Design Legends ("DL") had the distinct honour to interview legendary designer Liudmila Shurygina ("LS") 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?

LS : My art and design background has passed through several fazes from book graphic design and book ilustrations to broadcast motion design of the TV programmes and landed in the current faze of graphic design and branding work for retail and public spaces. I studied in Moscow University of Print on Book and Publishing design department where we were exploring different graphical techniques from - traditional calligraphy, etching and woodcut to computer graphic design. Than I have done Master of Arts in Image and Communication in University of London direction Motion Graphics and finally MA Design in Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam.

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

LS : I have become a designer because I think this profession combines creative and graphical skills and in the same time has a practical outcome.

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

LS : I have chosen to become a designer, I have switched from fine arts graphics to it.

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

LS : I wish to design more culture related brand identities and posters.

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

LS : Young designers should be consistent in what they do and develop their style and vision independent from work circumstances.

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

LS : A good designer goes with the flow. For the great designer it is not enough.

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

LS : Good design is always solid, it does not rise questions.

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

LS : Good design makes your life happier.

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

LS : I would design design patterns for the metro station in every capital city of the world.

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

LS : The series of opera posters for the opera house in New York.

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

LS : Less is more

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

LS : Studio Dumbar, Marcel Wanders, Thonik Design Studio, Buro Destruct

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

LS : I like posters of Studio Dumbar because I am interested in modern interpretation of classical music.

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

LS : My greatest design is graphic design for the identity of the city of Utrecht motion movie because there I have used the poem and it's diverse typography as a motion poem. As later this graphical language has formed the series of posters and brand identity.

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

LS : I think they first of all have to choose the right design direction. Everyone has own strong points. And design as discipline is very broad and has many specializations.

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

LS : May be would have become an opera singer.

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

LS : Design for me is a successful combination of concept and form.

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

LS : My mother

DL: What helped you to become a great designer?

LS : Broad vision of the world and interests.

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

LS : Changing countries, looking for network, practical obstacles mostly

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

LS : Visuals or photoes should be the highest quality and smart text indeed

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

LS : Sustainability related project about overload in production of plastic

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

LS : To create a recognizable visual language and to have my works being exposed in Stedelijk Museum.

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

LS : Speed and quality

DL: How does design help create a better society?

LS : By creating more harmonised happy environment.

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

LS : I am working on retail food store concept at the moment and excited about making this the most commonly used utilitarian public space special and highly aesthetic that people will smile there in their daily routine.

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

LS : Projects which give me total freedom. It could be brand identity or motion movie or pattern - but in any case this is an exciting discovery for a right clue to successful solution.

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

LS : I see design as a tool for more sustainable world. Design solution should serve the planet now.

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

LS : Sustainability

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

LS : Depends on specific project.

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

LS : I start with collecting information, exploring strategy document and briefing.

DL: What is your life motto as a designer?

LS : To stay yourself and to be proud of your work. To set the quality on the first place.

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

LS : I think the previous designs prepare the next trend.

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

LS : It is very big because it is related with architectural design and materials.

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

LS : Adobe Creative Suit, After Effects sometimes.

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

LS : It is a major role i think together with concept of course.

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

LS : I like when people want to know more about the design story and inspiration behind.

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

LS : I make a printscreen or photo and collect it in my library for inspiration.

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

LS : I do believe in co-design. Ideal design partner is architect for me. It is a good combination in work.

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

LS : My university graphic design teacher V. E. Valerius.

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

LS : Just exploration of Art History and all books related to it.

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

LS : I combine commercial work with creative research and free work.

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

LS : Coco Chanel

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

LS : I am not that famous and did not participate in many awards, because I was deeply focused on practical work or creative free work and did not invest much energy in self promotion. But I really like my experience with A design Awards - now feel sorry that have not started this activity earlier. It connects you with other professionals and teaches you a lot how to present your work.

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

LS : Color: wine red or emerald green; place - Venice, food - Italian, season - summer, thing - e-book, brand - Karen Millen

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

LS : Design is a serious business, no jokes!:)

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

LS : I always look for inspiration on Internet to get new fresh ideas.

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

LS : I was a wonderkind making highly detailed graphical drawings, copying Albrecht Durer and had at those times lots of exhibitions. At 15 it was over - I was searching for a new path and have discovered graphic design.

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

LS : I am very afraid for the future of the Earth. Action should be taken now to save the planet.

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

LS : I think that you can be anyone as soon as you are happy. That is why is so important to choose a right profession that gives you moments of joy during the day. I have found one.



Michurinsky Prospect Metro Station

Michurinsky Prospect Metro Station by Liudmila Shurygina

Madame Butterfly Posters

Madame Butterfly Posters by Liudmila Shurygina

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