Interview with Andorka Timea

Winner of Graphic Design Awards

Award Winning Designer Andorka Timea shares insights


Interview with Andorka Timea at Sunday 6th of May 2018:

DL: Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?
TA : At first I wasn’t preparing to become a graphic designer at all – and I am not one hundred percent sure that I am one nowadays. I studied philosophy and literature at university as I was interested in the nature of human thought: how the different conceptual and cultural systems grow and develop from each other, how they are in an everlasting dispute, constantly changing and forming each other and us.

DL: What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?
TA : I had to read a lot during my university years, and meanwhile, I started to become more and more interested in the object that carries the written text: the book itself. This was the core moment when I decided for the making of the books. Thus I started to study typography and graphic design.

DL: What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?
TA : I am interested in a wide variety of things that have connections to the world of ideas and creativity. This realm allows me to experiment with the experiments of others and with my own thoughts. Book design is that particular field which emerges as the most challenging for me. I have always been a bibliophile. When I design a book cover I make use of everything I’ve ever learned. I consider book design as a mode of reflecting on texts, a kind of interpretive activity. Since it always puts my competence to the test, I really enjoy doing it.

DL: What is the dream project you haven’t yet had time to realize?
TA : I would love to completely design book if I had no editorial or budgetary constraints, I would choose something with a special position in the history of ideas – something with both literary and theoretic importance. I am thinking of such works as The one hundred and twenty days of Sodom or The picture of Dorian Gray or Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Or, if I can be a little immodest, the Holy Bible. These works would pose a really exciting challenge in graphics for me since they have their own iconographical tradition.

DL: What is your secret recipe of success in design, what is your secret ingredient?
TA : To be able to think outside the box. This can be quite difficult, but I am in a favoured situation: by working at the museum I am constantly obliged to think outside the box. Working with artists who already have a completely built up word is like being a tourist in a totally new universe. I grow richer with each working process.

DL: Who are some other design masters and legends you get inspired from?
TA : David Person, Jonathan Barnbrook, Tomasz Bogusławski, Peter Mendelsund, Barbara de Wilde, Coralie Bickford-Smith, Vince Frost, Hermann Zapf and David Bowie

DL: What are your favorite designs by other designers, why do you like them?
TA : I was inspired by Penguin Books’ Great Ideas series, and David Pearson’s design approach to each volume relying not so much on illustrative, but rather typographic sources.

DL: What is your greatest design, which aspects of that design makes you think it is great?
TA : My Optics/Chromatics poster that has won the recent application seems to be a timeless piece of work. The method of pursuing a thorough experiment after having carried out a long phase of reading and research has returned me the most among all my works.

DL: If you hadn’t become a designer, what would you have done?
TA : I would teach philosophy or play poker.

DL: How do you define design, what is design for you?
TA : Design is a way of life for me.

DL: What’s your next design project, what should we expect from you in future?
TA : Currently I am working together with Austrian sculptor Erwin Wurm – exhibitor of the 2017 Venice Art Biennale – on his exhibition in Hungary.

DL: How does design help create a better society?
TA : I work at the cultural area, therefore I consider an unimpeachable task to shape society’s aesthetic taste in a positive way. It is important to influence people by visual stimuli of a very high quality and make them open at the same time as the consequences will appear directly in the environment they live in. People make a lot of aesthetical decisions from day to day without even noticing – however it does give an image of them: the choice of their favorite socks to put on in the morning or the mug from which they drink the first coffee of the day; whether they ignore, uninterested, a rather exciting movie poster in the tube station… These all make part of our personality, these messages are primordial in what we show to others about ourselves.

DL: When you have a new design project, where do you start?
TA : I read a lot and do a lot of research. I check out the client (institution, artist) in question and try to find out about their expectations of the graphic design. I also make a research of the given topic of the book, presentation, exhibition. I always read the book before I start designing and if possible, contact the author, the editor or the publisher, read the critics, analyse the previous designs.

DL: What kind of design software and equipment do you use in your work?
TA : Adobe CC softwares: Indesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere, Lightroom, Nikon cameras

DL: What is the role of the color, materials and ambient in design?
TA : As a graphic designer I frequently collaborate with artists. It is a great opportunity to learn from them about the use and handling of colors. When I work on something independently I often use the effects of light and shadow or certain color-based optical illusion. Moreover, I am completely fascinated by the play of colors as a result of paper marbling – nothing else could produce that kind of visual pattern.

DL: Which books you read had the most effect on your design?
TA : Robert Bringhurst: The Elements of Typographic Style Phil Baines: Penguin by Design Michel Foucault: The Order of Things

DL: What is your favorite color, place, food, season, thing and brand?
TA : white, London, bipimbap, autumn, coffee maker and Mini Cooper

DL: Please tell us a little memoir, a funny thing you had experienced as a designer?
TA : A couple of years ago I convinced the museum I was working for to produce the flyers of the exhibition The entropy of a City in an unexpected manner: the paper had to be folded in a special way that could be done only manually. The folding technique had been developed for NASA by a Japanese astrophysicist, and the shape fitted the exhibition’s theme so much that it was accepted. Everyone who has seen it can still remember it, and the technique was interiorized by almost all the colleagues at the museum.

DL: When you were a little child, was it obvious that you would become a great designer?
TA : Definitely not. I come from a family of engineers: my parents do not understand at all what I do, but are a great support.