Milos Zdrale may not remember exactly how he first found 99designs, but the site has certainly left an impact on him. Clients quickly fell in love with his bold brand work and he’s been working full-time on the platform ever since, supporting himself (and even buying a car) with his earnings.
While he may be young (and going to school for English and Literature, no less!), Milos is already a design veteran on our site. His glowing customer reviews, niche style and passion for our designer community are just a few of the reasons we’re so excited to have him sign on as one of our newest designer Advocates.
We chatted with Milos about his minimalist designs, his advice for maintaining a client relationship and his much-anticipated trip to the US as an exchange student.
Name: Milos Zdrale
99designs handle: Milos Zdrale
Location: Bosnia and Herzegovina
Specialty: Logo & identity
Tell us a little about where you’re from
I’m from Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina, though I am going to the US in 10 days and will be staying there for a couple of months. I’m 22 years old and I’m a student of English Language and Literature.
How did you build your design skills? Are there any resources that you’d recommend to other designers?
I actually started playing with Photoshop when I was around 12 and it always fascinated me. I was a curious kid. Even before that, I used to create fancy slideshows in PowerPoint with shiny effects only PowerPoint 2003 could pull off.
My first love was photo manipulation and I used to make forum signatures at various forums, then I slowly started taking it more seriously and started learning Illustrator. I found that YouTube was a good source for learning, but the best thing one can do to improve and learn is practice by yourself.
How did you discover 99designs?
It’s honestly all a bit fuzzy. I was all over the place back then. I believe it was via another forum where someone mentioned that I could earn money by designing.
How has 99designs affected your career?
99designs has changed my life completely. This might be an overused line, but it really has.
I had no job prior to 99designs and even to this day, I have not worked a day anywhere else. 99 has enabled me to not depend on anyone, to be able to do what I want and buy anything I need—I even bought a car!
You have a great minimal style. Where do you draw your inspiration?
I’ve always loved minimalism. Even when I had no idea about design, I liked looking at logos. I would always scribble in classes and draw various shapes and stylized letters.
Even today, when I’m on a bus, I look out the window and rate the logos I see. There are two logos with the highest mark on the ride to my college. ☺
What’s most important to you when creating a logo?
I care about further usability of the logo and whether a brand can revolve around it—something that many designers overlook. A logo can look good, but if it can only work, say, on a dark blue background, it’s not a good logo.
I’m also a pretty meticulous person, so small details that might annoy someone are important to me.
Do you have a favorite project or contest that you’ve worked on?
I have had many great clients that I’ve stayed in touch with, even after I’ve completed the projects, but to stay neutral.
I’m going to say my latest personal branding refresh and the typography exploration I’ve done. This is what I love to do and explore what a single logo can morph in. I’ll shamelessly plug the link here. 🙂
What’s your best advice for ensuring a happy designer-client relationship?
Try to retain as much integrity as you can. As a designer, do not feel scared to share your opinion or to engage in a conversation with a client and explain why you feel something works and what they suggested might not.
Be approachable and available to talk. I was actually pretty scared to talk to clients, as English isn’t my native language, but eventually I overcame the fear and my English has benefited greatly thanks to 99designs.
Be constructive and inform yourself as much as you can. Contest model can be tricky and clients do sometimes end up with mediocre designs. A little bit of prior reading and good communication = great design. ☺
When you’re not designing, what are you up to?
Right now, I’m planning a 5 month trip to the US. It’s a student work and travel program that I’ve paid for with the money I earned on 99. ☺
Aside from that, I enjoy watching TV shows, movies and loud music. I used to go to the gym, but that kind of fell through, although I’m looking forward to getting into fitness again once I get back! I also like animals. And my girlfriend. Not in this particular order. 😛
Anything else you’d like to add?
99designs is an awesome platform, with great staff and people who actually care. The community is great and I invite all designers to join the Forum. I’ve met many great people there and learned a lot.
I’ll be taking a short break due to the student exchange program, but once I get back I look forward to working on new projects!