Thanks to the evolution of technology, art has evolved into countless mediums as digital capabilities have created new vehicles for the innovation of art. As graphic design has inevitably become ingrained in our everyday lives with branding and design as part of nearly anything and everything we engage with, still, there are only a select few who have an eye for creating distinguished design. From the mind of Turkish graphic designer and art director Aksel Ceylan who recently created the logo for the renowned soccer player Yusuf Yazici, the name on international sport headlines as he brought his club Lille OSC the championship in French League Ligue 1, comes a fresh and innovative take on design. With his inspiring and thoughtfully designed projects, the designer has already been recognized for his work both domestically and globally.
Born and raised in Turkey, Ceylan only recently moved to the United States in the last few years to continue the pursuit of his career as a creative. Back home, his work earned him recognition as one of Turkey’s premier talents as he was recently recognized for his award-winning work on The Raleigh Gardens of Miami’s Raleigh Hotel. In addition, he has received praise for his collaborative work with name-brands like Coca-Cola Company, Vodafone, Axe, and more. And though these types of projects might seem a bit “corporate,” to Ceylan, he feels fortunate to have bridged the gap between art and the professional world as his work provides him a life in which he can be creative and still pursue a career with business opportunities.
But his love for creativity and art did not stem from a desire to cultivate the best creative business deals. In fact, his affinity for graphic design and art direction was instilled in him from a young age when drawing and art became a coping mechanism and an outlet to express himself. With his acceptance to a university in Florence, the young Ceylan moved to Italy to study graphic design. Today, he now manages projects that are only contributing to his goal of earning global recognition as an artist and designer. And very much like the time and day that the world now lives in, Ceylan views his art as an equation that requires solving.
“I don’t believe in muses, I guess,” he says. “I’m a solution-based designer so I always start with the problems and try to dig out a creative way to solve them using my toolbox. Sometimes it’s illustration, sometimes typography, sometimes a TVC, or a campaign idea. Or sometimes it’s all of them, but it’s all part of a problem-solving process.”
Though as a youth, he never would have imagined that he would go on in life to pursue a career as an artist and designer, today his portfolio proves otherwise with projects all over the world, including the Best Album Cover Design of 2020 for his work on R&B artist Can Kazaz’s Kızılgerdan Singles for the GMK Awards. His work also includes corporate identities, campaigns and branding projects. Back at home in Turkey, Ceylan’s work has earned him an abundant reputation as a prolific graphic designer and art director. As his career path continues to defy his expectations, his work continues to exceed his reputation, cultivating even greater projects and opportunities for work.
“When I was a child, I used to dream of drawing the cover of New Yorker Magazine someday. It was almost an unrealistic dream back then, looked like a wish that was impossible to get. But now I live in New York City for the last couple of years, slowly becoming a New Yorker and giving interviews to the publications based here in the US, so I might be getting closer to that dream somehow, who knows.”