Every problem needs a precise solution
DesignLab by CIKE x MILK program led by mentor Martin “Žltý” Jenča is in full swing. The goal is to push the local design production to a higher level. After introducing 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 in the future.
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 independently. 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 serigraphy together with the Šopa Gallery. She recommends that every designer works with traditional graphic design techniques because they will learn how to work with technology while discovering how colors behave.
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. Shortly, she wants to establish herself on the local market and raise awareness about her work. Katka is an academic designer, but she doesn’t like recognizing 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 during DesignLab, she learned that everyone faces similar challenges, so it’s good to address them collectively. Another pleasant bonus is that the participants create a very nice atmosphere during the workshops.
Together with Martin Kossuth, a high school friend, Roman 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. The studio stands behind the design of several local organizations such as Kino Úsmev, Šopa Gallery, and the White Night. On several occasions, our organization provided him with the opportunity to participate in the design of brochures, toolkits, and even the book City Cracker. You can physically experience the result of his studies (interior, naming, branding) at a local bistro in Košice – Pán Ryba.
Designers often mention that they lack a design community in 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 and international design scene in Košice. He says that Slovakia is a small country, but the work of designers is excellent. However, there is no connection between Bratislava and Košice and the world.
During DesignLab, Roman was most impressed by the mentor Martin “Žltý” Jenča and his studio Milk, which has a similar specialization to his but has a lot more experience. He appreciates the mentor’s openness and the fact that he can immediately implement the acquired knowledge in practice. He can already take care of his business activities better or specify his own long-term goals. Many situations from Žltý’s professional life are tailor-made for him. He’s already had some experience before the program, but he says it must be a golden treasure for the freelancers.
She is mainly interested in creating visual identity and illustrations, but she also enjoys typography and is attracted to book design. In addition, she is a Ph.D. student working with artificial intelligence, plays violin, 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 recognizable in the world. She would also welcome removing the visual waste in the streets or regular newsletters, especially that ordinary people and 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 realize 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 to benefit the program.