Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Albert Salamon (AS) for A’ Design Awards and Competition. You can access the full profile of Albert Salamon by clicking here.
Interview with Albert Salamon at Tuesday 19th of April 2016
FS: Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
AS: I graduated from the Faculty of Industrial Design at Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts but I don't feel like an artist (only a few people called me that way). I am a designer specialized in visual communication.
FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
AS: I am a freelancer working in a studio called TTMM. I make logos, identifications, books, prints and posters, packaging, keynote presentations, web pages, I also composed music for a video game and an exhibition.
FS: What is "design" for you?
AS: It is finding sense and in most projects it is about putting things into order, cleaning and making them simpler.
FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
AS: I like discovering (creating) new ”worlds” it is possible when you design graphical identities. Now I am keen on exploring the world of clock apps.
FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
AS: I like ”invisible” design - things without any unnecessary elements or decorations, simple in form.
FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
AS: That was a logo and maps for city information system for Warsaw (MSI). I made it in a studio ”Towarzystwo Projektowe”, the whole project has been awarded a Distinction Award from I.D. Magazine 1999.
FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
AS: I like ”digital matter” and I think that the pixel is the smallest part of meaning and for me it is also the most EcoLogical material ever. That's why I like doing things made of light. These digital things come from the other side of the mirror and they live in a matrix - non-human world of code.
FS: When do you feel the most creative?
AS: In my dreams when I am asleep, and in moments when I create instead of thinking.
FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
AS: When designing, I am "flying" and I am trying to combine everything in one solution (form).
FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
AS: It is hard to describe because when I feel, I don't think. Sometimes it is warmth or heat, sometimes it is like light speed travel with acute perception, some sort of trance.
FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
AS: In many situations I feel happy, proud and I hope that the project will be useful and will live a good life.
FS: What makes a design successful?
AS: For me it is about making things in styles that are versatile and proper for everyday use at the same time. It is also a capacity of a project to enter into dialogue with the consumer culture discourse.
FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
AS: Meaning - that is to say, benefits for people and culture - you have to have a good reason for designing a new thing because you are responsible for it.
FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
AS: They are huge. Every designer is a person who has multiple relationships: he is a human being, part of a family (child or parent) or a neighborhood, he is also a citizen of a country and a city, a producer and a consumer, naturally all these relations make him responsible for others, especially for resources and environment. That's why I like ”virtual” things.
FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
AS: Firstly, the designing process is becoming more collective, by which I mean that users participate in creation and developing process through Internet comments. The second thing is that designers are becoming producers and are selling their products themselves.
FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
AS: I'll have one in the future.
FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
AS: All inspiration comes from the past of my life (futuristic, electronic music of Kraftwek, Stanislaw Lem’s books, sci-fi movies). I am a great fan of old good classical movies like ”The Day the Earth Stood Still” or ”Maltese Falcon”.
FS: How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
AS: As simple as possible, with a bit of "something completely different" - unseen before.
FS: Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
AS: I live in Poland but except for the language I never felt connected to my country, perhaps because of my name. I rather felt like I was living on a different planet and I love it because it is mine.
FS: How do you work with companies?
AS: I find it difficult because of the corporate structures (Boards, Departments). That's why I like to work with small clients which are open to experiment.
FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
AS: I think that consulting a portfolio is the best way to select and decide about it.
FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
AS: I work fast and produce many concepts, after which I make breaks to get some respite from what I made and that gives me a perspective to decide which one I like most.
FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
AS: - Apple magic mouse - Bose remote control RC-9 - Apple iPad - Garden hose spray nozzle - folding table
FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
AS: No way :-)
FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
AS: Passion, belief and patience.
FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
AS: The positive side to it is that you meet new people, learn all your life and make new things, the negative is that when you're a designer, it's very difficult to be also a philosopher or a music composer at the same time or maybe not ;-)
FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
AS: ”designing is Time” so watch it.
FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
AS: One of my professor said that ”you are designing with your bottom” it means that you must sit down and be hard-working, patient, and also have a little of talent.
FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
AS: A music collection (from Prince through Brian Eno and Philip Glass), a movie library (from Bergman and Hitchcock to Lynch and Scott), books - Wells, Lem, Freud and Baudrillard and of course Adobe Creative Suite.
FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
AS: Badly. I am spending too much time on this.
FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
AS: It depends. Sometimes when my friends are coming I can design and produce candle lamps in two hours, but on the contrary, I have been designing my "dream house" for years.
FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
AS: This is a question like ”Is it exciting to be a designer?”.
FS: What was your most important job experience?
AS: There were two important jobs. First, when I was a student, my professors invited me to design a logo and plans within the framework of the MSI project which was a city information system for Warsaw. It was a fantastic lesson. Second job was teaching at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. In fact, that was a period in which I went on studying - it was a pleasure to meet students with their ideas and to learn from them.
FS: Who are some of your clients?
AS: People that own small firms, basically just starting their businesses. Concise Software, Sevenet, Good Advice.
FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
AS: I like to work for myself - Dominos and TTMM is such an example. For me it is the most rewarding project I have ever made. I like to do it that way because I am the only person that is responsible for the project and that's the only way that enables me to enter into dialogue with pop culture.
FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
AS: I have 5 pending projects, I will start to carry them out one by one.
FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
AS: I started to develop designs by myself but now I am meeting people and starting to build a team of programmers, musicians and photographers. But for sure it will take time.
FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
AS: Nope, I hope to show them soon.
FS: How can people contact you?
AS: By mail firstname.lastname@example.org
FS: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
AS: Thank you for this A’Design Award and I would like to say that it was well planed and organized. Thank you very much.
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