The creative process begins in our design development department. All customer projects, from classic packaging design or brand relaunches to new product developments, start with our creative director Madeleine Weiss and design directors Jannika Plaas, Lisa Köhler and Dennis Dominguez. We asked our three design directors about the strengths and challenges in the design development department and what makes working at HAJOK Design so special.
What do you consider as the strength of the design development team?
Dennis Dominguez: The development of graphic concepts and their implementation in line with the design brief is one of our main strengths. As design directors, our role is to guide our team of designers in to the right direction and to ensure that we maintain this path, right up to the printing process.
Jannika Plaas: Back when Klaus Hajok described my future job, he said: „This is where rock 'n' roll happens on a blank sheet of paper.“ Until then, no one had ever described the initial design process so literally. Now, almost three years later, I’m still fascinated by his description because it’s true: what we create from scratch really rocks!
So what are the challenges?
Jannika Plaas: The challenge is to find designs that are the “right match“ for our clients and their brands’ DNA. It can’t only look beautiful, it has to have real visual impact and make a relevant point compared to the competition.
Lisa Köhler: Every project is very different and this makes each one of them unique. We work on a wide range of FMCG categories every day: from food, beverages to health care and beauty care and each of them has its own specific requirements. It’s an exciting challenge to find the right individual design approach that excels within the category as well as on the product and ultimately on the brand level.
Dennis Dominguez: I do believe that it is a must for our creative team to constantly develop new ways to give designs the necessary sparkle and a certain element of surprise.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
Dennis Dominguez: The conceptual phase at the beginning of the project. I love diving deeply into the brand‘s DNA, the category and the target group in order to thoroughly understand the assignment. And to then find a way to precisely solve the task.
Jannika Plaas: It’s great when the client gets a real buzz seeing our designs in the presentation and says things like: „Wow! I’ve got goose bumps!“ That’s what makes our work so rewarding.
Lisa Köhler: And of course let’s not forget the moment at the end of a project – seeing the final result in the supermarket is magical!
What’s your favourite project?
Dennis Dominguez: The next one – you need goals! A new briefing still triggers two things in me: the feeling of happiness of being able to plunge into a new topic and the ambition to develop a distinctive design. That hasn‘t changed much since I graduated.
Lisa Köhler: I don’t have that “one” favourite project. Of course, there are projects that stand out because you have the freedom to work particularly innovatively or because everything went super smoothly. Nevertheless, what I like most about my job is the variety of projects.
What makes working at HAJOK so special?
Lisa Köhler: Because we are an owner-managed, medium-sized agency, our lean organisation structure enables a very agile, rapid-response way of working.
Dennis Dominguez: We have a very experienced and ambitious team. It’s a good mix. But what’s also super important for me is how we interact with each other. And that definitely works well.
Jannika Plaas: To reach big goals the team works perfectly together. You have to be a bit crazy if you want to create rock 'n' roll, so of course, humour plays a big part in our everyday life and humour is something we have in abundance!