Pond Jumpers: Spain

header image for Graphic Design Studio Elevator, and my Favorite Project, Martinis Marchi

Graphic Design Studio Elevator, and my Favorite Project, Martinis Marchi

Posted on June 16, 2010 at 10:08pm Madrid / 4:08pm Cincinnati by Kelly Larbes

head shot of kelly

As we get ready to leave Croatia to move to Spain, we’ve started to reflect a lot on the 15 months we’ve spent in Croatia, especially everything we’ve loved and learned. For over a year now, I’ve worked at a small graphic design studio in Split called Elevator. I’ve learned a lot about myself, design, and working in a completely foreign environment.

I was most surprised about how the country’s culture affects every aspect of business. Wooing clients is a long process with lots of coffee meetings. Jobs are often awarded based on who you know, political associations or a looong chain of who owes who a favor. Getting paid can be a prickly situation. Many communist attitudes are still prevalent. Government policies don’t promote entrepreneurship and it hurts smalls businesses. Running a business in Croatia is tough. I’m glad I got to learn the ropes of working in this crazy country without actually having my own business. I think and hope it will make me a more agile designer in the future.

I often get asked by family and friends what it is like to work here and what I am working on. A couple months ago I posted about similarities and differences at work, and I’ve been meaning to post some images from my favorite project at Elevator. There were quite a few projects I really enjoyed, but the redesign of Martinis Marchi was my favorite.

Martinis Marchi is an esteemed (i.e. very pricey) hotel located in an 18th century castle on the island of Šolta. Their old identity and all of their communications were inconsistent and confusing. At Elevator, we had the opportunity to give them a new look and strategy. Of course, they wanted their new identity to communicate the moon and the stars, contemporariness, heritage, exclusivity, and more. We took the dragon from the castle’s original coat of arms, redrew him, and gave Martinis Marchi an identity to match their prestige.

I had a lot of fun working on this project. The owners of the hotel were German, so all business was conducted in English, allowing me to be fully involved in everything. The only downside was that I didn’t get to stay overnight at the hotel.

Martinis Marchi logo

Martinis Marchi brochure

Martinis Marchi ad card

Martinis Marchi web site

This was just one of my favorite projects. Other favorites included the PPK redesign (meat producer), Dalmatia Music Festival collateral, and Split Summer Festival concepts (speculative work that was never produced, but fun to create). It was all a fun run.

I’d like to thank my boss, Tony Adamic, for wanting to bring an American to his studio and for giving me the opportunity to live in such a wonderful place.

6 Reader Comments to “Graphic Design Studio Elevator, and my Favorite Project, Martinis Marchi”

  1. Dad Klocke on June 17, 2010 at 4:56am Split / 10:56pm Cincinnati

    Kelly- I was surprised to see another article so soon. I remember Mom and I discussing several months ago how beautiful, professional and artistic your redesign of Martinis Marchi. Obviously you got your talent from your mom. I also think that you were very lucky and blessed to spend 15 months in such a beautiful country and made friends with people from over all the world. I was blessed that I got to visit you and Jay several times in Croatia.

  2. dontliveinCro...just holiday really just holiday. on June 17, 2010 at 3:35pm Split / 9:35am Cincinnati

    I am really happy that you are leaving here and moving to the developed world instead of having to put up with this place here. the corruption, the small mindedness of the populace, have i said corruption, ah yes corruption I have mentioned it. red tape, miles and miles of red tape, bureaucracy, the complete and utter disregard for customers never mind potential customers, Imagine, you are going to a place where people actually smile, at other people. I think its time to leave here as well and take my business with me. Apologies if this sounds like a rant, but what I state above is my official verdict of living here and many ex pats as well, maybe not Kelly and Jay as they are a beautiful couple who would/could never slander a place
    Enjoy your new adventure and report back to the forum every now and again and let us know how you are getting on

  3. Lisa Schraffenberger on June 17, 2010 at 9:34pm Split / 3:34pm Cincinnati

    The Martinis Marchi is very nice, but I love the t-shirt that I bought for Sue Larbes for her birthday. I wish it wasn’t a limited time thing and could have got one for myself :) You are very talented and very lucky to have all the adventures that you are having. We love to read about them all so blog on…..

  4. Lori on June 18, 2010 at 7:26pm Split / 1:26pm Cincinnati

    It’s lovely work Kelly! Congrats on Spain too, how fab!

  5. Kelly Larbes on June 21, 2010 at 10:50pm Split / 4:50pm Cincinnati

    Dad – I am definitely glad you came and visited us too. It was great to show you all of the places we fell in love with.

    dontliveinCro – I understand living here and especially trying to run a business can be hard. Like I said in this post, I am sure glad I didn’t have to run my own business here. I really do hate how the government throws up so many obstacles towards entrepreneurs – They seem to stop people from doing great things for the country. And yes, much of the population seems to be complacent and stuck in the past. Still, I’ve met some amazing people here who are smart and driven. I think it just might take a few generations for things to change.

    Lisa – I’m so glad you like the t-shirt. And thank you for the compliments. I’m glad you are enjoying my stories.

    Lori – Thanks for the shout out and kind words!

  6. Sarah Wu on June 23, 2010 at 8:13pm Split / 2:13pm Cincinnati

    Hi Kelly,
    I really love your blog and pictures. It’s so cool to find another blogger who loves to travel and design too. I love your elegant design on the logo and the card, great job!