Designing Creatively With Osione Itegboje
Osione Itegboje is a brand designer based in Lagos, Nigeria. Along with his team at Light Design Studio, he is responsible for creating brands and identities that have won over thousands of millennials in the city. His clients include Art X, Denola Grey, among others. He recently developed a technology called SLIDE to help businesses and personalities build stronger, bolder identities. He is really passionate about helping companies craft profitable identities.
He speaks to Guardian Life about creativity and unlocking the true values of our nation.
Tell us a bit about where and how you started the Light Design Studio?
I started Light Design in Yaba GRA in my parent’s garage in March 2014, after leaving my job as a Program Management consultant for World Bank through Reboot in New York (reboot.org). Light Design Studio was initially a creative lab where we discussed ideas to improve society using design.
What advice would you give an old household brand looking to craft a new identity that will appeal to millennials?
Keep it simple and use what you already have. The key is to make sure your message connects with your audience. For instance, if you’re a brand that has existed for 50 years find a simple message that young people can connect with and adapt your logo visuals to fit the message. Coca Cola is a great example. Their identity has changed very little over a century, yet their message remains relevant to new generations.
Tell us a bit about the technology called SLIDE?
It’s really a very simple process that we’ve tested over the last two years. SLIDE means system, logo, and idea design, which are three stages we designed to efficiently deliver winning brands. In the idea phase, we craft simple messages to communicate the brand to specific audience groups. Then we take those messages to the logo stage and design multiples variants of a symbol for the brand.
We shortlist one symbol for system design stage to create a group of elements like business cards, social media images, and guidelines to push the brand to the public. We just demoed the technology in a five-day workshop and the response was unbelievable. Participants who had never designed a day in their lives created brands that can stand next to any international brand. Following that we’re taking the technology and creating software that anyone can access and use to build a global brand.
What noteworthy experiences have you had in your journey as a brand designer?
I’m very fortunate because I learned a lot from experience. So I made lots of mistakes, but I had clients who were extremely patient with me. At the onset, we just didn’t know how to be organised as creatives and we always missed deadlines. But our clients saw our potential and gave us a chance to work on their brands. Some examples are Funmi Victor-Okigbo of No Surprises who gave us her logo to extend into a brand as well as her wedding brand to design. And of course, Dami Amolegbe who we’ve partnered with on many design projects since Haute Fashion Africa.
What major challenges does the creative sector face in Nigeria and Africa at large?
Institutions. We simply don’t have the government institutions and policy frameworks to build thriving industries out of our creative talent. Industries that are fuelled by the continuous development of creative abilities in our educational systems.
Do you intend to come up with solutions to these problems?
Yes, of course. Every tool we create is to empower people, to unlock the creativity in all of us so that we can use it to make tremendous value. SLIDE is just the first step. Our theory as a creative studio is that everyone is inherently creative and true value that transforms lives and societies come from creativity.
What’s the next big thing for Light Design Studio as a household name?
Next big thing is the SLIDE software. We’re excited to take our technology and share it with people as online software. We believe the software has the power to transform how brands are designed from the ground up.