Why designer Artemy Lebedev is not afraid of scandals

Artemy Lebedev returns a star to the Moscow logo! Artemy Lebedev took millions to draw the letter "M" for the subway! Artemy Lebedev designed a sewer hatch with the image of George! This is only a small number of recent rumors and news that accompany the activities of the famous Russian designer Artemy Lebedev and his studio.
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For some time the favorite designer of the Moscow government, who worked for the Bolshoi Theatre, who created a famous image of the entire country, the head of "Yandex" page is a strange irritation among many. His life is accompanied by scandals and the courts, and they all turned to Lebedev in advertising.

And it's all about him

Domestic design guru and star of the Russian Internet, Internet provocateur and blogger bully, the son of the writer Tatyana Tolstaya. All this is about Lebedev, the founder of one of the first web design studios in Russia and author of the popular online diary in the "Live Journal".

Most of the adult life Lebedev is engaged in design. It is believed that he invented the first logo, while still a first-grader, and made him the first letters of the names of their friends. The first major opus was the illustration of the self-same article about the new police uniforms in the late 1980s. Using a computer, the possession of which in those days by itself to balance on the verge of science fiction, it is not a special ceremony, dressed up the statue of David in tarpaulin boots and cap.

Over 25 years in the professionthese Lebedev managed to start production of useful things for arranging life and working space, to acquire a network of its own café, write a book about "Mandership" design and publish it to develop several new fonts, and even porukovodit developing urban design of a regional center - the city of Perm.

About Lebedev known as an avid traveler, organizer of several roads and navigable expeditions in Russia and around the world (in early October launched another expedition, this time to China), about hobbies Wildlife Photography (travel reports always appear in his blog).

About his stage plays, draw comics, and his words are often dismantled in quotes.

And, of course, to his 39 years of Artemy Lebedev had not only become the art director of the studio named after himself, but also to bring it to the leaders of the Russian market of graphic and web design.

Company's secret

Studio is the most successful and notable projects of famous designers. In 2015, it will be twenty years. Work here dreams almost every first novice designAnd from customers, according to the impressive list of completed projects, there is no release.

It all started, however, is quite harmless. In 1992, together with a partner Artemy Lebedev became the founder of the design of "A-squared" studio. The following year, he was also working as an artist in "MakTsentr" studio has already created his own office by publishing books and "Artografika" magazines.

We had to somehow earn. By this time, Artemije had to live in the United States (at the University of Baltimore taught Russian literature, his mother, Tatyana Tolstaya), tell her, "Goodbye" and return to the splendid isolation at home.

Earn, oddly enough, it was possible. From America he took computer skills are obviously useful to him in the work, and a few years later, visiting his younger brother at Princeton University, Artemy first fully acquainted with the Internet, and at the same time had an opportunity to get lucky by the tail and professionally engaged in web design.

"I think that Artemia very extraordinary thinking, it allows him to look at many things differently than do most lDei - says creative director Maxim Redmadrobot tenths. - In the end, he manages to find the very solutions that the market really need at the moment. The ability for critical thinking allows him to always remain at the forefront. "

So in 1995 there was the first web-design studio in Russia, which grew as a result of the Studio named Lebedev. Then she called in the corporate style of the founder, simply and succinctly - WebDesign. Starting with one employee in the face of the Lebedev studio has grown to 300 people, has got branches in Kiev and New York, as well as its own network of stores.

"We Lebedev talent manager and strategist - said Associate Professor of Integrated Communications Graduate School of Economics, an expert in the field of branding and visual communications Pavel Rodkin. - In the 1990s, he was one of the first engaged in web design as a completely new direction, take this niche and was able to develop further. "

This explains multispetsializatsiya his studio. For web design, from which Lebedev started his business in Russia, joined by graphic design, corporateIdentity, then the industrial design and publishing. Not covered, however, still remains the development of mobile applications, developing very dynamically in Russia.

"The quality of the projects and products of the studio can be treated differently, but it should be noted that she is not afraid to go into new areas, including in those that are currently considered to be already occupied, - says Pavel Rodkin. - It would be interesting to trace how new direction Lebedev will start to learn to read. strategic development of talent - it is his strong point, of course. "

List Lebedev

"For me, the main criterion of the quality of the studio - is the number of projects that are implemented in life. Lebedev Studio work I see all the time, and the whole of Russia ", - notes a graphic designer, founder GolovachDesign Evgeniy Golovach studio. It seems ready to recognize merit Lebedev even competitors.

The list of customers is really impressive. There appear: "Gazprom" Alfa-Bank "Russian Standard" bank, "VimpelCom" to "Billynom "Great theater and even the Moscow government.

Millions of Internet users begin surfing the web from the page created by Lebedev's designers: design studio owned by search engine "Yandex", for many years, enjoying continued popularity in the Russian-speaking segment of the web. Spend more than one hour every day side by side with the creation of the studio, residents and guests of the Russian capital: outdoor navigation, which appeared a few months ago in the Moscow subway, as well as updated schematic lines of the Moscow Metro is also listed in an active studio.

Fans of Japanese cuisine are familiar with the studio on the new logo "Yakitoriya" restaurant, travelers - on patterns Sheremetyevo International Airport, and shopping lovers - on the Internet site of the shopping center "Mega". Supplementing this list can be very long.

Expensive and long

The company's projects are expensive. About sky-high prices, to which the customer must be prepared to work at the studio, do not go unless legend. The founder of the studio such an approach to the organizationBusiness does not hide the fact that for the product produced his brainchild will have to pay well, it was almost the official slogan. Pay here, by the way, not for speed: daring to cooperate with the company, have patience.

"Lebedev Studio provides consistently good results. A stability - this is exactly what interested corporate customers. Big business wants to be sure that when choosing a service provider will be the least possible risk. they can be assured in the case with the studio Lebedev that they will get a job, it will be stable good quality. Just will cost dearly, "- said Maxim tenths.

"It is one thing - to work with" Gazprom ", and another - with an unknown company, - says Pavel Rodkin. - Intangible assets are capitalized, too, and there is no difference from the studio brand brand Nike or Coca-Cola. This is the case when the goods are sold at a price that is much higher due to the cost of the brand. Strange not to use the brand name, if it exists. "

Cost of works of the studio really is quite impressive. Officiocial rates are not public, but the former customers tell us that 6 million rubles, for example, appreciated the work of the studio of the Moscow Committee website (project did not take place: for its implementation there was no funds)..

However, with the Moscow authorities and linked much more money the studio projects. Thus, the development and production of outdoor navigation for 49 stations of the Moscow Metro was worth, according to official data on the public procurement website, almost 118 million rubles. (However, the studio took over a development stage).

Even more expensive - 232 million rubles. - Cost the capital's image of public transport, including the updating of the logo of the Moscow Metro - red letter "M". So much so that to spend on services studio called look PGO: initiated by the State Duma deputy from the "Fair Russia" Mikhail Serdyuk. However, the scandal was hushed up quickly: Head of Department of Transportation and Development of road transport infrastructure Maxim Liksutov said the logo was given to the city for a nominal fee of one ruble.

"Many criteria tsenoobrtion in the public space is simply not clear - says Pavel Rodkin. - It is the same when there are scandals involving some of the logo for $ 100 000, or with the "Black Square" by Malevich. People say, why so expensive? I did so draw! But it does not mention that a serious intellectual work is behind the logo. "

"This is the normal pricing for a top-class studio - adds SmirnovDesign founder Sergey Smirnov. - How to design a logo? This is a great system of identity, multi-page presentations to the smallest details worked out, conducted research, and it all ends with a logo. "

But he Artemy Lebedev in 2008, said simply: "The prices we take from the ceiling."

Studio Financial results were not disclosed, but in 2011 the blogger dimaswami tried to evaluate them on circumstantial evidence, and received a total of approximately $ 16 million. In 2012, the designer Anatoly Popel estimated that fifteen years of existence, Lebedev Studio has performed about 2,100 projects, and from the second half of "zero," she went on productivity etc.200 works a year.

On everyone's lips

Widely known studio gained popularity thanks to its founder on the Internet. The users of the blogosphere, far from professional design and facing studio creativity only in the home, Artemy Lebedev known as Subject, and the owner of one of the most popular journals in the "Live Journal". Almost any recording immediately accumulates hundreds of comments, and the most visited blog is regularly in the top three rankings of Russian-speaking LJ.

Interest in online public Lebedev won including outright scandalous. Rumor has it that he almost argued with Rustem Adagamovym, another popular blogger whose online diary will be in the top LJ. And in the dispute, as in war, all means are good.

As a result, in his Internet blog author regularly questioned the existence of AIDS, ridiculed the collection of money for the treatment of sick children, referred to the celebration of Victory Day ritual and worship, as well as publicly stated disbelief in God. The latter together with the competition "ftozhab "(cartoon)" Pririsuy patriarch mustache "caused a powerful wave of indignation among Orthodox activists tried to sue Lebedev for insulting the feelings of believers. Great indignation aroused except photo contest on Fridays: in his online diary periodically blocked on charges of pornography.

Blog often acted kind of tool for public settling of accounts.

Personal competition "fotozhab" won the company "Aeroflot" has sold Lebedev in 2010 a ticket for 90 000 rubles. after registration, he finally could not take advantage. Competition, by the way, ended for Lebedev quite real court. Also on the pages of LJ relished the details of the proceedings around Lebedev's jeep Land Rover (or "Kukusika" as he referred to the author). The car broke down during one of his expeditions to the Russian Lebedev and repair dragged on for a long critical from the point of view of the owner, period.

Almost vendetta he organized in his LiveJournal Lebedev and against the party "Fair Russia", which got it on a regular basiswith or without. The grounds were accusations by the Socialist-Revolutionaries that Lebedev actively uses Entries profanity.

However, photo contests on the verge of a foul, posts, richly flavored with obscene language, provocative interviews successfully complemented with stories of journeys of the author's diary, professional tips and advice from young designers, that allows you to save a long interest in the diary, while he himself Lebedev invariably adds popularity, albeit scandalous.

"Lebedev's name was in the public mind a household name both in the good and in the bad sense, self-contained scandalous phenomenon, - says Pavel Rodkin. - It is necessary to separate the public level, outrageous, scandalous and the nature of doing business with customers. Because, most likely, Lebedev customer is different.

Outrageous acts as an external stimulus, the person holds and studio at the hearing. "

Under the blueprint

However, scandals design studio suffice. The company's address is often heard accusations of creative borrowing. Simply put, Of plagiarism. Development of the Internet has played a cruel joke with the designer: to find the source of the next prospective creative opus is often not difficult.

As a result, developed for "Yakitori" logo meticulous observers saw similarities with the emblem of the Japanese restaurant Finger's, in the logo of Yaroslavl - motives with syrup label cough Solphyllex, hat "Gazety.Ru" reminded many of The Guardian, and corporate identity Gorky Park - registration of national parks in New York City. Many problems caused Perm logo as a red letter "P", which practically repeated the logo Cultural Foundation Mexico.

"Analogies can always be found, - says Sergey Smirnov. - Artemy himself once upon a time loved to do it, find and compare similar work. If they are found, there are just some general trends, when all work in the same way. When we are not talking about an art object and a commercial order, it is very important to keep the balance of novelty and existing trends. The similarities may be, but I have not seen plagiarism. "

In order to avoid possibles effects, the administration of the Moscow park even decided on examination, which, however, did not confirm the debt. "Gazeta.ru," the use of similar elements in registration refused.

One of the last projects of the studio, which caused a storm of criticism in his address, became Moscow's logo, in the shape of a red five-pointed star. Similarities found with the symbol of the American retail chain Macy's or beer Heineken. The Moscow government finally announced that it has nothing to do with the project studio, and that the capital development of a logo was a private initiative of the designer. In addition, Lebedev himself has admitted the fact of plagiarism members of his studio. One of the precedents was the logo for the Workplace Project Eugene Wolf. According to Lebedev, the studio designer who worked on the logo, was dismissed. Creative borrowing cost the customer $ 20,000.

However, on the number and status of the studio customers, this has no effect, confirming the word once again that the bad publicity does not happen. In a business where the objective approach to pricing is not there, the price is not linked with the costsE, and the "bad" reputation is not always bad for business, scandals only "woven" fabric biography Lebedev.

Good school

"All things being equal the designer is much more likely to agree to work in the studio Lebedev, than any other studio for the same money, - says Maxim tenths. - Where employees receive not only money, they become great professionals. They get a chance to become one of the best designers in Russia. "

The founder of the studio did not hide the fact that one of the objectives of education puts the appropriate level of staff. In the studio there is a program of training, the results of which have the most talented have the chance to stay in the studio for a longer period.

These services operate its own cafe, where Lebedev is trying to develop the network and outside the studio. You can ride a bike, good space allows. Who can rejuvenate the job, nap on the couches and numerous pufah. In the studio, a lot of green plants, old TV sets and gramophones (this inequalitynodushen art director) and humorous signs.

"We could absolutely not have to worry about the little things everyday, such as bill payment for an apartment or trips to the dry cleaners. This could entrust the manager in the studio, and absolutely free, - says ex-employee studio Daria Sviridov, who has worked there for almost ten years. - It was possible to fully concentrate on his work and creativity. To do this, all conditions have been created in the studio. "