A creative job comes with the promise of freedom and self expression. Today we meet Dmitry, the founder of  Y Agency, to tell us more about the urban myths and dreamy charms of branding, having a career in the field and his own proudest accomplishments.

Tell us a bit more about the story of Y Studio and your role in it:

The agency was launched by me around 2007. Not really sure of the exact year at this point, haha. In the beginning, it was a design studio - brand identity, websites but later on, with new partners joining, we grew to a full branding agency, to building strategies. Down the road, we rebranded ourselves from Yabloko to Y 🍏, mainly for simplification but not only. The entire team is a millennial one - generation Y, so the name serves a double purpose. 🔄

The sales department was originally in LA 🌇 because we wanted to take over the market there. Wow! It’s a competitive one. However, when we started full branding, we decided to focus on the Ukrainian market because we know how people think, the local culture, and what sells. We had clients from 12 different countries at one point and still more than 70% of the profit actually came from Ukraine. 🇺🇦 Usually for big creative projects, big companies hire foreign talent but for strategy it remains fully local.

What's the achievement that made you the proudest so far?

Oh, I don’t know. We have some awards. In Ukrainian Design The Very Best Of, we won “Corporate & Brand Identity” for our project for the Polytechnical Museum. 🏆We had no limitations, we were able to fully express ourselves. The managers of the museum accepted all of our suggestions which was super cool. 🎨

Then we did some voluntary projects, because of COVID, to support different businesses. We created three projects like that and we got hundreds of leads in return. With one of them, we took an award at the Belarussian Marketing Festival - White Square. 🏆 The project was not fully finished but represented a concept for a newspaper that shows only a few letters a page and as you continue turning the pages, you can visualize how fast a pandemic can spread - from one letter/person to thousands. 

Imagination is the core of design work. How about daily life?

The same. Imagination helps on a daily basis. I wouldn’t say that I’m more creative than an ordinary person, I’m just able to express it better in the design direction. For example, creativity in JavaScript is also creativity, everything involves imagination. 🌈

Would you advise people to start working in your field or not? Why?

It's an interesting field but if the competition is dense. Smaller agencies like ours usually struggle to make creative work and to make money at the same time. 

Some of the companies we work with don’t actually know how to use the finished branding materials, the brand book in the long run. Part of the problem is that most don’t have a proper internal marketing department. 

You really have to make a choice between freedom of expression and profit, which one is more important to you. If you want to make money, go to IT, haha.  For example, you can get twice the salary in UX and UI.

How did you find Puzl and why did you decide to join the Community?

‍We Googled it when we relocated to Sofia. We liked that it brings a sense of freedom and it looks very similar to what we had back in Ukraine. I’m more of an introvert but I appreciate the presence of a community. 👥

What's your favorite joke, saying, or just an advice that you'd like to share with everyone?

Hard question! Let’s skip this one, haha. [Editor’s Note: Dmitry recommends watching this movie https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0168629/] 🎥

Got you interested? Check their website. 🔗

Wanna know more? You can Slack @ Dmitry Stepanenko, add him on LINKEDIN or find him on the Factory 2.0 floor for a chat. 🗣️