I’m Alex Cracan, I was born in a Romanian city called Braila, and I currently live in a quiet, retreated place near Bucharest. Throughout the time, I found myself being an unshakable optimist who gets the most fulfillment out of inspiring committed people so that they feel empowered moving toward their vision.
As a brand identity designer, I’ve discovered remarkable patterns in the way powerful and authentic brands are building loyal relationships with their customers. I’m fascinated by that.
I formed a small branding studio, called VaiBrand, as an extension of my vision of helping people achieve meaningful results. At VaiBrand, everything we do is in alignment with the goal of helping companies connect on a deep, emotional level with their customers.
I’m 18, and the studies I got so far have nothing to do with design/business. I don’t plan to get a paper in any of these areas because a lot of lazy people believe that spending five to six figures on your education is the only way to build up your career. I believe in my choice; it’s in alignment with my vision.
How did you develop your career? What made you become a Brand Identity Designer?
If I remember the right way, a couple years ago I’ve found an interesting Photoshop logo tutorial. I enjoyed drawing different things, so I thought it’s pretty cool. What blew me away is that you’re able to charge for this. After a little research, I couldn’t believe you can make a living out of this.
At that time, the best I knew was how to use the “pen tool”. Obviously, after a few rejections, I was smart enough to realize it’s not that easy.
Long story short, I discovered great personalities – TheFutur/Chris Do, Gary Vaynerchuck, Dan Lok, Valuetainment/Patrick Bet-David, Simon Sinek, Lewis Howes, Tai Lopez, Grant Cardone, Evan Carmichael etc – and after watching multiple YouTube videos, Skillshare classes, listening to podcasts and reading books, I started seeing patterns in the way things work. Once every dot was connected, everything looked a lot easier and straightforward.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Talking about patterns, the same way goes with the “inspiration process”. I could talk all day about this subject alone. Basically, an inefficient way to do it, in my opinion, is to jump into doing “research” and look for “inspiration” without being in a perfect alignment with your client’s needs, goals, and vision. I often say that fuzzy thoughts lead to fuzzy goals, which lead to fuzzy results.
Instead, the goal of that phase is to start broad, and progressively narrow down to the big idea, maintaining a complete alignment every step of the way. After you get a deep understanding of the company’s culture, create project-specific goals and benchmarks, and align every stakeholder in the company with them, the solution almost design by itself.
If some inspiration is still needed, there are some great Instagram pages out there. Pinterest and books work well, too.
Who is the most Designer/artist you look up to?
I can’t appreciate enough the amount of knowledge Chris Do/TheFutur team is sharing. I enjoy listening to Paula Scher and Michael Bierut. I love the work of George Bokhua, Aaron Draplin, and Paul Rand. They are just a few of the many designers I admire.
What do you like about your work?
Getting to know the story of amazing people, and seeing them feel empowered moving to the next step is what I love the most about my work. It’s very fulfilling.
What would be your dream project?
If we think about it this way, I’m already working on my dream projects. Perhaps I’m too easy on my standards. Working with great people, and doing great work in a stress less and fulfilling environment is considered a “dream project” for me.
What is a message you would like to tell your fans?
I’ve been seeing a trend on the internet with reading as many design books as possible. That’s great for sure, but many designers forget that they’re running a business. Reading more business books than design ones will benefit not only you but also your clients.
Anything else you would like to add?
I’m in the process of building up my personal brand. That means I’ll be sharing more insights that have helped me throughout the time. You’ll be able to find me on most social platforms as @alexcracan.