Siyana Ivanova

Storytelling is an incredibly powerful tool. It doesn’t matter how complicated a concept, a well-crafted story will transform it into something digestible and often something that one can carry with them throughout life. Good stories stick.

From Trash to Magic header image
From Trash to Magic header image
Header image by siyanaivanova.nl

A few days ago, I wrote my first article on emotion in design, explained for non-designers. That article is based on a talk I love giving at conferences and workshops. When I stand in front of an audience, I like to start things on a personal note. It always builds a good relationship between me and a bunch of people who see me for…


A short story

Once upon a time, there was a society. A society that took great pride in being modern and progressive. It was so savvy and contemporary, that it often forgot all together where it came from. Or where it needed to go.

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The society loved surrounding itself with objects made by it. It built houses and locked itself in them, it invented cars, and airplanes, and televisions, and complicated calculators made out of metal and plastic. Those inventions, even though built by the society itself, were called modern-day miracles. The more it invented, the more it progressed. …


Brands have become a ubiquitous entity in our lives. A study in 2007 stated that we are exposed to around 5.000 ads per day. That’s fourteen years ago. Guesses about the number of ads we see in recent days rest between 15.000 and 20.000. In this overly competitive overload on information, and with the attention span of people shrinking, how are brands fighting for survival? In evolution, we say survival of the fittest, but with so many brands, so many options, so little time, and finite resources on this planet, what makes a brand fit for the future?

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Marketing is…


What can the history of human diseases teach us about their future? And are there lessons to be learned from new fields of psychology and century-old eastern philosophy in how to handle the growing numbers of chronic and mental illnesses?

Header illustration containing the title and a giant pill
Header illustration containing the title and a giant pill
Header image by siyanaivanova.nl

So many questions, so few answers. I want to kick it off with a very important statement — I’m not a doctor, nor a psychologist, nor someone who has dedicated her career to curing people of either physical or mental illnesses. But seeing how both cancer and depression are seen as incurable modern-days diseases, some speculations can’t harm, right?

Like…


Looking back at the last couple of years, with more of a birdview on how things went and are going, I have to say… we, the digital folks, have been digging our own graves for quite some time now. Shall we ditch the graves till the hole is still shallow enough for us to exit it?

The Birth of Designer A.Is and the Death of Designers as We Know Them — Illustrated cover with a computer brain of connection
The Birth of Designer A.Is and the Death of Designers as We Know Them — Illustrated cover with a computer brain of connection
Header image by siyanaivanova.nl

The Verdict

See… in recent years design has transformed businesses never imagined before. Art is death, so is poetry, and so is religion. But frameworks and Powerpoint presentations, tech, analytical & data stuff, social media, Medium articles on how to earn 10K a month doing nothing…


Ask 20 people what design means and you will get 30 answers. Ask them what branding means, and you will get 40. For some time now, design hasn’t been neither about simplicity, nor problem-solving, nor aesthetics. It used to occupy the sweet spot between science and art, taking enough philosophy from both worlds, but now we’re drowning in overly complicated frameworks and processes.

Why Are We Overcomplicating the Branding Process? — Header Image of a maze
Why Are We Overcomplicating the Branding Process? — Header Image of a maze
Header image by siyanaivanova.nl

It’s not only branding we’re overcomplicating

Whereas art and science are hard, designing a webpage exactly like every other one or telling companies that they need to do what Airbnb or Uber is doing, is pretty easy. The aftermath? We ended up having…


There are three kinds of brands really. The ones with a mission to bring positive change to the world (the good), the ones that have no idea what they’re doing (the bad), and the ones that feed on what’s going on in society like a parasite feeds on its host’s resources (the ugly). So I’ve gathered a bunch of examples of a few per category.

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Header image by siyanaivanova.nl

The good ones I want to personally thank for existing, the bad ones, well… maybe someday they will make the shift to good. The ugly ones, it’s too late for those, they are either ugly…


The US Navy has been lowkey confirming the existence of what they call unidentified aerial phenomenon. In a typical governmental way, they picked the worse moment possible — mid pandemic lockdown, when everyone was worrying about toilet paper — to do this. So a lot of people might have missed this glorious moment.

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Header image by siyanaivanova.nl

The Big Reveal

See… extraterrestrial life has always fascinated me. My whole life I was pretty sure that life on this planet was not the only life in this Universe. But somehow I always thought that when the moment arrives that a government would announce the existence of ET, it…


For a digital product to fully reach its potential, there is something more needed than pop-ups, call-to-actions all over the place, and features no one asked for. A positive change, for one.

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When was the last time you read an article somewhere uninterrupted by a pop-up begging you to leave some personal information to get more of those awesome interruptions? How about those washing machine or new smart speaker ads following you everywhere you go? How often were you persuade to buy a product or a service and ended up not that impressed or happy with it?

Last year, close…


I wish life was a clickbait titled article. But it isn’t. So what now? How about learning to mind the stress and find the space to explore and create?

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Header image by siyanaivanova.nl

A small warning before we proceed — This article requires a bit of brainwork with nothing in return. You wouldn’t be a millionaire by the end of it. No 6 figure projects will be waiting for you at the bottom, maybe one extra brain knob will be created in the process, but that’s it. So you can imagine it’s not for everyone. If this is where we have to part from…

Siyana Ivanova

Commentating on life & design. Also freelancing at both— siyanaivanova.nl.

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