The Acrista Brand

Acrista is the artistic pseudonym of Alexandrina Karadjova, a contemporary Bulgarian artist, who charms the art-lovers with her exquisite, magical and feminine paintings, done in soft pastel and oils for more than 10 years. Called “The artist of dolce vita” Alexandrina Karadjova impresses the admirers with her poetic vision of the world, that she also expresses on canvas with vigor and vivid colors. 
Alexandrina has in her portfolio more than 15 exhibitions in Bulgaria and abroad, and also many charity projects. Her artwork delights the eyes of many collectors from Bulgaria, England, Russia, Korea, Greece, Cyprus, Spain, Australia, Germany, USA.

The new Acrista brand logo, used on white or very light backgrounds.


The History of the Brand

Acrista Art (the company behind Alexandrina Karadjova – Acrista) became our client in the far year of 2004. Since then the brand and Acrista as an artist achieved a lot. In March 2014 Alexandrina celebrated the 11th anniversary since the creation of the Acrista brand
. After 10 years dedicated to working with soft pastel, as a painting material, she started experimenting and getting better and better results with oil and acrylic paints. This was a major change in her career and it would be fitting for a change in visual representation too. Thus the initial logo which she had done for her was to be redesigned.

Acrista’s first logo, based on the Alan Carr’s Choc typeface.


Soon after the creation of the web site, which we’ll talk about in a minute, Acrista also started a blog. She requested that the blog has a separate logo. The blog she named acrista-cafe and other than her new paintings it also featured posts about literature, movies, events or anything that had her impressed… Thus she didn’t want the logo to be a derivative of the “Magic of Pastels” logo she used for her painting side materials. That is how the Acrista-Cafe logo got born, accompanied by the headline “Art, Movies and Scattered Thoughts”.

Acrista’s blog logo, “Art, Movies and Scattered Thoughts”.


After that she also requested that her photography, which had a separate section in the website, gets it’s own logo so it can be used separately when only photos are published. That led to the creation of the AcristaShots logo. It is a derivative from the blog logo as the photography was also a leisure activity.

Acrista-Shots logo, derived from the Acrista-Cafe logo, specifically for sharing magical moments captured by Acrista’s camera


And then came her new addictions. First the acrylic paints as a fast drying material, closer as experience to the soft pastels in terms of patience towards the process, and then the oils. The new material, as already pointed, required a separate logo, plus she really wanted to mark that as the beginning of a new period in her artistic career so using the old typeface with a different slogan was out of the question. At that point, since the blog and the photos logos were already a fact, we thought it would be a good idea to start having at least some consistency in the design. That led to the “Magic on canvas” logo. As you can imagine “the Magic” is an important part of the brand. :)

The Magic on Canvas logo, consistent with the Acrista-Cafe and the Acrista-Shots logos, and used both for the acrylic and oil artworks


Somewhere at that point Facebook started getting popular and Acrista opened up a company page there. Also, because of the slower process of painting in oil, she now had more time in-between to work on various applicable art projects, which we also suggest be used for sustaining attention on the Facebook page when no new painting is available to be shared. Also people really loved her beautiful custom hand-made cards, decorations, bookmarks, gift-boxes, etc. So they become a category of her business on their own. You guessed it – new logo was requested. :) Here consistency was thrown in the trash again. The brief was clear, the logo had to be different, more playful as the products it was being associated with and of course had to had magic in it.

The Applicable Magic logo, created mostly for use on paper tags/labels on Acrista’s applicable art products.


All those activities had to be united as an online presence and obviously the current (at the time) site, was no good anymore for so many reasons. We made a landing page that redirected the visitors to either the web site, the blog or Facebook, depending on whether they wanted to see (pastel drawings, acrylic paintings, photography or blog posts). But obviously we needed a new web site. One that will accommodate all of Acrista’s activities. That was the time we also had to conceive a new artwork catalog. So, with all the changes that were on the horizon – the new site, the new catalog, the new painting materials, etc. we felt there is also good ground also for a new look.

We did manage to convince her that a new vision is required, something to combine all her endeavors, something that will not cause so much graphical eclecticism and will significantly ease the brand awareness boost task we had. Also we suggested the new look to be more light in contrast to the black used so far. That, we think, was a good symbol of change that will mark the new period. So came the idea for a so called group logo. A simple symbol to replace all previous logos, one that will be independent to the materials, techniques and means of artistic expression, used by Acrista.

The Acrista brand logo, used on white or very light backgrounds.


Acrista’s Web Site Design

One of the first tasks we had back then was to create an artistic web site with CMS. As a matter of fact the old website is still accessible, although not updated, if you click on that link. The site utilized the standard at that time content size of 800 x 600px as the 1024 x 768 scene resolution was not yet high enough in adoption and the 800 x 600 was still occupying a good chunk of around 40%, especially in offices, which was also where lots of Acrista’s clients worked in. Back then, as you already know, the concept of her brand identity was “red on black”, including all the stationery materials, the business cards, etc. which was also a good background to contrast with the vivid colors of her paintings. The site also featured very beautiful, and quite uncommon for that period of the internet, custom drawn icons. Later on their originals were framed and sold on an exhibition.


Acrista’s first web site, with custom drawn menu icons.


Some of Acrista’s custom drawn web icons and their respective use.


When the functionalities of the old site, as well as the progress in screen resolutions, made it not on par with the necessities of Acrista’s business we were given the task to create the new site. It had to be consistent with the new visual concept, be airy home to all her products, easy to navigate and also bear enough potential for expansion towards new endeavors. With great pleasure we present to you the brand new web site, inspired by the 10th year celebration since the foundation of Acrista’s virtual gallery.

The home page has space for promo messages, usually announcing new paintings, projects or upcoming events


The events section allows the user to browse all the events by year and see details with photos for each of them


The newsletter section allows the user to browse all the newsletters by year and month, since they started existing. Obviously most of the links in the old design will not work


This is one of the two places where one can see all the previous logos, pointing to the respective category of Acrista’s portfolio


We were very insistent on including filters to ease people in finding the perfect painting for them. One can shoos from the type of material, availability, place where the artwork is exhibited, subject, gamma and canvas size


Items have detailed view with various information to help you make your choice. Acrista insists on keeping the image smaller than it could be because of the frequent copyright infringement and abuse of her painting images


Cooperative Projects

This section will contain work we’ve done for some of the projects Acrista has been involved in with third parties. Here are the book cover designs, featuring her works.

Book cover designs, featuring Acrista’s artwork


Various Promotional and Advertising Materials

Over the years Acrista’s business cards have gone through number of transformations. They have almost always featured a painting on one side and contact information on the other, sometimes including even the Facebook page or other web representation. But as her brand awareness grows and her style gets simpler and simpler we decided to go with a more stylised card, with as little as possible details, combining some of the contacts in one just to remove anything unnecessary. After all anyone can now find her art or her contacts in a click or two and there is no need to thoroughly describe every link or service.

Acrista’s new business cards. A sandwich construction, consisting of a laser cut red cardboard and elegant ivory face with simplified logo and contact details.