If your main clients are entrepreneurs and business owners, it may seem difficult to impress them without stifling creativity. For Igor Manasteriotti and Mia Marić, principals of Manasteriotti∞Marić—and their client CLOX, a fashionable line of stilettos that feature working clocks—the key is flexibility.
“We try to balance out the real-world, mainstream projects with more creative pieces that appeal to other designers,” Manasteriotti says. “Most of our clients are not designers, so they need to be impressed with high-quality, budget-conscious projects with realistic executions that bring results.”
Manasteriotti and Marić also cater their digital portfolio to the client’s industry. “At the initial meeting with a potential client, we usually make a brief laptop presentation of our work, discussing each piece and explaining our design decisions and how they solved our client’s problem,” Manasteriotti says. “If they need food packaging, we add more packaging work. If they’re looking for a new visual identity for their startup, we emphasize that aspect of our experience. It keeps the presentation relevant and makes a good impression.”
Judge Mirko Ilić liked the duo’s varied portfolio because it exemplified two characteristics he asserts are a winning combination: wit and minimalism. “It seemed like the overall design aesthetic was simple, yet tasteful,” Ilić says. “Everything was very straight to the point. They were able to incorporate an appropriate amount of whimsy for typically corporate clients.”
And this approach seems to be successful. “Most of our work comes from recommendations. We like to think that behind every new project is a satisfied client who recommended us,” Manasteriotti says.