Every company needs its own design


DesignLab by CIKE x MILK led by mentor Martin “Žltý” Jenča is in full swing. The goal is to push the local design production to a higher level and promote the importance of creative and cultural industries in Slovakia. We introduce you to the first four out of eleven young talented designers who have a unique chance to learn from a person with more than 20-years of experience. Meet Silvia, Samo, Ana, and Katka, with whom you might want to work in the future.

Silvia Vargová

She works as a freelancer and specializes mainly in book design, especially children’s books, visual identity, and prints. Silvia is part of the team that stands behind the Egreš magazine (now a publishing house). In her professional life, she greatly appreciates the contacts and co-operation she has established so far. What she likes the best about working in design is the moment when a project is transferred from the computer to reality, and she can feel her work in her own hands.

In her spare time, she loves traveling, and she got the inspiration for further projects while staying in Australia. However, she often gets inspired by visuals of old books and things outside the design world. According to her, Slovak designers work on a good level, but she would like them to start working together more often, build a community, and promote themselves abroad. At DesignLab, she wants to acquire new knowledge, which she could then apply in practice. She likes the idea of having an expert who has years of experience and who does not guard his know-how, but on the contrary, shares it with others to consult her work with.

“People know what they want, but they often don’t know how to get there. The designer is to become their friend and advise them.”


Anna Hájková

Product designer Aňa likes her work best when she sees successful results, and she appreciates when her clients give her creative freedom. She is a co-founder of Citrón, an artistic pact in Košice, which helps young illustrators, graphic designers, and graphic designers present their work. She has applied for DesignLab to improve her work, and today she is happy to try doing things she would not normally get to do only a few years from now.

She would like to own a small studio in which the old and the new world meet. The connecting element would be producing new things using old graphics techniques such as screen printing and linocut. She considers them the best way of getting a sense of the composition. She says that the best things she ever created were based on what she had previously drawn manually. She considers the illustrated book by Etgar Keret – The Seven Good Years, her term assignment to be her best project. She has never illustrated a book before, nor has she worked in an illustration studio, but in the end, the experience is not everything. Sometimes you really want to do it.

“Analogue work leads to better results.”


Samuel Kušnír

He comes from under the Tatras, and in his professional life, he would like to make the region more attractive to prevent young people from leaving. After working with advertising agencies, he established his own design studio in Poprad, which focuses on print communication. This summer, you can buy Tatra holiday cards created by him because he actively works on the region’s development. He likes most about this work because he can reach a large number of people. After all, as a designer, he is the one who, together with the organizing team, defines and visualizes what people should keep in mind.

In addition to developing his own business, he wants to teach high school students in the future and bring them to understand the value of design. In addition to his work, he likes activities to show who he is, whether it be furnishing his own apartment or cooking. It is during those activities that he gets inspired. He applied for DesignLab because he felt the need for more professional guidance. He is very pleased with the mentoring he is receiving because he has learned how to sort out his own business. Particularly positive is that participants are at different levels, which can motivate, inspire and push them forward.

“The designer is the one who looks for a way to understand each other.”


Katarína Jančovičová

She became a designer because she enjoyed solving problems, analyzing, and helping with achieving a good result. Among several projects, she has created materials for an eye clinic. In the end, she unified visual materials and made the information available to the patients in a graphical way to better understand the interventions that await them. In her free time, Katka participates in cultural activities, likes traveling, and enjoys bizarre culture and ordinary folk creativity.

She thinks that Slovak designers often lack healthy self-confidence and the ability to sell their work. She joined DesignLab to improve herself as a designer and as a businesswoman for whom efficient planning and communication with clients and suppliers is important. She especially appreciates Žltý’s transparency and willingness to share the information elsewhere, which is considered a corporate secret.

“It is important that the client understands the value of what designer produces.”