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Zajno dares to be different with unconventional digital design

Updated: Jan 27

“Our clients are brave enough to experiment. We are more than happy to bring their ideas into being.”

Meet Zajno, a full-service digital design and development studio that serves clients from around the globe. At the age of 21, Sasha Turischev, Zajno’s Founder and Design Director started his studio in 2015. What used to be a small design studio of 3, is now an in-house team of 20 located in L.A.

Zajno dares to be different, making unconventional websites and apps with engaging custom graphics, photos, videos and animations. Their mission is to spark emotion through interactive design and innovation.

We caught up with Turischev to find out how Zajno uses experimental and thought-provoking design to create meaningful experiences for their clients.

Sasha Turischev, Zajno’s Founder and Design Director

Q&A with Sasha Turischev, Zajno’s Founder and Design Director

Q: Tell us about your studio.

A: We are a cozy team of 20 that decided against growing into a big corporation because we value people over profit, and we’d like to stay the homey crew that we’ve always been.

We value openness and honesty. We believe that these qualities allow for creating beautiful and meaningful things. We have enough expertise and creativity to free our clients of micromanagement taking full care of their projects.

Q: When did you realize you wanted to be a web designer?

A: I can remember the first time I designed a website like it was yesterday. But actually it was on August 5, 2013, when I was working on a freelance platform doing all kinds of work from creating social media graphics to making logos and other elements of visual identity.

Once I had completed a task where I needed to change the color of woodworking machines from gray to yellow, I was asked if I could design websites. I’m not used to saying no to opportunities, so I put on a bold face and said that I’d give it a try. This was the starting point of my design career. Even though I obviously screwed up that project, I didn’t stop there and I’ve been designing interfaces ever since, constantly improving my skills.

“We decided against growing into a big corporation because we value people over profit, and we’d like to stay the homey crew that we’ve always been.”

Q: What motivated you to start your own agency?

A: I believe many of us have considered starting their own business, agency, studio—you name it. I prefer to call it a team of soulmates who are united by a common goal. I used to work at many companies where I felt like a tool in the hands of mediocre people. It just didn’t work for me.

I shifted between doing freelance and working for in-house teams. One day, I decided to start my own team because I felt like the companies out there making complex business solutions did not always deliver great value, and I really wanted to create meaningful and thought-out digital products. And a chance of getting out of the local market and going global also warmed my heart.

Q: What’s a customer success story you’re proud of?

A: One of our recent customer success stories is MicroAcquire, a startup acquisition marketplace we built together with Andrew Gazdecki, an experienced entrepreneur. Having sold 2 businesses, Andrew has realized how much expense and effort goes into being acquired. He would say, "the months of due diligence, reams of paperwork and endless meetings with brokers and investment bankers is a thankless job with no guarantee of success.” And yet thousands of founders embark on these laborious acquisitions every year.

So, we built a product that helps startups find buyers, cutting out the middlemen and red tape. MicroAcquire is the only platform that connects startup buyers and sellers anonymously which is a great feature that helps startups avoid being destroyed by the news that they are up for sale.

The idea didn’t only sound good but turned out to be truly successful. On the day of release, the website and web app we made became #1 on Product Hunt. Later on, a big famous company took an interest in MicroAcquire which speaks for itself.