Meet designer Liron Eldar-Ashkenazi a.k.a. LIŔONA

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Currently an associate creative director at BUCK, Liron Eldar-Ashkenazi is an award-winning designer with a bold and distinct style.

5 min read

A digital illustration by Liron Eldar-Ashkenazi of various 3D objects on a mirror showing their reflections and the sky above

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Award-winning multidisciplinary visual designer, illustrator and artist Liron Eldar-Ashkenazi, aka LIŔONA, started her career at renowned design studio Sagmeister & Walsh. She then led a small design studio at The-Artery and is now the associate creative director at the Brookly-based office of global creative company BUCK.

As an independent design director, Liron also advises companies on their brand identity. Her style is bold, complex, and conceptually-driven, using a mix of 3D illustrations, motion graphics and typography. We sat down with Liron to find out about her design process, effective collaboration with clients, creating a visual language, and more.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

A photo of Liron Eldar-Ashkenazi a.k.a. LIŔONA

How did you get to where you are today?

The short version is with: curiosity, luck, hard work and discipline, and lastly, talent.

The most important factor in any kind of success, in my opinion, is curiosity: You need to be truly interested in what you do. You need to be egoless enough to always ask questions and accept that there is always more to learn.

Luck is something I'm so thankful for. To have parents who always supported me, a husband who's the best partner, the ability to work through the summers and save enough money to go to one of the best art schools in New York City, the School of Visual Arts. I was in the right place at the right time for incredible opportunities, such as being hired by Jessica Walsh in my senior year of college, running the design studio at The-Artery at such a young age, then landing the incredible gig at BUCK.

This brings me to the next point: hard work. I've possibly been able to get through some of this list by sheer luck, but definitely would not have achieved these milestones without working very hard. It didn't necessarily mean long hours or an imbalanced working culture, but it did mean pouring my heart and soul into everything I did, and being genuinely grateful to the people who helped me get there.

Finally, talent is why I am where I am today, but I truly believe that it comes last. Talent is important, but it won't get you as far as the other three points on this list. You have to be a creative thinker and have a good eye and an attraction to problem-solving to be successful.

A digital illustration by Liron Eldar-Ashkenazi

I truly believe that a designer needs to guide the client through developing their own brand identity. Clients usually know their brand best. We just need to help them put their ideas into words and match them with the right style.

How do you go about defining a brand identity and creating a visual language when you work with a new client?

The process always starts with a short round of interviews – casual as well as structured conversations that are meant to define the brand strategy. It usually begins with a simple questionnaire to determine the client's target audience, hopes and dreams, and visual appetite. This process can take anything from a few weeks to just one or two chats, depending on the size of the client, the budget, and the type of project.

After we grasp and understand the project's goals and determine how we define success in collaboration with the client, we build the general list of deliverables: What output do they need? Brands these days require many more deliverables than they once did, so locking that list ahead of time will result in a more streamlined process and a better understanding of the scope for both sides.

Four digital illustrations of human hands interacting with abstract shapes
Please Touch by Liron Eldar-Ashkenazi.

My actual creative work focuses on my design instincts, what I feel is right for the client. After years in the field and a pretty comprehensive education, I found that listening to my gut feeling tends to prove successful. It’s also important to truly listen to the clients' needs early on, avoiding creating for myself rather than them. I try to bring something new to the table every time and specifically try to avoid obvious design trends (sometimes you just can't, though, and that's okay).

So then, it's design time! This process of defining a few different buckets of styles is the most enjoyable part of the project in my opinion. That's how I like to start every engagement.

Defining the brand identity is actually not totally in my hands. I truly believe that in order to do a good job for a client, a designer needs to guide the client through developing their own brand identity. By doing that, you can guarantee the end product will feel natural rather than forced. Clients usually know their brand best. We just need to help them put their ideas into words and match them with the right style. A lot of the work is just that: guiding, surveying, tweaking, recommending, focusing, etc.