Understories 014: Ihor Hulyahrodskyy, Ochi Design

This week we’re speaking to Ihor Hulyahrodskyy, founder and creative director of Ochi Design, based in Vancouver, Canada. Ochi Design is a presentation agency that helps startups and companies raise funds, sell products, explain complex ideas, and hire great people. 

Ihor hails originally from Ukraine, and his story is incredible. He’s so open about the specific challenges of running his own creative business, but what’s more amazing is that he’s faced these challenges under the shadow of war and migrating to a new country. To say he’s resilient, and adaptable is an understatement, but that experience has shifted his focus: now he looks to prioritise projects that align with his values above all.

Follow Ochi on Instagram and LinkedIn

Follow Ihor on Instagram and LinkedIn


  • Presentation design is a niche within the design industry that focuses on creating tailored presentations to help companies secure investment, sell products, and communicate effectively.
  • Effective communication involves understanding the audience and their level of expertise, and using language and visuals that they can relate to.
    Thorough analysis and filtering of information are crucial in delivering the most essential message to the audience.
  • Presentation design is not limited to external communication but also includes shaping internal presentations and communication within companies. Resilience and adaptability are crucial in overcoming challenging circumstances.
  • Prioritize projects that align with your values and goals.
  • Create boundaries to maintain a sustainable work-life balance.
  • Learn to say no to projects that don’t meet your criteria.
  • Focus on projects that bring you joy and make a difference. Many people in the creative industry focus on the glamorous aspects of their work and neglect the less exciting tasks.
  • The ability to expand and contract the team allows for taking on larger projects without the financial risk of hiring.
  • Success for Ihor is defined by being able to continue doing creative work, seeing the impact of his designs, and building a sustainable business.
  • Inspiration for design projects can come from a wide range of sources, including movies, food, and even museum visits.


00:00 Introduction and Background
01:10 The Niche of Presentation Design
09:48 The Value of Thorough Analysis and Filtering Information
15:32 Shaping Internal Presentations and Communication
25:28 Double Down on the Business
28:36 Creating Boundaries and Efficiency
30:29 Prioritizing Projects
35:32 Finding Joy and Making a Difference
41:41 Acknowledging the Less Glamorous Aspects of Creative Work
42:19 Building a Sustainable Business in the Creative Industry
43:13 The Importance of Developing Business Skills for Creatives
45:19 Defining the Future of the Business
46:39 The Elusive Definition of Success
53:39 Finding Inspiration in Unexpected Places
57:06 The Impact of Design and the Joy of Seeing Success
59:24 Where to Find Ihor’s Work