“The greatest lesson you have learned this year”—read the mockup of the first post shared on the Instagram page of the card game dubbed “Körvonal”. Even though the game was not inspired by the pandemic and the situation coming with it specifically, the launch could not have been more pertinent: 2020 brought a massive change for many of us. We asked Inez Priger, the mind behind the Körvonal card game, about honesty, charity and studiOh, her creative agency launched recently with Duska Gonja.
“I’m not Mother Theresa, I just happen to have such a lucky and good life from all aspects that I would like to give back to others, too, in one way or another. We can help a lot even with small things,” Inez tells about herself. No matter which of her projects we look at, each of them has this aspiration underneath, even if not always knowingly. In the course of the charity initiative titled “Add tovább”, Inez teamed up with Betti Baji to make the Christmas holidays happier for children living in orphanages, while her card game titled Körvonal aims to facilitate the many times difficult and challenging communication in families and among close friends. Her freshly launched creative agency is driven by a similarly important goal: to support businesses and emerging companies that aim to bring out the best of their brand with the right strategy and visual identity.
Even though Inez has a degree in judicial administration, her life revolves around creativity. After the university, she worked at the Hungarian Forbes magazine as an office manager, where they laughed a lot about how she was more interested in what kind of pictures were hanging on the wall or what kind of cake to order for a co-worker’s birthday than her actual job. Which she also did, by the way, with due care, but as it didn’t offer any excitement to her, she soon left it. “This was followed by a variety of attempts, such as the mini mini kidswear brand. I always have something on my mind, but only a few of these ideas were actually realized. When my first son Alex was born, the Adamo brand specializing in baby hammocks reached out to me and said that they liked the visual world of my Instagram feed and my taste, and asked me whether I would be willing to help them in the field of social media communication,” Inez explained. Over the years, this collaboration slowly grew into something more: in addition to being charge of the brand’s communication on social media platforms, Inez also organized their photoshoots and came up with their new packaging, among many other tasks. Her collaboration with the Adamo brand was then followed by several similar projects.
Currently she works as a brand creative, which is sort of a trump card, in a way. She’s not a graphic designer or a photographer, but is present on all fields related to brand identities and visual appearance, may it be interior decoration, styling or the design of a website. Lately she has been contacted by more and more smaller brands: she felt that it was more than she could take on her own. This is where the idea of teaming up with Duska Gonja and launching a creative agency together came from. The girls have known each other for nine years now; their husbands are best friends. Duska previously worked as a strategic designer for Mito, and then, just like Inez, she stayed at home with her son.
“It occurred to me last year that we should work together. I thought mixing brand identity with strategy would result in a great combination, which proved to be absolutely right. On top of that, we also have a great workflow. We even have a very similar taste, and so we not only complement each other but could even substitute one another if need be,” Inez added.
Their joint agency dubbed studiOh is already thriving. In addition to three permanent clients, including Geopen Publishing House, they also work with brands that were only looking for a customized strategy or a brand identity. “It happens many times that even though a product is born, the designers get stuck with communication. Usually this second phase is where we come into the picture. We would love to stand behind as many businesses as possible, this is exactly why it is a great dream of mine to have our own office, with five or six people in it mainly with a creative background, including graphic designers and photographers, so that we could take on as many projects as possible without having to compromise. At the moment we are going with the flow, we have plenty of projects, which is great by the way, but we have to find the balance between our own projects and the agency work, because Körvonal is also growing and developing in the meantime,” Inez added.
In February last year, right before the first lockdown, Inez and her husband were playing with the Icebreaker deck, which they then put on a shelf in their living room. In March came the lockdown, and as a result, they spent a lot of time at home, and the game’s box was somehow always right in front of their eyes. According to Inez, she never took it off the shelf, she only glanced at it. By the end of 2020, she came up with the idea of creating a card game of the kind in Hungarian, with her own questions and design: this is how Körvonal was born.
The first deck of cards was co-designed by Inez and graphic designer Zsuzsi Erdélyi. The box comes with a total of eighty questions, tested with Inez’s own family. She knew the concept would work when she saw that they could talk to even the otherwise reserved and uncommunicative members of the family for one and a half or two hours about certain topics, even though the cards also feature difficult questions that could reopen a lot of old wounds, such as “What would you do differently than your parents?”. It’s important that there are no winners and losers in this game, it’s all about opening up, being honest and the importance of conversations and talking to each other.
“I’m the type of person that doesn’t like to hold things in. It tears me apart, I simply can’t take it. I rather let it out and then I can move past it. That’s the reason why Körvonal resonates with me fully. I think it is extremely important to talk about everything honestly, because the things we repress in ourselves will result in both physical and mental consequences,” Inez shared with us.
Based on the feedback received, Körvonal is mainly used by groups of friends and families, yet Inez recommends it to everyone. There is, for example, a class teacher that reached out to tell her that they bring a question to their students every week, and a psychologist also uses the cards in therapy sessions. According to Inez, the game reached a much broader audience and had a greater impact than she would have ever imagined. “Reading the stories people share with me about the game gives me chills. Recently a girl messaged me and said that she and her mother have had a difficult relationship for a very long time, but in spite of that they somehow started to play with the game, which brought so many things to the surface that both of them ended up crying and finally they forgave each other mutually. This, in itself, makes it all worth it…” she added.
Cover photo: Gábor Stiglincz