How did I get here?

Me and my little brother | 1998 Istanbul, Turkey

Since I was very little, I loved to break things and see what is inside. I have so many photos with tools in my hands from my childhood. I have a massive urge to understand how things work. I remember one day our TV was broken. The one with a tube. I was about 10 and told my mom I could fix it. At first, it was scary to open the magic box back in 1999. I ended up fixing it and it was just a little disconnected cable inside. I remember the joy I had after I set it.

I grew up in a very creative family. My father was a designer and working in a design agency. As a little kid, I wanted to explore this magical world. He used to take me to the design agency and let me meet creative team. Designers were super interesting human beings and I decided to be a designer. In every opportunity, I went to production sets, printing houses and even joined creative ideation sessions they had. The enjoyment and the countless hours I spent on creative activities surely had an impact on my journey. Just like any teenager, I just devoured anything there was to devour. I finally convinced my father to take me a 6 months graphic and web design classes when I was in middle school back in 2006. I was the youngest one in the class but I was the most excited one. Every single thing I learned in the class changed my life. Always loved to design experimental graphics. In the high school, I used my learning by making the schools website. Their very first website. I had no idea about front-end but I have learned to build it. It lead me to build more things for my school. I prepared presentations, edited videos and conducted the conferences that my school hosted.

As a hungry young designer, I was looking for any information that can help me to grow. One day I happen to see an orange book. It was β€œThe Secret Life of Steve Jobs” by Daniel Lyons. I have read it with great interest. I fell in love with Apple, Jobs and Pixar. The book also inspired me to study Type Design later on. After the book instantly my life goals were certain. Moving to Silicon Valley and working for innovative startups and changing the world. If you think at that time as a young boy in Turkey, it was an impossible dream. Nobody in my circle travelled to the US even. Nobody could speak English. Our financial situation was not even compatible with my dream. But I always believed that if you can dream it you can do it.

After high school, I studied Math Engineering. I believe that art and science are one. That is why I wanted to see the scientific of how things work. I had no formal design education. My design background coming from doing things and constant self learning.

As I had been dreaming about Silicon Valley, I happened to see one of my mentors who was visiting from the US and he invited me to visit him and maybe I could study abroad. I end up moving to US 9 years ago and studied Fine Arts. I also worked for a small startup in NJ. I build B2B product for online sellers. By the time I graduated, I got an offer from a Silicon Valley startup. I helped them to build iOS native apps. It was an eye opening experience. This time I have learned how products grow. We reached 5M downloads and 100s of thousands active users.

Life drawing when I was in art school
Design can sound simple but it is a highly complicated concept to learn. It took me 10 years to realize some of the crucial concepts of design. All these lead me to teach my learnings and I teach UX/UI voluntarily to adults and design to kids. While teaching, I learned the rationale behind the design concepts. Knowledge of knowledge is power. Knowledge itself is not enough.

Teaching Product Design Bootcamp, my students
Past year, I worked on building B2C product for Fieldlevel. Data was a big part of my design process. Working closely with product managers, data scientists, developers and stakeholders helped me to understand how things are designed in a bigger scale. I am constantly seeking to learn and work hard. Currently I am mentoring designers all around the world on ADPlist and learning together.

Living the best life in Hawaii | 2022

I am a traveller, I have been more than 30 states. I visited most of them by a train non-stop. I documented my museum trips. Check my photos during my trip Instagram Archive | Type in Museums (only works on large screens, it is an old project πŸ™ƒ)

if you like this one, you might want to check the story of type & coffee

Key career achievements include:

Educational Qualifications: Studied Math Engineering in Yildiz Technical University, studied BFA in Nj and completed a post-graduate program in Type Design, Type History, and Typography from Type West.

Product Design: Serving as the Product Lead and bringing the final projects to market and iterating existing products.

Branding: Developed eye-catching and visually pleasing package designs at Emirelli, enabling the company to earn distribution deals with 1,000+ stores in the United States and Europe.

UX/UI Expertise: Employed 10 years of personal experience to develop a curriculum encompassing all facets of the UX/UI design process and led a three-month program for adults at Design Confusion.

Key areas of expertise include: Client Management, Front-End Development, Quality Control, Project Management, Application Development, Typography/Brand Design.



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