Jun 2012 - Sep 2012
Need expert aesthetic for last minute graphic job
I'm a bit conflicted about registering this review of Valentin Manov. To be honest, the selfish zero-sum gamer in me (which every now and then surfaces) is putting up quite a fight on this one: it's imploring me to keep my praise for Valentin a secret. After all, if everyone knew what he could do, then how ever would I gain access to his world-class skills – as I did last time – without any trouble; without having to wait in line, and at a reasonable cost???
However, despite that dark instinct, my better conscience will simply not allow it, not after the great service he's performed for us. It'd be dishonesty of the lowest order if I failed to recognize how truly exceptional Valentin is as a contractor, as a designer, and as the kind of "overnight partner" you dream of having when you need to engage an outside contractor on a project of importance to your business.
So if it's not already glaringly obvious, I'm a huge fan of Valentin Manov. This is evidenced both in the high-praise I'll lavish on his particular talents in a moment, but also in the fact that despite my company's having hired many many dozens of contractors over the past 3+ years of persistent ODesk use, I've never once personally attested to the high-skill of a contractor we've retained. That is, until now.
Valentin is, hands-down, a truly excellent designer.
I should clarify a belief of mine that most "designers" are, for the most part, completely ridiculous and have absolutely no business being in the design business much less holding themselves out to be artists. If you've ever invested your time and money in sourcing talent for so much as a single corporate identity project or site design, there's probably a not-small part of you that agrees with me.
I'll leave it there for lack of time and instead get to the meat of my review. In doing so I'd like to outline a few of the primary benefits we consistently realized in working with Valentin:
First off, Valentin speaks excellent English (this as you may know is a priceless attribute when you're trying to convey a squishy idea and need your designer picking up on not only the letter, but also the spirit of what it is you're trying to convey). Everyone these days is "fluent", you know 4 words of English, 4-stars, you know 5…eh, 5-stars it is. Not with Valentin, with him you get fluent.
Valentin will very quickly "get", then help you sharpen your vision for the project. From there you can expect him to produce drafts on-time or ahead of schedule.
If he doesn't nail it first-go, then you can take comfort in his being among the few great designers with thick enough skin to endure your fully candid input, feedback, and even critique (well founded or not), and he'll channel it to get you what you want on-time or ahead of schedule.
So there you have it, my high level thoughts on Valentin. To be clear, I recommend Valentin without reservation, and further, I stand willing to supplement this endorsement should you have any questions not covered in this endorsement. Should that be the case please feel free to reach out to me personally.
Santa Barbara, California