LEGENDARY INTERVIEW

Design Legends ("DL") had the distinct honour to interview legendary designer Anton Shlyonkin ("AS") for their original perspective and innovative approach to design as well as their creative lifestyle, we are very pleased to share our interview with our distinguished readers.

DL: Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?

AS : I graduated from National Design Institute in Moscow in 2011. Then I work in different places, co-founded different studios and now I am a part of graphic design duo «All my T» with my wife, Anna Goncharova, who is a graphic designer too.

DL: What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?

AS : That's what I do, that's what I like. I just can't not do it

DL: Did you choose to become a designer, or you were forced to become one?

AS : Kind of. I always wanted to be an artist, but it's kind of a specific craft and environment, and the next closest thing — design — suits me better

DL: What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?

AS : I do primarily graphic and packaging design. But occasionally I got some different types of work, like illustration and interior design, which is really nice and refreshing.

DL: What should young designers do to become a design legend like you?

AS : Just do what you like to do

DL: What distinguishes between a good designer and a great designer?

AS : Discipline

DL: What makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?

AS : I'd say — clarity of vision

DL: What is the value of good design? Why should everyone invest in good design?

AS : The importance of good design is hard to overestimate. It is a valuable asset in all aspects of any business, from marketing to engineering. But it really should be a GOOD design or it can do more harm than good.

DL: What would you design and who would you design for if you had the time?

AS : My personal projects and collaborations, definitely. So many ideas and so little time

DL: What is the dream project you haven’t yet had time to realize?

AS : Version 2 of my «Type tarot» project

DL: What is your secret recipe of success in design, what is your secret ingredient?

AS : Hard work

DL: Who are some other design masters and legends you get inspired from?

AS : Stefan Sagmeister (he is the best for me). Jessica Hische. Chip Kidd. Osten Gruppe. Niels Shoe Muelman. And many many many more. Professionals are awesome.

DL: What are your favorite designs by other designers, why do you like them?

AS : Everything by Stefan Sagmeister, because he is awesome. Notebooks and phones from Apple. Guitars by Fender. Posters from Osten Gruppe. They all just make me feel constantly amazed and creative, it's more like an emotional thing.

DL: What is your greatest design, which aspects of that design makes you think it is great?

AS : I have to say — navigation system and identity for Sanki track, which was a part of 2014 Sochi Olympics. It was a huge project, very interesting and complex. From more recent examples — branding and identity for «Little Bakery», because I had to do so many new things, like interior design.

DL: How could people improve themselves to be better designers, what did you do?

AS : Just work every day. And observe constantly. Be aware of things

DL: If you hadn’t become a designer, what would you have done?

AS : Music. It's a big part of my life as it is, but would be interesting to become a professional in this field

DL: How do you define design, what is design for you?

AS : It's an art with a definite purpose

DL: Who helped you to reach these heights, who was your biggest supporter?

AS : It's hard to name a certain person, but I am really thankful for my graphic design professor Evgeniy Taboriskiy. And definitely my wife.

DL: What helped you to become a great designer?

AS : I like what I do

DL: What were the obstacles you faced before becoming a design master?

AS : Communication skills. I am naturally an introvert which is a really bad thing for a creative person, actually. But now I am fine :)

DL: How do you think designers should present their work?

AS : Presentation is a huge part of a successful project, I think. It's like a new project in itself. But the presentation itself is hugely dependant on the initial design project, so it's hard to give any solid advices.

DL: What’s your next design project, what should we expect from you in future?

AS : Without any details — it's something more «art» than «design», so it should be interesting.

DL: What’s your ultimate goal as a designer?

AS : To save the world

DL: What people expect from an esteemed designer such as yourself?

AS : Professional approach, I guess

DL: How does design help create a better society?

AS : It's a big part of culture nowadays, so it is on par with art and music in that regard, I think

DL: What are you currently working on that you are especially excited about?

AS : Book covers for some independent writers

DL: Which design projects gave you the most satisfaction, why?

AS : Every work is helpful in some ways, so I really appreciate them all

DL: What would you like to see changed in design industry in the coming years?

AS : Less profanity

DL: Where do you think the design field is headed next?

AS : Interpenetration of different art fields. And VR

DL: How long does it take you to finalize a design project?

AS : It depends

DL: When you have a new design project, where do you start?

AS : Sketches with the pen and paper

DL: What is your life motto as a designer?

AS : Less is more

DL: Do you think design sets the trends or trends set the designs?

AS : Design, of cause

DL: What is the role of technology when you design?

AS : The last half of the process. I prefer to start by hand

DL: What kind of design software and equipment do you use in your work?

AS : Scanner, camera, Adobe package

DL: What is the role of the color, materials and ambient in design?

AS : It is very important, of cause. By the initial idea is way more important

DL: What do you wish people to ask about your design?

AS : I don't know. Decision making process? It's always interesting to me in others works, anyway

DL: When you see a new great design or product what comes into your mind?

AS : It makes me happy for the society

DL: Who is your ideal design partner? Do you believe in co-design?

AS : It's my wife, of cause, Anna Goncharova. She is a great designer herself and we often work together. And co-design is a great thing in general.

DL: Which people you interacted had the most influence on your design?

AS : Other professionals: artists, musicians, writers, designers.

DL: Which books you read had the most effect on your design?

AS : «Another book...» by Stefan Sagmeister

DL: How did you develop your skills as a master designer?

AS : Just work every day

DL: Irrelative of time and space, who you would want to meet, talk and discuss with?

AS : Leonardo da Vinci or Pythagoras

DL: How do you feel about all the awards and recognition you had, is it hard to be famous?

AS : Well, this interview is a really time consuming thing :)

DL: What is your favorite color, place, food, season, thing and brand?

AS : Orange, India, potatoes, summer, guitars and... I don't have one

DL: Please tell us a little memoir, a funny thing you had experienced as a designer?

AS : I got a work to redesign a logotype and told my teacher how bad the initial design was. Turned out it was his old design :)

DL: What makes your day great as a designer, how do you motivate yourself?

AS : Music

DL: When you were a little child, was it obvious that you would become a great designer?

AS : I was more susceptible to literature as a child, so no

DL: What do you think about future; what do you see will happen in thousand years from now?

AS : I just hope humanity will not destroy itself

DL: Please tell us anything you wish your fans to know about you, your design and anything else?

AS : Thanks for your interest!

LEGENDARY DESIGNER

ANTON SHLYONKIN IS A PART OF GRAPHIC DESIGN DUO FROM RUSSIA CALLED «ALL MY T». THE OTHER PART IS HIS WIFE, WHO IS A GRAPHIC DESIGNER HERSELF, ANNA GONCHAROVA. THEN THEY CREATED THIS COMPANY THEIR FOCUS WAS IN TYPEFACES AND T-SHIRT DESIGN — BOTH THINGS STARTING WITH THE «T», THAT'S HOW THIS NAME CAME TO BE., HOWEVER NOW THEY ARE WORKING IN MANY DIFFERENT FIELD FROM PACKAGING TO ENTERIOR DESGN. THEY BOTH GRADUATED FROM NATIONAL DESIGN INSTITUTE IN MOSCOW, ANTON IN 2011 AND ANNA IN 2013. NOW THEY ARE LECTURERS THEIR THEMSELF. THEY ALSO TAKE PART IN POSTER EXHIBITIONS, THE LAST ONE WAS DANTE ALIGHIERY EXHIBITION IN ITALY, PRATOVECCHIO. ANTON'S FAVORITE SELF-COMMISSIONED PROJECT IS HIS «TYPE TAROT» — A SET OF TAROT CARD MADE INTARELY WITH CUSTOM LETTERING. HIS FAVORITE CLIENT-COMMISSIONED WORK IS BRANDING AND NAVIGATION SYSTEM FOR SLEDGE-BOBSLEIGH COMPLEX «SANKY» IN SOCHI, WHICH WAS PART OF THE OLYMPICS IN 2014. ANNA'S FAVORITE WORKS ARE DIFFERENT PACKAGING FOR FAMOUS RUSSIAN CANDY BRAND «TASTY HELP»


5 Principles Sweets and Candy

5 Principles Sweets and Candy by Anton Shlyonkin

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