Jovan Jelovac

Architect by education, from youth football hope to international branding guru, all the way via design consultant and film producer, Jovan Jelovac basically lives in the airplane, speaks six languages and works simultaneously in London, New York, Moscow, Berlin, Milano and Belgrade, based in Zürich, Switzerland with his branding consultancy – Brand New World.

Jovan Jelovac was born in Belgrade, Serbia in 1967. In 1970 he moved with his family to Frankfurt, Germany first, moving to Paris and Amsterdam following his father’s successful banking career, finally setting in Düsseldorf, Germany, where he finished the famous Rethel Gymnasium, with alumnis like Kraftwerk and Die Toten hosen. In a short interlude in Serbia, he was one of the biggest youth football hopes playing for the Serbian and later World Champion Red Star Belgrade. He attended the Architecture Studies of the University of Belgrade in 1985, opened his first design company in 1988, and returned to Germany in 1991 to work as an architect and designer in Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Rotterdam, London and Miami. Jelovac was particularly inspired by the branding work of Gert Dunbar in Holland and Wally Olins in the UK, whom he considers mentors forming his world view on radical possibilities that strategic branding offers to business and society.

As result of their intense discussions, Wally Olins even included Jovan’s work for the Ministry of Finance in Serbia in his seminal book ON BRAND, in the section “future of branding”. Still living in Düsseldorf, in 1995 Jelovac opened his first own branding company in Zürich, the “trans:east network”, with back office in Belgrade, quickly developing the network to Moscow, Budapest, Bucharest, Istanbul, Nicosia and the surrounding ex-Yugoslavian countries.

The business grew so large in the Moscow office, that he moved there in 1999, managing a range of global and Russian A-list clients until 2013. In the meantime he invested heavily in his native Serbia, buying the Ekonomist magazin, producing movies and TV series, until in 2003 he won his biggest global branding account so far and moved to London, dividing his time since then between London and Moscow, with regular visits to his agency’s main back-office in Serbia. All his worldwide businesses were always based on partnerships as equals with outstanding local creatives, with whom Jelovac continues to nurture long lasting friendships and collaboration.

Inspired by the first ever London Creative Forum in 2004, at which he was the only delegate from Eastern Europe, Jelovac founded the non-profit citizen’s association Belgrade Design Week in 2005, which fast became the key annual meeting point of South East Europe’s creative industries, a year-round one stop solution for the creative community, a top ten creative event in the world, member of BEDA, founding member of the Association of Global Design Week Cities and partner of the EU-wide “Human Cities” project.

In 2010 Jovan Jelovac went to New York and partnered with Milos Simovic in what became his most outspoken project so far, the creation of a North Pole expedition vessel. M/S CAPE RACE is a deep-sea trawler converted to an expedition/research yacht reminiscent of the bygone era of tramp steamers. As she was designed originally to fish year round in the toughest seas of the world, she has the integral strength to travel pole to pole in safety and comfort. With a fuel range of over 7000 miles, CAPE RACE can cross the Atlantic twice without fuelling, and her ice-strengthened hull navigates the Arctic waters. The ship charters to 12 guests on tailored voyages in remote regions, scientific expeditions and film projects.

In 2011 a new global branding consultancy was founded in Zurich, Switzerland – “Brand New World AG” – the brainchild of creative entrepreneurs Vesna and Jovan Jelovac. The new agency’s paradigm shift was threading lightly but moving fast into the digital territory, cleverly combining the immense global knowledge and reach of their branding network, with the competitive advantages of an amazing nascent digital marketing and software development business back in Belgrade, Serbia.

The combined branding, design, digital marketing and software development agencies employ around 100 cutting edge seasoned professionals, some of them with 20 plus years loyalty to the firm, some of them from latest blockchain coding universities de rigour. Together as partners, they are offering an almost unbeatable proposition balance between artistry, creativity, personal responsibility and knowledge, ready to take on the most sophisticated clients worldwide regardless of size, designing and developing tailor-made strategies for them, producing magic that results from combining design thinking, business acumen and the possibilities of new technologies.

Vesna and Jovan opened of their first public gallery in Zürich in 2017, the “Brand New World Salon”, a contemporary boutique platform to experience art, architecture, branding and design thinking. It changes the way people think about and engage with art and design. It renders art and design magical and metamorphic. Its mission is to promote contemporary objects and projects that will constantly grow in value – but more than that – people and ideas that will change the world’s understanding of innovation and creativity. Under the leadership of Vesna Jelovac, in the past two years “Brand New World Salon” has become Zürich’s premium boutique, year-round window to the best of contemporary design from Milan, London, Paris, Brussels, New York, Rio, Berlin, Lisbon, Shanghai, Belgrade and Madrid… and of course - Switzerland.

Additionally, Vesna and Jovan are back to an old flame of theirs - the publishing business, but this time also digital. Since 2017 they own ZERO ZURICH, or, the only city magazine in Zürich, leaned on the international phenomenon of the publishing empire, arguably the most successful European network of city magazines, most notably in 8 Italian cities and Istanbul, since 20 years. We believe that Zürich deserves such a city magazine, because ZERO.EU is a true mirror of each city’s soul and its faithful monthly companion, and the monthly calendar of Zürich is cutting edge! In any respect: The best in arts, design, clubbing, architecture, modern concerts, classic music, theatre, talks, conferences, festivals, fairs, innovations, experimentation, walks, dances, courses – regardless if from Switzerland, Europe or the World, are invited to our beloved Zürich, punching far over its (inhabitants size-) weight.

Vesna and Jovan Jelovac currently live and work in Seefeld, Zürich, in Switzerland, and Dorćol, Belgrade, in Serbia, but during each summer you can still find them divided between Ibiza and the North Pole, and wherever Red Star Belgrade and Novak Djokovic play on a day.


Vesna Jelovac

BDW's co-founder and BNW's Partner and Client Director Vesna Jelovac

Biljana Bilakovic

BDW's Team: Creative Director and Art Buyer Biljana Bilakovic

Milan Dragic

BDW's Team: Senior Graphic Designer and Art Director Milan Dragic