Mikhail Sharanda is an award-winning multidisciplinary designer born in Russia.
Currently the Design Director at Huawei, based in Shenzhen, China. Previously: the lead-designer for OnePlus, OPPO, and Alcatel. It has been his honor to contribute on projects with Samsung, Android, and YouTube.
He is best known for the logo and identity of the OnePlus Smartphone Corporation. He received the Mobile Excellence and 2 honorable mention awards from Awwwards and Google. Design teams under his leadership have won the RedDot, GoodDesign, and iF awards. His work has been featured in Google’s Masters of Mobile Report (China). His Manrope font was featured in the Behance’s graphic design curated gallery and is currently one of the most appreciated fonts there.
Do you remember how magical it was the first time you combined blue and yellow paint?
The control over colors and visual perceptions…
I loved how influential I could be to the world around me. I made people feel surprised and smile. Tell a story, deliver a message.
There was nothing before. Now it works. It helps somebody. Makes their life slightly better.
Through all the hard things, I found love and excitement.
there are no shortcuts
I grew up in a bad neighborhood during an economic crisis in Russia. I can’t say my childhood was hard. I had everything I needed, but I clearly remember a strong feeling of rejection: I didn’t like anything around me and I didn’t want to be like the others. I wanted to make a difference, but I had neither skills nor knowledge.
When I started my first job I desperately wanted to succeed in my career and life… I often compromised my work and did “whatever it takes” just to get where I wanted.
I took projects I didn’t like. I worked with people I didn’t enjoy working with.
But from where I am now, it finally becomes clear that there are no shortcuts.
Every time I tried to “cheat” - it just hit me back harder. The projects got suspended, I was embarrassed to publish those in my portfolio, clients were disappointed and didn’t want to pay.
But every time I have done something because I loved what I’m doing - it raised me up. I’ve impressed my clients, they’ve recommended me to their friends. But more than that, it made me happier, made me learn new skills, and opened up new opportunities.
You have to find your own way to love what you are doing.
all that matters
I’ve been truly passionate about design and technology. My teenage dream was to become a lead designer of a world famous tech company.
The story of Johny Ive inspired me to make my own.
Hard work and craftsmanship of people before me have always been a true inspiration. Neither money nor fame. I only want to become great at something and make this world a better place.
Mastering your craftsmanship is all that matters.