Meet logo designer Dmitry Grigorev (aka D!)

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Name: Dmitry Grigorev
Location: Russia
99designs handleD!
Projects won: 29

Attending Magnitogorsk University in the rugged Ural Mountains region of Central Russia, Dmitry Grigorev was all set to earn a degree in Linguistics when his other passion, graphic design, fatefully interfered. He impulsively switched departments to pursue his artistic inclinations and, 6 years of study later, graduated feeling he could call himself a designer.

And yet, even after all his schooling, the quality of winning designers’ work on 99designs was enough to shake Dmitry’s confidence.

“It was a while before I decided to take part in any design contests, because I looked at logos from experienced designers and I thought my chances were not very big :)” he recalls. “However, I understood that participation in contests would make my design skill level higher and I got the wish to make something new, original and better than the others. After ten unsuccessful contests I had my first win, and have been picking up regular clients and friends among designers since.”

Dmitry traces his fascination with design back to the bright and colorful candy, soft drink and chewing gum logos of his childhood. Mars, MilkyWay, Fanta and Sprite, for example, convey this playful and emotional brand of visual allure, which has stoked Dmitry’s creativity ever since.

“I still prefer to choose projects where I can illustrate the idea in a clever and bright manner — especially when illustration is appropriate.”

Indeed, Dmitry believes that illustration is key. “It all starts with a blank sheet of paper and a pencil, basically,” he says. “All of a sudden, brainstorming starts! Sometimes I jot down key words and concepts, but often the hand just starts drawing by itself, and – you know the feeling – bingo! There’s what I was looking for!!!”

The following logo for Blue Train, one of Dmitry’s personal favorites, was the result of much time and even more paper:

“I was thinking about how to combine two absolutely different images in one unique concept,” he says. “I don’t know how but this idea just came in my head. Very interesting contest.”

Besides his activity on 99designs, Dmitry works in a thriving advertising agency where he designs billboards, business cards and the like.

But despite all his success, Dmitry remains as humble as ever. “I am trying to improve my design skills day by day. I only hope one day someone will call me a very good, professional logo designer; I would never dream of praising myself that way!”

He ended our conversation by apologizing for his slightly shaky English: “Alex, sorry for my bad grammar,” he said. “After all, I am not a linguist but I am happy to be a designer :)”.

Cheers to that!

Got any inspiring childhood logos of your own? Share them in the comments!

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Alex contributes from New York City on topics ranging from branding and typography to the history of design.