We had the good fortune of connecting with Ozan Karakoc and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ozan, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
I believe that the most important factor behind my success is how much I care for my clients and for my job. Design has never been a tool for me. It is my entire life and my true passion. When that’s the case, it becomes a matter of ‘principle’ for you, not just another way of earning a living. Designing something that really works, creating a meaningful brand that touches people, and working on a client project as if it is my own make me the happiest person in the world. I define myself as a ‘design partner’, because when I work for a client, I feel like an actual part of their brand. I think like them, I understand the strengths and weaknesses of them, and I provide solutions for them, with a pro-active approach when needed. Even after I’m completely done with the project, I keep monitoring how the brand performs. When I see something wrong from branding and design perspective, I reach out to them and share my suggestions, solely for the sake of the brand. That’s why, I believe that I have the happiest clients in the world!

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am a designer, but design is not just a job for me. I don’t design to live. I live to design. For me, a car is not a vehicle that takes me from one place to another. It’s a design piece. I immediately focus on its look. Sometimes it makes me happy with its beautifully designed curves, and the attention to detail, and sometimes it upsets or frustrates me with its ugliness or design flaws. If it’s not well designed, I don’t care how fast it goes, how quickly it accelerates or how safe its brake system is. And I go through that same process for every other object, place and product. Design and beauty is my priority. I started to design by creating sport newspapers, way before attending to a school. Then, when I was in elementary school, my father got me a typewriter, helped me upgrade my ‘operation’, and I started to sell my publication. At the university, I founded an international art magazine, which later on, reached millions of people from more than 140 countries. I designed my first client project when I was 16 years old, and I have been working in the field since then. Was it easy? Absolutely. Because it was not a job that I was taught. It has always been a part of me. Of course I learnt how to use design software, or the history of design to better understand the field, but all that was like playing games to me.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, it took a while for me to remember what I used to do and where I used to hang out before. Now, my mind is slowly catching up! I would definitely take them to the museums first. Getty, Broad and LACMA could have been a good start. They would probably love to take a walk at the Japanese Garden as well. Then I would make them taste the best burgers in the town and take them to R+D Kitchen in Santa Monica, Father’s Office and Apple Pan in Culver City. I miss Jose Andres’ incomparable The Bazaar Restaurant, designed by Philippe Starck, at which I had one of the best fine dining experiences I have ever had, but accepting the fact that it’s now closed, I could take them to Nancy Silverton’s Chi Spacca for unforgettably delicious dishes and Fago de Chao for some amazing Brazilian Churrascaria. We could also end one of the days with a couple of drinks at the roof of the Standard Hotel. Yes, Los Angeles is such a food heaven that I can’t concentrate on other types of attractions or places to be at. If you consider visiting me in Los Angeles, get ready to gain some pounds!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there a person, group, organization, book, etc. that you want to dedicate your shoutout to? Who else deserves a little credit and recognition in your story?
My family. My father is a painter, my mother used to be a graphic designer, and my sister is a photographer, so I was lucky to be raised in an environment where art was the highest priority. Regardless of that, they always believed in me, trusted me, and supported my decisions about my education and professional career. Thanks to that, I have always been self-confident, knew what I wanted from the very beginning, and I never felt lost.

Website: http://www.ozankarakoc.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ozan_karakoc
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ozankarakoc
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/ozankarakoc
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ozankarakocdesign
Other: https://www.behance.net/ozankarakoc https://www.dribbble.com/ozankarakoc

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