Interview with Dmytro Lynnyk

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Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Dmytro Lynnyk (DL) for A’ Design Award and Competition. You can access the full profile of Dmytro Lynnyk by clicking here.

Interview with Dmytro Lynnyk at Wednesday 15th of June 2022
Dmytro Lynnyk
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?
DL: I grew up in a family of artists. From childhood, I remember pictures and works of art, they attracted me fiercely. I loved to draw with my father. I followed my uncle's heels to see how he creates masterpieces. I also graduated from art school as a child, so I can definitely answer yes - from childhood to the present day - creativity has always attracted me, I dive headlong into it.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
DL: From 2014 to 2018 there was a design studio. Since 2018 I have a branding agency because it is more complete than design. We create a brand strategy and platform for a specific target audience, and after that a visual part is created. It is important that the design is not divorced from the strategy, in tandem they reinforce each other many times over. You probably know what I mean, I think you have seen beautiful designs, pictures - but they are completely out of touch with the needs or "world" of the target audience. Therefore, now, when we create brands, we work in an integrated manner.

FS: What is "design" for you?
DL: Design in branding is a way to harmonize the visual part of the brand for the consumer. It is a way to help the consumer choose a product or service. Design for me personally is an opportunity to express my creative abilities. Design in branding is a way to harmonize the visual part of the brand for the consumer. It is a way to help the consumer choose a product or service. Design for me personally is an opportunity to express my creative abilities.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
DL: I like work that leaves an emotional mark, whether it's one that touches on topics that are important to humanity. This is peace on earth, conflict resolution, helping those in need, those who can be helped and who can then develop. That is, everything without which there can be no evolution of mankind.

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
DL: The Happy Film. This is a movie. It features New York-based graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister living in the city of his dreams and working with the likes of The Rolling Stones, David Byrne, Steven Tyler and Jay-Z. There are no problems with business, creative forces do not dry out, but it seems to him that life is not limited to this. He fearlessly embarks on a project to change his own personality, trying to find out what factors make a person living in a metropolis happy. The film is illustrated with beautiful works of the designer. I really like this film, Stefan's work, and he himself as a creative person is incredible.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
DL: I was a graphic designer in the local newspaper. Later, when I started working at the agency as a graphic designer, the first thing I worked on was the logo.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
DL: I love graphics. I love space and shapes and combine them in harmony. Sometimes it seems not joint techniques - but they work together very cool. I love lined design, Swiss typography.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
DL: It's hard to say for sure :). As a creative person, I am unpredictable. Sometimes on Sunday evening I can be very inspired, and sometimes on Wednesday afternoon, when I need to generate an idea, inspiration is not so easy :). But I can definitely say that after visiting cultural sites, museums of modern art, exhibitions - I always have a huge amount of inspiration. And a change of scenery, travel is also very important. I love always learning something new, local culture. And when I come back after a vacation, I have a lot of inspiration. For example, my son and I spent 3 days in Strasbourg, and when we returned to work after this trip, many good ideas were successfully implemented. Therefore, I try to travel to new places and visit local attractions at least once every 2 months.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
DL: I devote most of my time to researching the target audience, the product itself, the market and trends, competitors and analyzing the information received. After all, this is the base. You can draw a very beautiful design, but it will not work because it will not speak the same "visual language" with the target audience. Therefore, a lot of time is spent on research and analysis. There is still a lot of time to develop a creative concept, the main idea that will become the basis of the design. I'm also quite picky and spend hours smoothing my finished design, I call it polishing)

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
DL: I feel like a happy person, I can design for days, I have always been designing when I was paid and not paid. My hobbies, my hobbies - everything is directly related to design. This is my life's work and I am extremely happy that I can work and enjoy the process at the same time.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
DL: It is inspiration and joy. The joy of changing the world. I am also happy that I helped to realize the goal and desires of the customer. That helped create a product that will solve the needs of people6 to improve their lives. After all, our agency works exclusively with those businesses that are positive for humanity, and not destructive. We will never, under any budget, work with heavy alcohol and cigarettes, drugs and gambling.

FS: What makes a design successful?
DL: It is made successful by a satisfied consumer who is seduced by this design and convinced that the service or product inside truly corresponds to the declared quality on the outside. After all, no matter how beautiful the design is, there is no point in it, if the product inside is of poor quality, this product will not be bought again, will not be bought a second time. It also often happens that the product is of very high quality inside, but its packaging is not very attractive or even repulsive. It is important that both the design and the quality of the product are at the highest level.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
DL: The first thing I determine is for which psychotype the design was created. There are 4 main personality types and each of them has its own visual language. I also look at how harmonious the design is. How the design system was created and how style-forming elements fit together. I see if the accents are well placed. If I like the design of a package, I always buy it, just by chance seeing it on the shelf. This is the task of design - to attract attention, to make promises. And the product (what's inside) must meet these expectations. So the brand gains loyalty and regular customers. Important the first sensation. Then comes the analysis of why I like this job or why I don't like it. There are criteria and observing them can significantly improve the design. I am also interested in how much in a new way and how much violating all the principles, you can bring design to a new level. I love improvisation

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
DL: First of all, for whom does the designer make his design, does this business contribute to the evolution in general or not? If not, there is no monetary pretext to help this business expand with good business packaging.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
DL: The future of design lies in improvisation and finding new principles. Now the trend as a whole is towards simplification, because the user receives hundreds of advertising messages every day, his brain does not want to spend huge resources on understanding every communication. Therefore, the overall design is simplified.

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
DL: The last exhibition was in Lviv, Ukraine. It was an exhibition in the hotel and tourism service in the fall of 2019. After that, covid began, and then the war in Ukraine. Therefore, offline events have become much less common. But I plan to start active participation in events and exhibitions next year, in Europe.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
DL: There are actually a lot of sources. This is the work of other designers. This is vision. This is travel. These are exhibitions of both contemporary and historical art. It can be books, atlases with photographs. I need to take all the layers and place radars everywhere (be ready to receive information).

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?
DL: I love minimalism. I have always been inspired by Swiss typography. Research, in other words, seeing, is the basis for the growth of a good designer. Visiting exhibitions of contemporary art and historical exhibitions, such as the Renaissance. Great architects such as: Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Caravaggio. Of the more modern ones, these are Vangogh, Monet, Edgar Degas, Selvador Dali and Klimt.

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?
DL: The environment greatly influences the design. What you come into contact with throughout the day, what you see. There should be beauty, harmony, comfort, aesthetics, and now I understand that safety is needed. This is the base without which good design is not possible. At the moment, I can’t create to the fullest in Ukraine, because the war influences, distracts you and you constantly think about it, worry about it. And from here the energy that should go to creativity and creation rolls down to safety and survival. Of course, Ukraine before the war inspired me, besides the fact that it is my homeland with a huge cultural heritage, unique color - it is also a country with an extraordinary and unique nature. Namely, nature provides the necessary energy for creativity. The purity of the stream and the freshness of this sound, the feeling and filling of the forest with this air, the sounds of birds singing and the sun peeping through the treetops. And every moment is unique.

FS: How do you work with companies?
DL: We have a clear work algorithm, a procedure that is written in detail from receiving an incoming application to implementation. Generally speaking, I always try to dive very deep into the project, as deep as they allow). Immersion is necessary in order to understand the tasks, I treat projects as if they were my own, as if it were my business. I also study the target audience very much in order to offer a solution specifically for them. And also we show our kitchen, show the process, steps and stages. So that the customer understands how branding and marketing works. To understand his target audience. We explain why we offer this particular visual solution (i.e. design).

FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
DL: I always look at portfolio first, education and work experience are not so important. If the portfolio is good, we select such candidates. Then we give a test task those candidates, create a creative concept for packaging, for example, and describe the idea. This is the second stage of selection. That is, I always watch people in practice. When evaluating a test item, I look at the idea and its description. If you like the candidate relult, you can take it for a test period. It's 1-2 months, you're watching a person at work. It is very important to look at the potential of a person, and not at the knowledge of programs. Give him additional tasks during the test period, view some master class or lesson, read some article or book. You will see how much a person is involved and has a desire to work. When you have checked a person in the trial period and finally accepted him into the state - develop him, teach him, load him with more and more difficult tasks, and look after him. In this way, you will grow a strong designer.

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
DL: We have a very clear algorithm of work, starting from the receipt of an application, ending with support in the implementation of branding, strictly according to the regulations, but this is hardly interesting. If we talk about the creative part, then there is also a clear algorithm: 1. Selection of moodboards that reflect the mood and style of the future project. 2. Sketches by hand on paper. 3. Digital sketches. 4. Drawing, creating a design concept. 5. Polishing and tuning the details of the concept. 6. Approval of the design concept with the customer. 7. Create a design system. 8. Replication of the design system on all carriers of the style. 9. Creation of communication design. 10. Design implementation and feedback.

FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
DL: A typical work day is something like this. I slowly wake up at 8 am, then have breakfast and do personal hygiene. During breakfast, I look through the list of tasks for the current day in order to make a plan and puzzles in my head, sometimes I can slightly adjust the plan based on priorities and mood. Then I go to the office, I am always in the office no later than 10 am. In the office in the morning, I always come to the team, the designers usually already work. We quickly discuss current affairs, I comment on their work. Then I usually have phone calls or meetings with clients or with the team, if we discuss concepts or they present work to me, I usually schedule meetings in the first half of the day. After 3-4 hours of work in the office, I go to the gym or take a walk in nature, in silence and for lunch, it takes about an hour and a half together. After that, I return to the office again, almost always with coffee. And in the afternoon, in the late afternoon, I can develop some creative concepts, I can record instructional videos - usually this is the time when I am in my office and create. I try to hold all meetings and discussions in the first half of the day so that after lunch I can be free and create. At about 7-8 pm I have dinner (usually in the office) after that I read or watch some kind of educational materials, I study permanently all my life, I try to allocate from 30 minutes to an hour every working day in the evening for studying. I usually come home at 9 pm, spend time with my family, I can watch some movie with my wife or talk on philosophical topics). I fall asleep around 12 at night, sometimes 1 am.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
DL: Of course, you need talent if you have it, you need to polish it with work and practice, then only there will be results. Mentoring is also important, look for really cool designers, art directors and creative directors. If this is a strong designer, even agree to a free practice. Be near them and absorb everything that is broadcast and practice.

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
DL: The positive ones are that the profession will always be in demand, design will always be needed - that is, you will always have a piece of bread. You will be able to really improve the lives of other people with your work, I mean consumers. You can be quite mobile, as there are many companies that are ready to hire designers remotely or for a hybrid work format. You can choose a fairly narrow specialization - what you like to do most of all, whether it's creating an identity for companies, design packaging, or typesetting books, etc, to each his own! Negative - you have to work, sometimes when there is no inspiration, but you need work. But you can find a way to restore yourself in order to prevent burnout. Change the environment, travel, do not sit in one place. No more longer see any negative factors in this profession.

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
DL: The most important thing is the balance and the ratio of elements to each other.

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
DL: It is very important to be able to "tune in" to the target audience and create a design for her, and not for yourself). What is important is the desire to learn, to be open to new things, not to stop at the current level. You can’t think that I already know everything and can do it - it destroys a person. Need a love for art, creativity. Everything else, such as software, design style can be learned.

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
DL: From the software, I mainly use 5 Adobe programs: these are Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign, After Effects, Premiere. I buy new design books every year. I am inspired by exhibitions and events. Communication with other designers.

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
DL: This is not an easy question) When work begins on the conceptual part, that is, the most interesting part of the project, I go into the project with my head and for a day) I can work 15-18 hours a day. And when I develop concepts, I really like to work at night when there is absolute silence and everyone is sleeping). I usually work actively in this mode for 1 week non-stop. And after that, as the design concept in the project is developed and approved, I go on vacation for about a week, I often travel at this time.

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
DL: The implementation period depends on the type of branding. Consumer branding is a little faster - 2-2.5 months, corporate - 3-4 months, because it has more design carriers. If we are talking about the branding process as a whole, it is a complex process, research and analytics - a month and a half, verbal identity 2 weeks, and design part 1.5-2 months. At the design stage, it usually takes 2-3 weeks to create a creative concept and design system, and then a month to polish and replicate the design to all design media.

FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
DL: Most often they ask how to learn how to create such a design as I create). Oh, I answer that it is long years of training. That's thousands of hours of practice. After all, design is not just the possession of graphic tools. You can learn basic programs in a few months, but design is not just the possession of software, this science is much, much wider! I always dissuade if a person wants to become a designer because of trends or the desire to earn money ... And I always motivate if I see fine taste, perfectionism and love for creativity. One day, a 19-year-old girl came to work for me, and I saw how talented she was! She herself did not realize it, she simply incredibly felt each project, knew how to intuitively, even without knowing deeply the system of psychotypes, to create an accurate design. I was amazed by her talent. I develop and encourage talented people in every possible way. I am creating a design school, it is a very global and complex program. I believe that the program will make it easier for young, talented designers to gain the skills and experience to develop further and hone their skills.

FS: What was your most important job experience?
DL: It was the creation of a brand book (global project) for the Magisters law firm. I remember this project very much, because in fact it was the first global project that I did on a turnkey basis. I was very excited and worked around the clock. Of the recent works, there were also several worthy and interesting projects6, for example, branding for the highest hotel in the world, which is in the Burj Khalifa tower in Dubai, the project is currently underway.

FS: Who are some of your clients?
DL: Our agency works with clients from all over the world. Basically, these are medium-sized companies who have reached a new level and understand that just a logo is not enough for them. This is the business owner or marketing director. It's a pleasure to work with them because they understand and take the painstaking process of building a brand very seriously - it's the backbone of their business. We need to create a concept that accurately defines the needs of the target audience and can solve it. Our customers clearly see the goals of the business in the distant future, this helps to determine the vector for design and business too. We work on projects that improve the lives of others. We do not work with heavy alcohol, gambling, non-transparent schemes, etc. - no matter how much money they would offer us.

FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
DL: There are 2 types of design - which I just adore, and it's hard for me to say which one is more now. There was a time, around 2010-2015, when I totally loved corporate design. That is, it is the creation of a brand and a design system for companies. This type is interesting because you have to create a design for several target groups at the same time: direct customers, for employees (now everyone needs to think about the employer brand) and for other groups that come into contact with the company (suppliers, contractors, partners for example). For about 5 years we have been narrowly focused on corporate design. After that I fell in love with the packaging design. I love to see the design we created on the shelf - to pick up the finished product. We store in the office all the packages that we manage to purchase or receive from our customers. A shelf with realized packaging designs is what inspires me the most, even more than customer reviews or a shelf with awards.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
DL: I want to open branches of the agency in different countries, create a global network agency, supervise significant projects as a creative director. I will always create creative concepts, because this is what drives me and brings meaning to my life!

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
DL: For the last 8 years I have been working as an Art director. This means that together with the team we create a design. Creative concepts are often created by me or under my direction. And then the creation of a design system and replication of the design on different media, the creation of communication design - this is usually done by graphic designers in my team. But I am involved in every project, and I always carefully check all the details before sending the final presentation of the project to the client.

FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
DL: I really don't like to talk about current projects) And I don't always talk about projects that are ready, but still in the process of being implemented. Sometimes we work under an NDA, sometimes I just don't want to spread important information that could hurt a brand that hasn't been fully marketed yet. I can say that now I am working with a huge brand, with a huge corporation from the USA, and this is extremely interesting. We create a new communication design for them, I work as an art director in this project. I am proud to work with brands of this level. Now I just can’t be torn away from them, I am involved in this project day and night.

FS: How can people contact you?
DL: People can visit our website and see our approach to branding and design. View our portfolio. And leave a request for estimate of their project. On the site there are forms to fill out a brief or contact us. The manager will email you to determine the best time to call. You can also send us a direct message by email or messenger. We will respond within 1 hour during business hours.

FS: Thank you for providing us with this opportunity to interview you.

A’ Design Award and Competitions grants rights to press members and bloggers to use parts of this interview. This interview is provided as it is; DesignPRWire and A' Design Award and Competitions cannot be held responsible for the answers given by participating designers.

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