Interview by Ovidiu Hrin / 2011
Hi Adnan. Could you please tell us a bit about yourself?I am a freelance designer in Timisoara, interested in everything to do with this medium, from print to video and interactive identity.
You are a graphic designer, a typography addict, a VJ who lives’n’loves music, that about right? How would you define what you do?I’m someone who likes to explore visual media – both its history and where it’s going no matter the medium. I’ll program your website, do some custom lettering for your logo, render some visuals for tonites party and a wedding invitation for a friend – I enjoy variety and a good challenge.
The Poster seems like a medium within your comfort zone, how do you start your work on a piece? Do you usually start with a plan?There’s a lot of forethought and some sketching and exploring; once that stage is done it’s pretty clear to me what the desired end result should be - I’ve never really been comfortable with building something as I go along. It often takes just as much work preparing and proofing an idea as it is to bring it to fruition.
What are your sources of inspiration?Visual culture: video games, music, film and/or basically anything that has developed a rich visual language even if it’s not a very formal one: from quirky niche bits to classic stuff.
Most of your works display an ‘organic approach’ towards information structuring. Is that linked directly to your design process?Probably because the process is so rigid – deciding on dialogue, references and structure from the start and only then going into detail if there is room for it; you then hopefully get a sense that everything goes in its rightful place.
Being in the music/cultural scene for at least 10 years now, how do you see the impact that graphic/communication design has on music-culture?Together with motion and other media it continues to enrich the medium and can if done right elevate and amplify it as a spiritual and cultural experience.
Music was and still is to a great extent a vehicle for social and cultural ideas and the visual design that accompanies it was a big part of its potency.
You scribbled down “punks not dead” on your high school desk, drew Metallica with a sharpie on your denim vest, bought that happy face tee for the rave – visual design completes the culture and makes it remain precious even if you outgrow it or get jaded.
How about vice-versa?I think music gets quoted most often as a major influence to someone’s work – so you end up drawing stuff from the lyrics, the structure or just be influenced straight up by the artwork / video it comes with. I’m still waiting for someone to get into a fight over Helvetica versus Gill Sans but I guess designers haven’t gotten that deep about it yet.
You are freelancing, then you are co-organizing and also designing for events hosted by ‘Setup Venue’ where you are one of the founding members, then you are a VJ, you are also married and you have 2 cats. How do you manage all this?It’s actually 3 cats. Promoting the Setup Club & TMBase events has become something of a second nature over the years, the team is smaller but it’s a well oiled machine & of course I’m lucky my wife is both involved and supports this hectic lifestyle.
There are around 350 youngsters each year graduating as graphic designers at the 7 major art universities in Romania. How do you react to this? What’s your advice for them on finding work?Work hard and try become really good at one thing that people need to help you stand out in the crowd. Get to know people in the business & avoid the pitfalls. And last maybe make sure you get something from your first years: if you’re going to work as an intern or for almost nothing at least try and get good clients that let you do your thing or really creative or tough projects, jobs that teach you how to deal with clients or with different workloads.
Is graphic design just a style/trend generator or is there more to it?In the right hands and with the right goals graphic design can be and sometimes is a platform and a means for cultural and social movement. Visual culture just like any other can end up affecting your choices, where you go out, the people you meet, the clothes you buy - nudging your life onto one path or another.