Occhio and Martin et Karczinski have been working closely together for 14 years – a good example of a long-term partnership that benefits both parties.

Axel Meise, Founder and CEO, Occhio
Agency services
Brand Identity
Claims Development
C-level Consultancy
Corporate Design
Corporate Publishing
Digital Media/Apps
Three-dimensional Branding
Mission Statement Development
Public Relations
Sound Branding

In a design world that postulates consistent design, in his work as a lighting designer at the start of the 1990s, Axel Meise was amazed by the aesthetic proliferation of a wide range of different light sources and lights in private and public rooms. The reason for this was clear: every room calls for a specific lighting solution, and at the time this was only possible using many different types of lights and lamps. The concept of a comprehensive ‘lighting tool’ continued to haunt Axel Meise: At the end of the 1990s, Occhio emerged as the essence of many years of occupation with light. This was at the same time the start of a continuous innovation process and a constant stream of new design and application solutions. Today, the modular lighting system designed by Axel Meise and the physicist Christoph Kügler is the most modern in Europe. He has won numerous awards, most recently the German Design Award 2015 in Gold.

How did you start working with Martin et Karczinski, Mr Meise?

A private contact recommended the agency to me. We needed a catalogue at the time – but what we got was a brand – and yes, a catalogue as well of course! We have been working together since then, initially on Axel Meise Licht, then on Axel Meise as the designer brand with Occhio as the product brand. And finally on Occhio as the design brand that it has become today.

How does communication and brand development differ in the lighting industry from other industry sectors?

I don’t initially think there are any fundamental differences: the lighting industry sells products too. There are other additional elements. Light itself is a medium that you can’t touch so it’s hard to convey. The interplay with architecture and what’s around it is also a factor. In that respect, there are more dimensions and so it’s perhaps more complex than with other products.

What sets Martin et Karczinski’s apart? 

You always get more than you expect. They just think in an integrated way, not just about ›marketing‹ or ›graphics‹ or ›a new logo‹ – their approach is truly integrated. As a result, I now understand the significance of a brand, its power and mode of action to be crucial for the entire organisation.

What do you mean exactly?

Brand management is initially a management responsibility, but you have to take the whole organisation on the journey with you, otherwise it won’t work. Understanding of the brand should be implemented at every level of the organisation – only then you achieve added value. In addition, Martin et Karczinski’s range of services is not restricted to consultancy: the agency also offers conception and implementation from a single supplier. This full-service offer also differentiates Peter Martin and Daniel Karczinski.

You have worked on many projects over the years – is there one that for you has the greatest relevance for Occhio?

Yes, the claim ›light is evolution‹ and its importance for the stories that can be developed from it for the brand. What is exceptional about Peter Martin is that he never thinks in categories like exhibition stand or catalogue, he always goes straight to the meta-level: ›What is the story, what is the big topic?‹ That leads to a basic idea which we further develop together. One nice example of this is the design of the exhibition stand: behind it is the development, the evolution, of the claims. Most recently with the ›evolution plus‹ exhibition stand featuring the Occhio brand message in plus signs.

What sort of companies would you recommend to work with Martin et Karczinski?

Companies with high standards. Small, medium and also large companies that have certain expectations with respect to their product, their culture, their values, their image and external perceptions and see further potential in them. Martin et Karczinski can also help to unleash this potential.