Every problem needs a precise solution // DesignLab 3

DesignLab by CIKE x MILK workshops led by mentor Martin “Žltý” Jenča are in full swing. Their goal is to move local design production to a higher level. After we’ve introduced you to eight young designers in the previous articles, it’s time to get to know the last three you might want to work with.

Katarína Rybnická // communication design

Although she has been working as a designer for a long time, she decided to start her own design studio only recently. Now she is learning how to handle things that she wouldn’t have to handle as an employee on her own. That is why she decided to apply for DesignLab, where she learned to work with a creative team, manage her time and set a price on her work. Katka focuses on branding, campaigns, book design and illustration. In addition, she facilitates workshops in seriography together with the Šopa Gallery. She recommends that every designer tries to work with traditional graphic design techniques because they will learn how to control technology while discovering how colour behaves.

In her work, she likes the process of inventing and coming up with ideas together with others. She gets inspired especially when she is in nature or while reading. Yet, she says that she is mostly inspired by everyday life. In the near future, she wants to establish herself on the local market and raise awareness about her work. Katka is an academic designer, but she says she doesn’t like to recognise the difference between academic and commercial design. Although the commercial design is more understandable to a wide range of people, it does not mean that it cannot be of equal quality.

She says that at DesignLab she learned that some problems are shared by everyone, so she is happy they are collectively addressing them. Another pleasant bonus is that the participants create a very nice atmosphere during the workshops.

“It is imperative that the designer remembers that he/she will leave something behind and so, it should not be garbage. Therefore, he/she must also think ecologically, sustainably and functionally.”


Roman Juhás // full-service design

Roman, together with Martin Kossuth, a high school friend, founded his own design studio in Košice. Its focus is on practical and usable things such as print, digital, marketing strategies and comprehensive brand-building projects. It stands behind the design of several local organisations such as Kino Úsmev, Šopa Gallery and the White Night. On several occasions, CIKE provided him with the opportunity to participate in the production of our brochures, toolkits and event the City Cracker. You can experience the result of his studies (interior, naming, branding) in the space of a bistro in Košice – Pán Ryba.

Designers often mention that they lack a design community Slovakia. Roman had identified this problem a long time ago and started to address it himself. He decided to reach out to local designers and establish new contacts. From this microproject came the idea of ​​a two-day conference – Eastern Design Conference – which connects the local scene with the international one in Košice. He says that Slovakia is a small country, but the work of designers is very good. However, there is no connection between Bratislava and Košice and the world.

At DesignLab, Roman was most impressed by the mentor Martin “Žltý” Jenča and his studio Milk, which has a similar specialisation to his but with much longer experience. He appreciates the mentor’s openness and the fact that he can immediately implement the acquired knowledge in practice. He can already organise his business activities better or specify his own long-term goals, and many situations from Žltý’s professional life are tailor-made for him. He’s already had some experience before the programme, but he says it must be a golden treasure for the freelancers.

“Designers are trained to go into the depth of the problem. Clients often do not have the time to do so.”


Dominika Čupková // visual identity & illustration

She is mainly interested in creating visual identity and illustrations, but she also enjoys typography and is attracted to book design. In addition, she works as a PhD student in the field of artificial intelligence, plays violin in a string orchestra and reads a lot. As she herself says, she likes to exhaust her brain, especially by coming up with new ideas and finding – sometimes non-existent – connections in the process of designing. She claims that a clever designer thinks in advance and tells the client what he/she needs.

Dominica would like the design in Slovakia to become more specific and recognisable in the world. She would also welcome the removal of the visual waste in the streets or in regular newsletters, and especially that ordinary people, as well as businesses, become more aware of its legitimacy and importance. Based on a wide range of Dominica’s activities, she can be seen as a supporter of the view that the more a person does and the more diverse his/her interests are, the more interesting connections he/she can make and apply them to his/her work.

She joined DesignLab because she considers workshops with professionals to be the best way to get real experience in the field. Acquired know-how will also help her realise her biggest work dream – to create her own design studio. She considers topics such as pricing, the value of their work and facilitating communication with new clients as a great benefit of the programme.

“Designers are kind of superheroes who make living in the world more simple.”


Now you know all the participants of the DesignLab. Do you have a problem with your business or any of your products? Would you like to reach out to one of them and cooperate? Write to us at super@cike.sk and we will connect you.