Yes, this is me. I'm Emil Milanov, a thirty-something designer guy living in sunny Serbia, Europe. Here you will find a selection of my work. Besides designing things for the Web, I'm working on becoming an intelligent, independent individual. Sometimes it works well, sometimes not. I try to keep my sanity and balance between life and work by applying the basic principles of the Action Method. I'm an amateur chef. I post snapshots of my dishes to Instagram. On Twitter, I'm mostly in incognito mode. The blue jacket belonged to my father who is not in the same universe as us any longer. And yes, I’m bald.
Core beliefs. From what I’ve learned in this life, it is usually useful to be agnostic, not just in a religious way, but in much broader terms - to question everything and to not take things for granted. But it’s hard to resist believing in things. Believing is fun. Beliefs bring people together - they create connections. I believe design is at its very best when it’s invisible; when we use design to solve basic human problems, to make maps, to find our ways in and out, to connect the dots, to be happy. I like decoding design into its primary elements: base colors, base fonts, base sizes. As the years go by, I’m discovering that it takes more and more time to design simpler and simpler things. And I’m enjoying it.
Tools and skill set. When I think about tools and skills, I don’t consider things like mastering Adobe Photoshop, HTML and CSS. I don’t want to brag about which software I know how to use on an expert level and which coding languages I’m most familiar with. Mastering these tools should go without saying. My primary tool is the knowledge that all design and code can be created with pen and paper and later transformed into a digital format. It is the understanding of how typography, grid systems, size and colors work together in order to create beautiful things that, at the same time, solve problems.
Design for web. I happen to do interface design. Websites, web applications, iOS applications, emails. When an opportunity arises in which I have a choice, I prefer coding my designs as well. I also do ExpressionEngine and WordPress integrations, which allows me to act as a full-service web design agency for small businesses. I’ve been doing this for more than ten years and the plan is to continue doing it in the future. Please take a look at my design portfolio. Caution: you’ll find colors there.
Below you will find a list of profiles highlighting the companies that I usually work with. If you don't find yourself in any of these models, don't be concerned. Models are there to simplify reality, to make the decision process easier by using stereotypes. Had I made decisions by limiting myself with the models below, I would have never worked with superstars such as Akon or underground musicians such as the Banat Hardcore collective.
Design Agency. You're doing full service web design. You require NDAs. I’ve gotten used to it. I click quickly with your user experience, information architecture and developer girls and guys. My collaboration with design agencies usually starts with a test project and ends with 2+ years of partnership and collaboration.
Small Business. You need a micro site for your business or you already have a website that needs improvement. I'm an optimizer guy. For small projects, I can do user experience design, information architecture, interface design, coding and back-end integration. In two words - full service. In more words - you get a top-notch website for half the price of what a design agency would normally charge.
Startup Company. You’re a strategy guy or girl. You live in New York, San Francisco or Austin. You have an idea that can change the world or improve the way we live. You have angel investors or VC capital. You need a lead designer or front-end developer for your startup. Awesome. I'm an idea junkie. I'm passionate. I want to be involved in a project that has the potential to alter the status quo.
Pricing. The basis for the way I charge for projects is my hourly rate. However, I always present clients with a flat rate as well. Everybody likes to know how much things are going to cost in advance.
Discounts. I’m not putting myself on sale, but for engagements that include not only interface design, but front-end development and WordPress or ExpressionEngine integration as well, I offer a 20% discount on the total price.