As part of an ongoing series highlighting young talent in the industry, Branding in Asia brings you “One Under 30: Young Creative Spotlight”, a regular feature that focuses on up-and-coming talent in the ad world.
On tap this week is the Head of Design at Soho Square, Pakistan, Junaid Younas Verka.
When asked what he loved most about his job, Verka replied, “On a macro level, my objective is to bring Pakistan on the map. We are very talented but misunderstood as a nation. In my own small way, I want to change how everyone perceives us and bring focus on us for great reasons.”
Name: Junaid Younas Verka
Agency: SOHO SQUARE, Pakistan
Position: Head of Design
Hometown: Kamoke, Pakistan
Current Location: Lahore
Education: Punjab University College of Art and Design
How did you get your first break in the industry?
Right after my graduation, I uploaded my thesis on Behance and got a call from Ogilvy to join them as an Art Director. It’s been love at first sight ever since.
What is your personal mantra?
I believe we should keep things simple, strong and instinctive. The mantra that has always worked for me is: Less is more.
From what person, place, or thing have you drawn your greatest creative inspiration?
Jessica Walsh is my greatest inspiration, how she turns a simple insight into something intuitive and interactive.
What do you love about the job?
The look on people’s face when they see something that I have created. There is a high that comes from it. To create something that was unexpected. To outdo myself every time. To stand out from the lot.
Also, on a macro level, my objective is to bring Pakistan on the map. We are very talented but misunderstood as a nation. In my own small way, I want to change how everyone perceives us and bring focus on us for great reasons.
What about your job are you not so crazy about?
To get stuck on a project for too long, because somehow you lose interest and want a break from it. Also if the client and I are not able to communicate properly.
What is some work you’ve done that you’re most proud of?
I’m very proud of the “No Hate” packaging done for Coca-Cola. At that time Pakistan and India tensions were escalating following the 2019 air battles.
Through this packaging, we wanted to convey a message of peace with our neighbors. It was relevant, heartfelt and echoed the sentiment of millions of Pakistanis.
Another achievement was being selected as the Coca-Cola Global VIS agency partner because of the work we’ve been submitting. We got a brief to work on Father’s Day, Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day iconic posters. We got selected out of the 5 global agencies that participated in the contest.
Another is “When Emotion Colors You.” Today’s societal stereotypes of strength – “men don’t cry; strong independent women don’t express their jealousy” – encourage us to hide our emotions, despite the fact that we may feel them a lot more strongly when they are not expressed. ‘When Emotion Colors You’ seeks to champion expression and free will. Colors are used as an expression of repressed emotions, whilst also conveying that emotions are indeed beautiful and inherently what make us who we are.
If you had to choose another career what would it be?
I live, eat, breathe design. It’s my passion and I don’t think there’s anything else in the world I’d rather be doing.
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