Filiz Sahin is an interactive designer and illustrator based in New York. She works as a senior designer at RepEquity, and spans disciplines including art direction, design, website design, storyboard design, illustration and custom typography. Her diverse client list includes Unicef, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Estée Lauder Companies, MTV, CBS Sport TV Network and SportsIllustrated. Her typographic creations caught my eye when browsing Behance, and led me to look closer at Filiz’s work.
The typography designs really capture something of the zeitgeist in the cross-over between design and contemporary kitsch crafting. What I love about Sahin’s typography work in particular is her ability to convey a retro feel with a textured, tactile, eye catching aesthetic; fonts such as “Knit” and “Spider” offer a layered, 3 dimensional threaded quality to letters. “Ant” is a home-spun, American shabby chic stitch inspired font, and “Muscle” is completely different – a sinewy, muscle inspired set of lettering. My original design training was cross-discipline in design, illustration and textiles, and as a keen crafter this work stood out and made me want to know more.
Many of her fonts are totally free to download, demonstrating a sharing, co-working aspect to the designer. Having caught my eye and inspired some designs, I touched base with Filiz to see what makes her tick.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Most days, I get up, have my first cup of coffee and go out to walk the dog. I then get to my office and have a morning meeting with the team. We update each other on our progress and on any feedback from the clients. After that, I roll into work – new designs and sites, or finish off where I left the previous day. I juggle different projects at the same time. That’s pretty much how I spend my weekdays. I love what I do.
How do you find inspiration to create your fonts?
I always try to stay up to date on what other designers are doing. I research trends, look at Behance, Ffffound and Pinterest. There is so much work out there that inspires me. I feel motivated every time I see something amazing. I love to pin stuff on Pinterest, it’s my new addiction.
You work as a designer, font designer, UX designer and illustrator; which discipline do you prefer?
It’s really hard to pick one. I love the variety of work that I get to do. I love to create new stuff. It can be an identity project, illustration, a website or a custom typeface. I enjoy seeing the final product.
How does New York inspire your work?
New York is the greatest place to be for a designer. There is so much diversity and culture here. I live in Brooklyn and work in the Flatiron District. It’s amazing to walk around and check out new galleries, storefronts, restaurants and shows. The general vibe and energy are amazing.
What processes and workflow habits do you tend to follow when approaching a brief?
In the beginning, I try to carefully read the brief. Then, I do some light research to see what’s out there on the topic. We’ll go over the project as a team and do some brainstorming and sketch some ideas. Then, after eliminating a few, we try to have 3-4 solid options. Then follows more research, more brainstorming…until a final direction is chosen.
Which projects have you been most proud of?
It’s hard to pick one. All I want is to do good work. I am proud of the work that makes people think or feel something or be inspired.
What projects are in the pipeline for 2013?
I work as a designer at RepEquity. We have a lot of client work ahead but I also have some personal projects and custom typefaces in mind for 2013. I’d like to set aside some time to bring these into life.