Do you understand interior design?
Before GRAFIKSHOP I used to do interior design, mainly kitchens. Later I started doing design again and thought of it as wasted time, but then I realized it is coming back to me in a different way in my designing work. Now it’s the whole layout of the place, not just the furniture. And obviously it is not residential places, but shops – we designed a coffee shop, Vietnamese restaurant etc. We help our clients to make their businesses, based on the idea and concept, an experience which gives another advantage to GRAFIKSHOP for its clientele.
Companies and businesses also sometimes struggle with photos they use, some don’t even hesitate to put up their non-professional and non-appealing photos. Do you have a solution for that?
We have a project for them called we do understand that we put together with our photographer. Photography has very important role in communication, but not many people understand it. The correct usage of photography with graphic design can successfully exceed the purposes it is advertising, a packaging, design work or a poster. Photography a perfect tool and more understandable communication tool, and if its usage & application is correctly created it, it can develop the perfect message.
What do you think about the online marketing and the development of the internet and websites?
Web design is changing all the time because of the daily bases new technologies and more and more people are working with it. It’s important for a company to be a have an information online centre. For a website is important how you will set up the information, how is the design and layout and how within 3 to 5 seconds to concise the visitor to surf within your website. He has to find the information he is looking for quickly. The way it works, the simplicity, the visual communication and functionality are important points for an attractive website. Now days the websites are design with less “clicks” and furthermore, the scrolling got friendlier, due to smart phones and tables or even touch mouse.
For many small and middle sized businesses is world of design is very far away and they tend to forget about it.
The solution is My Designer. It is designed especially for businesses and corporations. We simply help them to look professionally. This project is aimed for companies that need more than just creating and printing pages; they need some constant changes in design and new things to be done. We save them the costs of paying internal designer, or hiring designer for each project and always having to do the price ping-pong, how many hours will it take, do they have time? How much to pay? Instead they pay a fixed monthly fee, concluding how many hours per month they require, and in general building the process of how the design work will be done. In respect to creativity the environment for a designer is important. Our designers exchange and brainstorm their accounts, inspiring each other, working as a team. It’s not like one designer, seat in front of a computer, surrounded by B people which in some cases make designers to lose their creativity.
At which point do you enter the projects?
I love to work with people from the very beginning of the project when it’s just an idea. Your creativity just explodes everywhere. You start with a name, they either have it or we choose it. Then comes the challenging part, research and deciding what they want to do and how to do it. At this point you should start thinking of what you want to communicate and what is the idea you want to give to people. That’s the brand.
How do you get new ideas?
If you love what you do you do it all the time, because you can’t stop thinking about it. When you work on a project, it’s constantly in your mind and everything you see around you, inspires you – even though it may not have anything to do with the project, coming from somewhere else. But your mind is so buried in it, that little nudge from unexpected place can help to get the perfect idea. Online research, book based, conversations, theatre, dance is a way to bind your mind with ideas. As well as painting or a handmade jobs can refresh and clean your mind the unnecessary thoughts.
You also work with people from the music industry, how is that?
I really love to work with the music people. They are so organized and they know exactly what they want. I work with various artists, and I have to say it is completely different way of communication. I think it might be because they are used to express their creativity in musical (sound) way, while the artists use visual communication or graphics. They have to transfer their feelings and emotions sound, or words, so I guess it comes more naturally to them. I have worked with IAMX since 2011, when I met their manager and we just “clicked”. I went to Berlin for a week, we talk about the work that needs to be done, got the ideas on paper. Then I worked on it back in Prague and later another one week visit to Berlin was enough to complete everything with the band. For their last album I did all the visuals and graphics from Album covers to posters and branding for the world tour I was took part in their documentary making of film.
Communication with printing people is according to some designer quite complicated…
The printing people are very technical. You have good printers that do things with effort and precision and bad printers. Sometimes there is problem in the communication between designer and printer because they live in very different worlds. But the communication is essential; because bad printing can destroy all the good work you have done as a designer. And that’s not the printer’s problem, that’s the designer’s problem for not being able to explain himself and for not knowing the technical possibilities of producing and finishing a “product”. Now I am trying to look at the whole process from a different perspective – first I think what can be done and how will the final “product” look like, so I am sure it will be the way I want it. On the other hand you can think of some extraordinary way then you have to push the printer to make it. Some of them just close the door; others try to find new ways. And if you get used working together it gets easier for both ways and you can get your unique (um)-possible ideas to life. We also created a production division within the GRAFIKSHOP, which we can now internally create – design – produce – print and the final “products” and be able to push our creative ideas more.
Do you work just with computers, or do you hand sketch as well?
I am the type of designer who doesn’t use just computer, but goes through sketching and then put it to computer. For me it’s a tool for finalizing the idea and preparing it for the production & manufacture of a “product”, but is not the tool that makes you creative. A designer should also know about the printing process, because through different materials and techniques you get different outcome. You have to give to your client the best idea and to turn that idea into a “product”.
You also work with students a lot, you have sympathy for them?
When I started my course at Prague College, I went through lots problems, because I was one of the first design students there. But there are many things that nobody can really teach you – how to think creatively, or how to work with a program…They can explain, but you still have to do it for yourself or learn it by yourself. So I decided to open GRAFIKSHOP as a space where students could get the material and services they needed, and they could also just chat about their project and ideas. I started the GRAFIKSHOP just when I was finishing school; I went back to Cyprus and found an investor. It was a shop for students, but it was also a creative and design studio. After a year or year and a half the creative and design part was busier, more clients and interesting projects. From that moment I understood that it wasn’t a shop anymore, but a GRAFIKSHOP. I started to look for solid partners so as to provide solid service to my client, and that is my main objective.
What is Design about for you?
I think I prefer the visual communication to words in a way. But design is not just art, the business part is important as well. You have to be organized and I like that about it. It’s not just about designing something to make it look good, but you are also giving it character and setting the way it’s going to be interpreted by people.
Why do you do design?
I have to admit I didn’t like books and reading too much when I was a kid. My mum was a painter so I loved the art scene, there were always paintings and canvases in the house. And then during my army service I lived by my aunt and cousin, who was a designer. She showed me how to use couple of programs and told me a bit about design and I got more and more interested.