Business in (E)motion – Meet Barbara Woinski from AltoCrew

What makes good design? Is it an eclectic mishmash of color and composition, or is it the strategic combination of spatial void and visual stimuli?

In fact, good design is so much more than aesthetic appeal. It asks of us to develop a particular visual lexicon to connect with the zeitgeist on a deeper – and lifelong – level.

At the crossroads of design and technology stands Barbara Woinski. The Argentine graphic designer co-founded AltoCrew with Polish-native Sebastian Mojsa. AltoCrew is a design and motion studio headquartered in Poland that specializes in visual identity and communication design.

What’s fascinating about AltoCrew is its visionary approach to design by merging emotions and intuition together with conceptual thinking. Their deep-rooted pas­sion for experimentation plays a pivotal role when collaborating with their clients putting the spotlight on human curiosity and innate imagination. The studio renders a competitive edge in the market by allowing bonding connections between brands and customers—equal parts earnest and engaging.

To celebrate the Style Cards Vol. 2, we sat down with Woinski to hear about the creative process behind AI in Wealth Management, a project that secured her spot in the “Crypto Techno” style.

AI in Wealth Management. AltoCrew, 2020.

With one finger pressed to the pulse of technology and another on her trackpad, Woinski worked on the visual identity of ‘Artificial Intelligence in Wealth Management Conference’—an interdisciplinary think tank event held in Switzerland in 2019. The gathering shed light on the challenges that the wealth management industry faces and its heightened potential when applying Artificial Intelligence (AI) in real-world situations.

In short, wealth management is an investment advisory service that combines expert advice and customized solutions for their clients, ranging from affluent to high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth individuals and families.

In designing the brand identity of AI in Wealth Management, AltoCrew needed something that spoke to such a singular audience. “It was really interesting to do it because if you Google “artificial intelligence” you always see like, I don’t know, robots or sci-fi pictures. We wanted to make something more abstract to show how AI learns from humans.”

To address the branding for the event, Woinski and her team orchestrated a back and forth visual conversation between the event and its audience by way of a captivating language of color and movement. Instead of the harsh pixelated imagery that is commonly associated with tech-driven subjects, Woinski designed a multidimensional kinetic sequence of beating technicolor dots atop a contrasting black backdrop.

“We decided to make this “dots” language,” Woinski explained. “You can compare it with these [Pin Art or Pinscreen] toys that you can put your hand [into] and you see [the impression] reflected on the other side. We even created a code [for] your phone [so that] you can see [the imprint of your surroundings reflected through] these dots.”

True to AltoCrew’s mission, AI in Wealth Management allows the public to switch from muse to image-maker, proving that good design is oftentimes the missing link between business and pleasure—a link that encapsulates our present and reframes our perspective about the future.

Woinski’s AltoCrew rallies against just throwing together A with B to get to a generic C result. “We wanted to show how artificial intelligence works, that’s why we made this language.” Its message rings with a poignancy and urgency perhaps more resounding than ever before.

For better or worse, artificial intelligence has swept across numerous industries disrupting the MO of businesses around the globe. AI has spearheaded a revolution in our shifting culture in favor of the kind of radical reinvention afforded only by technology, i.e., crypto and NFTs.

In order to cut out the noise, however, Woinski suggests engagement. “Next-generation brands should engage with their community and give something back to it—and to understand—not seeing the client as a client, but more so as part of their community [and] give something [more than just a] product.”

Coping with COVID for RFS. AltoCrew, 2020.

She references one of the pioneering brands in social wellbeing and community transformation: Patagonia. “I use the example of Patagonia because they always say that we have to take care of the environment and nature, and everything. The way that they change [society] is by making products that are really long-lasting; you don’t have to [replace those products] all the time. And if you want to fix them, you can go [to their stores] and fix them.”

NODO Centro Cultural Digital. AltoCrew, 2020.
BERIMBAU CAFE. AltoCrew, 2019.
Top 25 Minds for RFS. AltoCrew, 2021.
AltoCrew Studio
AltoCrew Studio

And yet, the thrill of uncertainty is Woinski’s constant bread and butter. “My grandfather always told me when I was a kid that “the adventure is the adventure,” which means—like it always meant to him—that you don’t have to be scared when something comes up. Any time I was scared of anything, he [would say]: “The adventure is an adventure. Treat this as an adventure and learn about this and you will see that every experience enriches you in a way.”

Indeed. Expanding consciousness is not for the faint of heart.

Visit Barbara Woinski’s Behance profile and AltoCrew’s website for design and technology savoir fare.

* *

Gamify your design workshops and facilitate smooth design conversations with Style Cards Vol. 2


    Style Cards Vol. 2

    Use this set of 135 design cards to explore visual trends, define a brand’s look and feel, gamify design workshops, and enhance moodboards. These cards contain works of modern designers and are curated into 10 themes that reflect the world’s visual trends.