KARIM ZERGUINE, SENIOR DESIGNER AND CURATOR
Some months ago, I write a little article for Karim Zerguine. He is a french architect and forniture designer living in Monterrey, Mexico who result to be my client and friend. Also, he is running two furniture and high decoration stores: D’un Monde A’l’Autre in Monterrey and the DUMAO Design in LaredoTexas.
Im no the best writer, but I can really read in this lines him self as a person and his work.
“I believe in freedom of nature, enjoy everything and get attached to nothing.” Karim Zerguine
For over ten years, the unique brand of Karim Zerguine triggers trends. His success is based on his fascination of provoke contrast between nature and sophistication.
Admired by the beauty that comes from the earth, Karim spend years taking care of stunning pieces of wood, stone and metal. Then, he finely intervene each one, without affecting its natural organic beauty and turn it into a design exclusive piece that has been desired by his loyal buyers and collectors.
Asia´s displays and flea markets are also spaces where he becomes an explorer. Looking closely at each piece, analyzing the details, textures and vibrations, it is a careful selection. He can not deny his predilection for woods, cause he feels it is a noble material that embrace latent stories.
To Karim large industries dose not exist, there are only people and their hands, passion for quality, respect for tradition and vision of new spaces. This is the only way, after all, each piece bears his name and there is no more in life than being honest with our own beliefs.
With a promise of the exclusivity of his pieces, Karim Zerguine offers a unique experience in the showroom of D’un Monde A’l’Autre in Monterrey and the DUMAO Design in LaredoTexas.
I am a crazy to-do list person and, even after time has gone by, I never forget my previous check marks. This is the story of one of those check marks, and even though I loved this project, I never had the chance to cross it out of my list.
A couple of years ago my dear friend Hector asked me to design a brand identity for his new orthodontic office. I was more than happy to help and we agreed to exchange services, so we started the wish list: logo, web page, some kind of stationary he needed and a sign for his office… everything without any kind of professional fees. Instead, I asked for orthodontic treatment for my son free of charge. Deal!
So we started working together. We talked for a while about his ideas and then we turned our point of view and realized how simple it was from the customer’s perspective. He had lots of different but clear ideas, so we focused on his work ethics and on what makes him different to other orthodontists.
For most teenagers and children, wearing braces can be fashionable. Beyond orthodontic treatment, appointments, pain or getting nice teeth, the important thing is what they can prove to their friends. So, unconsciously, the braces system becomes a symbol of economic and social status, allowing them to “shine” among their friends and have fun whit their cool and unforgettable smile. Color rubber bands are what appeal to children the most. “Being able to change your rubber bands on a date is very important, kids choose and mix colors to strengthen their style and personality” - Hector said. As for the parents, the important thing is confidence and professionalism. Most of the time, this is reflected through very clear steps to follow and through the simplicity of a clean and well-organized environment. And of course, the results are important too.
Besides the kiddos, some not so young people are interested in orthodontic treatment too. So even if our main market is the little ones, we do not want to exclude other potential customers.
Based on these facts, we started to design a cool, clean and professional identity. In a few days we had a great solution! “Quiero Brackets” which means, “I want braces”, and it is a statement from the patient’s voice. I shaped that voice in a fun way with interspersed colors and a mix of fonts, imitating the selections they make with their multiple rubber bands. I designed a little tooth icon too and some applications. All this in a clean black and white background that shows the professionalism and confidence that the parents need in order to feel comfortable.
Hector was really excited! We crossed out the first things on the list. We started planning the next steps, but suddenly we had to stop for a while. I started managing a big project that did not allow me to focus on a “service exchange project” (Why did I do that…? I don’t know). So we stopped.
Hector’s project had been so successful that he needed to move to a new and better office. We were just starting to get momentum again, we were designing a couple of communication tools when he started to have so many patients that he no longer had the time to follow up with the project. Again, we stopped. A few days after that happened I started traveling and then I moved to a different city.
As I am writing this I find myself about to call him again. I have to admit that I´m feeling a little embarrassed because it seems like I did not push hard enough since the beginning. I believe that in any kind of project, design project or any other professional project, we have the responsibility to help our clients accomplish their goal and achieve a certain level of quality ON TIME, especially if the client is our dear friend.
I know he is doing more than great now. His business has been growing a lot in a short period of time and he is clearly making a difference whit his service. Even if the orthodontic treatment he offered for my son is still available, I live too far and it would be impossible to attend these appointments, so thats not the important thing here, I just want to empower his success as I was committed to and cross out that web page design that is killing my to-do list.