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Meet Sven Igawa of Igawa Design in Long Beach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sven Igawa.

Sven, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Growing up around Venice, I was heavily influenced by skateboarding, surfing, art and music. So I always wanted to draw waves, skateboard graphics and album covers. It never dawned on me to take it more seriously than that.

Heading into college, I had no idea what I wanted to do. So one semester I ended up taking an introductory class in 2D Design. It sounded more interesting than drawing or painting and at the same time I didn’t really know all that much about the class or what to expect. Not to sound cliché but it turned out to be the thing that truly changed my life. It was an art class that had different qualities that appealed to me. It had structure, problem solving, communication, typography and to me, more purposeful and direct than fine art. A few weeks in, I knew this was meant to be.

Once I graduated from Cal State University Long Beach with a BFA in Visual Communications, I worked at a variety of design offices and advertising agencies throughout L.A. and Orange County. It was a great experience because I was able to work with high-profile clients and begin to understand the business side of design and advertising. And eventually it became time to launch my own company.

Has it been a smooth road?
Smooth road is debatable. How about smooth-ish? That might be a better fit. We do run into some challenges on a regular basis with clients though.

In some cases, we have to convince clients that just because they’ve been doing things a certain way for years, doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s still a good idea to do so. What worked 5-10 years ago may not be as effective today and it could be a waste of company resources. Few clients have the time to re-evaluate their own processes on a regular basis. And we understand that. So it’s really important that we can help them change focus and adapt to market changes and trends.

Another challenge is keeping a rebrand on course. It may take months or even up to a year to build all of the necessary assets for a rebrand effort before it’s unveiled to the consumer. And of course, there is strategy for how these elements are deployed over time. But internally, the client and their team have been seeing everything throughout the process. So for them, they have been living with it every day. And after a while they can start to get anxious and want to change things before the consumer has even had a chance to see it or react to it. It’s understandable because once you start a rebrand, it gains momentum internally and people get overly excited. They just have to be patient and trust the process.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Igawa Design – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I’m the Principal and Creative Director at Igawa Design, an award-winning, boutique branding and design firm based in Long Beach. Founded in 2001 on the principle that excellent design can shape people’s perceptions of a brand and elevate its value in the marketplace. We craft smart, engaging and strategic work that helps create a meaningful connection between brands and consumers.

We’ve worked with startups all the way up to global brands from a wide range of categories. Brands from technology, sports, entertainment, aviation, consumer electronics, telecommunications, lifestyle, and the visual arts. Since we don’t specialize in one specific category, it gives us a broader perspective. The knowledge we gain from one category can sometimes be applied to others. So it allows us to come at things with a fresh and different approach.

Our work ranges from brand identity, brand strategy, packaging, advertising, collateral, retail design, tradeshow, mobile and websites.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
What I love most about L.A. is the diversity, the fact that you could go surfing in the morning and snowboarding the same afternoon…and of course the food.

Least would definitely be traffic. It’s inescapable.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 2898 Orange Avenue, Suite B
    Signal Hill, CA 90755
  • Website: igawadesign.com
  • Phone: 562-206-1616
  • Email: hello@igawadesign.com

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