Otherwise known as Yo Magick, Maciek Martyniuk received a First in Visual Communication in Design from IADT in Dún Laoghaire. We were particularly drawn to his series of Nice Posters in which he experiments with abstract, expressive type which is often animated, and his Stroll app
Can you tell us a little about your background and what you were doing before IADT?
I have always had an interest in doing creative things. I am originally from Poland, I moved to Ireland seven years ago to see more of the world and study graphic design, and I’ve been happy here ever since. Through out primary and secondary school I attended drawing and sculpting classes. I remember the first logos I drew when I was about 6 years old, they were logos of NBA teams. I found the NBA branding very exciting and fun. It was back in the 90s, the golden years of Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. Then, when I was a bit older I got really passionate about hip-hop and street basketball culture, that also had a very vivid visual expression that appealed to me.
Why study visual communication – what is it about the field that you find interesting?
The most interesting part for me is working with type and image at the same time. Trying to figure out the solution for the problem and finding the best way to communicate information clearly and in a unique and memorable way. I find myself having an interest in different disciplines of design. I have a strong interest in branding and animation, as well UI/UX, web design, film and photography. My last project Stroll (see above) is a concept for a social network based around casual walks and I found it really interesting to translate one strong visual language into other mediums whether they were printed or digital. I also like to work on smaller projects where I can experiment a lot, especially posters.
You spent time in Germany as part of your course – how did the course and student culture differ from IADT?
Studying in Stuttgart was great. The time I spent there was extremely inspirational for my design process. I took part in many different projects whilst there, with big focus on typography skills and learning CGI graphics. During my time in Germany I had the pleasure of meeting many inspirational individuals, that I am still stay in contact with. Experiencing the design process in different environments is definitely a great thing to do especially for young designers. Compared to IADT, Stuttgart had a very technical approach. On the other hand IADT paid more attention to research and clarity of the concepts. It was a great opportunity to experience both.
Do you have any design heroes or anyone who has been a big influence on you?
I think my influences are basically all the things that surround me. I am always vigilant for fresh ideas whether I am working on a project, walking down the street or doing something else, my brain never sleeps. The Internet is a great tool for designers, especially if they are looking for current design practices. There are some great community websites and design archives showcasing great designs and people exchanging their opinions. As much as I appreciate the Internet I also like reading good magazines. I also find it really interesting to visit second hand bookstores, especially the ones in different countries, and flick through the pages of old books and look for some unique typography.
A design movement that had the biggest influence on my work would be Constructivism. I really like the work of El Lissitzky and his layout systems. I am also influenced by designers such as Josef Muller-Brockmann, Jan Tschichold and Roman Cieslewicz.
From modern scene I admire Ustwo, Field, Snask, ManvsMachine, Sawdust, Ludovic Balland but these are just a few. I am also into contemporary American culture, specifically hip-hop. I am big fan of Pharrell Williams, Nigo, Kaws I find their aesthetics really playful and fun.
Would you ideally set up your own studio straight away or do you want to work for an established design firm?
I think I am still looking for the right path. For now I think it would be a blessing to be surrounded by people that are way better and more experienced than me, so I could have a chance to learn from them, continue to progress, and hopefully contribute to some great projects. Currently my plan is to work in a design studio and continue working on freelance projects in my spare time.
What do you hope to achieve with your work?
I would like to find harmony between being able to do what I am passionate about and finding the right people to work with. I definitely would like to fully realize my graduation project, which is a social network app that allows users to share and recommend interesting walking routes and encourages people to explore. The concept originated from the historical idea of the Flaneur which is a user generated community that lets users share, record and discover different walking experiences wherever they are. The project is called Stroll and I would like to find some place where I could develop it myself or work with a team of people to make it real.
In terms of working in this field, what are you most excited about?
I am very enthusiastic about what comes next and I am really excited about my future projects. Generally, I am very interested in seeing where my experimentation process will lead me. I love to explore new techniques, ideas and layouts. I am very excited about my future collaborations and I am looking forward to see what the future holds.
Maciek is one of 20 graduates whose work is currently appearing on over 1,000 JCDecaux digital screens all over the UK, including at all major railway stations, in shopping centres and on roadsides as partof CR’s Talentspoting scheme in association with Creative Translation. More details here