uncensored flow of thoughts of each individual user.
MEDIA MARKETING: You are young and constantly learning. You want to master all design software and platforms on which you can apply that knowledge. What attracts you the most right now?
Črtomir Grahor: I devote the most of my time to Internet design and website development. It is important for every designer to follow the guidelines, so I devote a lot of time to development of these guidelines. This way, I can offer clients good, fresh and different products. Of course, I am not completely immune to all the buzz triggered by the development of blockchain technologies. Blockchain technologies are in a sense more directed into programing, but still I see in that the future and revolution in the field of internet.
MEDIA MARKETING: You enjoy designing for both online and offline communication channels. You belong to the still small group of creative who don’t see these channels as separate, but believe that only a combination of the two can yield great results for the client.
Črtomir Grahor: Every successful advertising campaign requires use all the channels available to us. We must be aware that the target groups for online and offline marketing are quite different, and if we use only certain channels to reach the desired audience, we will never reach all for whom our message is intended. Why should we eat only half an apple, if we have the desire and appetite to eat the entire fruit?
MEDIA MARKETING: When you talk about design, you keep using the phrase “creative design” and compare it with poems and pearls. You also say that it designed your life. Why?
Črtomir Grahor: Whenever I tackle design – especially creative design – it’s important to me, first of all, to have a good brainstorming. Design must always be functional, fresh and eye-catching. Same as the poet tackles a poem, correcting words, changing the verses, so the designer develops a creative design. We draw, erase, change, listen to the client, we try to turn those desires into reality, until we get a whole that is nicely rounded. Through the complete process of matching the client’s wishes and creating a functional and beautiful whole, there are problems that are best solved by simple life solutions. I could say that for every design problem I found the answer in my own personal life. Life is the best teacher and gives each of us multiple creative solutions and the ability to develop creative design, in any way you can imagine them.
MEDIA MARKETING: In communication you leave an impression of a very calm guy – like someone who has found the balance and enjoys every moment of their life and work. What are you like when you participate in pitches? Does the balance get ruined in such situation, do you get anxious because of short deadlines and waiting for results?
Črtomir Grahor: I am very grateful for this trait of mine. With years of experience, you begin to become aware of your strengths and weaknesses. I have to admit that my calmness in business has always been of great help to me. I will not claim that I am always calm, but I can say that is true for the most of the time. If you’re calm, and if you’re able to calm down, you can think with a sober head, and thus be much more productive and more effective. Of course, there is always some adrenaline, but you must not let it overwhelm you and take control of you. Having in mind all the experiences that I have in spite of my youth, all this tension related to deadlines and results does not throw me off balance anymore, I simply got used to it and it became part of my life.
MEDIA MARKETING: What should young leaders learn from their older colleagues and apply in their work?
Črtomir Grahor: Every young leader must learn to take from their mentor what they personally lack. We are all very different and it’s difficult to determine one thing that we all have to learn. Some people have certain things in the cradle, while others lack those same things, but they have some other characteristics that make them good at work. Everyone has to find his own drawbacks, and from their mentor, who has already passed this development process, learn how to improve them or completely reject them. My “flaw” is indecisiveness. I am aware of this and when I realize this and use the models that, in similar circumstances, would be used by my mentors, I’m on the right path to overcome my flaws.
MEDIA MARKETING: And what should they drop?
Črtomir Grahor: The anchored ideas. Seniors have anchored ideas about the world, about what is possible, and is not possible. When a person has a vision, an idea, they must never accept that anyone convince them that the realization of this idea is not possible. I think that we must cross the boundaries that the older generations have set for us, because only in this way can we work toward the bright future of our society.
MEDIA MARKETING: When we talk about crazy and bold ideas, there is a general opinion that the communications industry is gripped by fear. Agencies are afraid of losing clients, clients are afraid of losing business. How to overcome this fear, and how much can you, the young people, contribute to overcoming this situation?
Črtomir Grahor: I believe that in recent years big changes have taken place in this area. Clients realized that if they want to convince the millennial generation they have to be innovative, crazy and brave. The New Castle beer Super Bowl ad can serve as a good example.
MEDIA MARKETING: What advice would you give to your peers? To join you in this industry, or to try and find a better job?
Črtomir Grahor: Everyone has to judge whether it is something they would want to work for the rest of their life. The fact is that the job is demanding. Deadlines are short, the work is creative, but at the same time it is market oriented, which can be very hard for an individual. Bit still, such a job allows many freedoms and opportunities for expressing oneself.
MEDIA MARKETING: Do you have free time, and how do you spend it?
Črtomir Grahor: Free time depends on the organization. If you want to have free time, you have to organize yourself well. I think that a person cannot be a quality person, if they are unable to leave some time for themselves and the persons close to them. I like to play volleyball, I trained it for twelve years. As most Slovenians I like to ski in winter, with my partner and friends I go to ski resorts in one of the ski centers every year. Otherwise, I like to travel. On the last trip I visited the island of Bali that completely fascinated me.